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Dufas and asset managers sign commitment to the Dutch climate agreement

11-07-2019

The Hague, July 10, 2019 - Today, Dufas, together with the other associations in the financial sector - the Dutch Banking Association, the Dutch Association of Insurers and the Federation of the Dutch Pension Funds - has put its signature under a commitment to actively contribute to the Dutch government's climate goals. The signing took place in the presence of Minister of Finance Hoekstra. In addition to the associations, more than fifty financial institutions have signed the commitment.

Climate goals

The aim of the Climate Agreement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49% in a cost-effective manner compared to 1990. The financial sector commits itself to the goals of reducing CO2 emissions. To this end, it will draw up action plans and report annually on the climate impact of financing and investments.

Roelie van Wijk, chairman of Dufas about the commitment

Roelie van Wijk, chair of Dufas, comments on the commitment of the financial sector to the Climate Agreement: "The Dutch financial sector has taken a unique step worldwide. We have worked together throughout the entire Dutch financial chain to help achieve the climate objectives. We have worked on this commitment for over a year and it is fantastic that we have reached a joint agreement. It is now the task of the financial sector to implement the arrangements and to show progress in a transparent manner. "

Commitment of asset managers

The commitment describes how asset managers contribute to the achievement of climate goals. Asset managers manage the assets of asset owners such as private individuals, pension funds, insurers and other institutions. To a large extent, the asset owners determine how their money is invested. The contribution of asset managers consists of:

  • Supporting clients in achieving their ambitions and obligations with regard to their climate impact by actively engaging with them, using our knowledge and by coming up with proposals on how investments can contribute to the implementation of the climate agreement. For example, by actively entering in a dialogue with companies in which they participate, about limiting their impact on the climate.
  • Helping clients with reports on their investments, which make the climate impact transparent and measurable on  the basis of global or European standards. These standards are still being developed, whereby the Dutch asset management sector, as a global leader in the field of ESG integration, sees itself playing an active role.
  • Working on investment strategies for clients which contribute to the goals of the climate agreement.

With signing, Dufas indicates that as an umbrella organization for asset managers it supports the commitment, coordinates the deployment of its supporters where necessary, and plays an active role in an annual review of the progress of the implementation of the commitment arrangements.

Conferences

As part of the commitment, Dufas, the Dutch Association of Insurers, the NVB and the Pension Federation are organizing conferences. The first conferences have already taken place. At the beginning of this year, the first working conference was organized by the Dutch Banking Association with the theme of raising awareness of climate risks. Last month, the Dutch Association of Insurers welcomed over 150 visitors for the second edition. During this session the emphasis was on working together to be able to measure the impact of financing and investments. The third session is scheduled for early next year.

European action plan

Dufas is also actively engaged at a European level to contribute to adequate regulations for sustainable financing. Dufas is, in collaboration with EFAMA, the European organization for asset managers, closely involved in the implementation of the ‘action plan on sustainable finance’ of the European Commission. The action plan offers a framework for sustainable investing and financing. An important part of the framework will consist of a taxonomy, a uniform classification system that indicates when an economic activity contributes to the set climate goals. In addition, it also contains new rules for the provision of information about sustainable investments. Finally, the European Commission is also working on the development of a European eco-label for sustainable investment products for the retail market.

About Dufas

The Dutch Fund and Asset Management Association, Dufas for short, is the association of asset managers in the Netherlands. Dufas covers both the retail and the institutional market. Dufas currently has 52 members, who represent more than 95% of the market for asset management in the Netherlands, measured in Assets under Management.

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