In line with the global Race to Zero Dialogues, QBE Insurance Group (QBE) today announced its membership of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, committing to a net-zero emissions investment portfolio by 2050.

The UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance is an international group of institutional investors who are committed to transitioning their investment portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Joining the Alliance means QBE will take into account the best available scientific knowledge and collaborate with other global institutional investors on developing standard industry frameworks. QBE will also benefit from the technical support of the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative and Principles for Responsible Investment.

“Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement requires collective action and we’re pleased to be working with our peers through the Asset Owner Alliance to transition our investment portfolio to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said Richard Pryce, Interim Group CEO.

QBE is the first Australian headquartered insurance business to join the Alliance and with QBE’s membership, the group’s total assets under management will be over $5 trillion.

QBE Insurance Group, Chief Investment Officer, Gary Brader said as a responsible global investor QBE believes integrating responsible investing into our investment decisions is good for the long term for all of our stakeholders and is critical to tackling climate change.

“This announcement aligns with QBE’s broader approach to managing climate-related risks and opportunities, and our support for the objectives of the Paris Agreement. It also builds on QBE’s industry-first investment program Premiums4Good and our ambition to increase impact investments to $2 billion USD, which we are on track to reach by 2025.”

“We actively support renewable energy projects and other technologies to assist in the transition to a lower carbon economy, both directly and through green finance vehicles. We continue to operate on a carbon neutral basis and are making strong progress towards sourcing 100% of electricity for our operations from renewables by 2025 in line with our RE100 commitment.”

Further reporting on QBE’s progress against its Climate Change Action Plan will be available in the 2020 Annual Report to be released in February.

QBE is also a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment and engages with a range of local responsible investment initiatives and industry bodies. 

Guenther Thallinger, Chair of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance steering group was pleased to welcome QBE to the group on behalf of its members.

“We welcome QBE’s announcement that it will use its role as an asset owner to support the transition to a net-zero economy.  We are thrilled to have an insurer with headquarters in Australia joining our efforts and hope it will encourage other organisations based in the Australia-Pacific region to join us.”

“The Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance looks forward to collectively working towards our commitment and bringing about greater investment in climate-resilience.” 
QBE’s membership is officially being announced as part of the Race to Zero: Finance Day dialogue, in a session focused on what is needed to finance a decisive decade of climate action.