Governments and companies are compelled to protect human rights, but investors could do more to ensure they do, said an expert panel speaking on the role of finance in human rights at the PRI in Person in Paris.
It is difficult to see how the world will cap emissions in line with the Paris agreement unless asset owners drive change, aligning their portfolios to net zero and demanding more from their managers, delegates at PRI in Person heard.
In conversation with Eva Halvarsson, CEO of SEK 334 billion ($34 billion) Swedish buffer fund AP2 at PRI in Person in Paris, CFO of French multi-national food group Danone Cécile Cabanis, told delegates that the goal of the company is to contribute positively to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Empowering long-term influential asset owners to invest responsibly is the key to hastening take-up in responsible investment. Delegates heard how some leading asset owners are doing this through their diversity and ESG practices.
“It’s time to act,” said Bruno Le Maire, France’s Minister of the Economy and Finance in the opening keynote speech at PRI in Person in Paris in a speech, which underscored with a sense of urgency that the financial world is not doing enough to meet today’s ESG challenges.
ESG is a core expectation of LPs in assessing private equity managers, and some asset owners including AP2 are willing to forego opportunities if a manager is not transparent on ESG, a panel at PRI in Person discussed.
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