5 December 2019

Axa's top 100 corporate holdings don't make the cut in a 1.5°C portfolio

Axa would have to divest its top 100 corporate holdings to have a 1.5°C aligned portfolio, according to the insurer's head of climate & environment Sylvain Vanston.

Speaking at Insurance and Climate Risk conference, held by Insurance Asset Risk in partnership with sister publications Environmental Finance and InsuranceERM earlier this week, Vanston said the French insurer had tested its portfolio against the Paris Agreement goals.

"We would have to exit our top 100 holdings to be aligned with a 1.5°C scenario," he said. "Currently our portfolio is more aligned with a 3.1°C world and we invest in a 3.7°C world, so our investment universe is quite far from the Paris Agreement."


Vanston added it will require a huge effort to gradually come in line with this target. This won't be achieved through divestment, and Axa is not going to divest from its top 100 corporate holdings, he said.

As part of its updated climate strategy, the french insurer aims to achieve a 1.5°C aligned investment portfolio by 2050 which will involve doubling its green investment objective to reach €24bn ($26.4bn) by 2023. Axa will also invest in transition bonds to support companies shifting towards less carbon-intensive business models.

Sylvain Vanston