Investors engage with CLP on climate change

The Hong Kong power company commits to net zero emissions by 2050 and phasing out coal power by 2040.

The commitments by the power company were supported by institutional investors engaged in the Asian Utilities Engagement Programme.

“Asian electric utilities are crucial to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement as the sector is responsible for almost a quarter of the world’s total carbon emissions,” said Rebecca Mikula-Wright, Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) chief executive officer.

“CLP Group has taken strong steps that should serve as a good example for similar Asian companies to address their climate risk, transition to net zero emissions and remain competitive in international capital markets.”

In the updated Climate Vision 2050 published in September, the power business is committed to accelerate its plan to phase out its coal-based assets by 2040, a decade earlier than previously pledged, together with commitment  to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

To achieve the targets, the CLP aims to reduce its scope one and two greenhouse gases emission by 50% as compared with 2019 levels by 2030. From 2050 onwards, the company will address any residual greenhouse gases emission through the purchase of valid offset credits.

The engagement with CLP is led by BNP Paribas Asset Management and Manulife Investment Management.

Based in Hong Kong, CLP is one of the largest investor-owned power businesses in Apac, and one of the two electricity providers in Hong Kong. It has investments in Hong Kong, mainland China, Australia, India, Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

Launched in June, the Asian Utilities Engagement Programme identified five companies in its first year as they produce substantial greenhouse gas emissions, have large coal-fired power capacity or have a strategic role in driving the net zero emissions transition.

According to the programme, China Resources Power Holdings, CLP Holdings, Chubu Electric Power Co, J-POWER, and Tenaga Nasional collectively emitted a total of 285 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2019, which is equivalent to the national emissions of a country such as Spain.

The programme is supported by the AIGCC, which has 61 members from 13 different markets in Asia and internationally and include asset owners and managers overlooking a combined AUM of over $26trn.

The other investment companies include Amundi Asset Management, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Cathay Financial Holdings, Eastspring Investments, Hermes Investment Management, Fidelity International, GIC, Income Partners, JP Morgan Asset Management, Maitri Asset Management, Manulife Investment Management, Resona Asset Management, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management.