Press Release

Paris – Wednesday, December 8, 2021 – Amundi, France’s largest asset manager, announced today its ‘societal plan’ for 2025. Reclaim Finance criticizes a “non-announcement” which fails to address any of Amundi’s climate-related shortcomings. The NGO calls on Amundi to clarify its position with regard to companies developing new oil and gas fields. Moreover, this announcement comes just before its merger with Lyxor, one of the main European ETF providers, confirming Amundi’s ambition to develop its passive activities, which remains the major absentee in the measures announced.

The plan, presented during a press conference in Paris, unveils a new exclusion from Amundi’s investments for companies “exposed by more than 30%” to unconventional hydrocarbons (1). This announcement of divestment by 2022 is a far cry from responding to the climate emergency and to Amundi’s “net zero” commitment. It completely ignores the need to stop all oil and gas expansion to limit global warming to 1.5°C. While Amundi does not specify the metric used, the announced threshold still allows Amundi to support a large majority of the expansion plans (nearly 75%) of oil and gas companies (2). Furthermore, the measure is based on a very narrow definition of unconventional, leaving out booming sectors such as the Arctic.

Lucie Pinson, executive director of Reclaim Finance, remarked: “Amundi holds $12 billion in the major oil and gas companies that are expanding in the Arctic. Let’s hope that this damp squib of an announcement will be followed by clearer policies that will actually put an end to the support to fossil fuel expansion, in the Arctic and elsewhere. If Amundi continues to unconditionally support companies like TotalEnergies and Gazprom despite their climate-killing projects, there is little hope for its ability to offer new, greener funds.”

Amundi commits to engage with an additional 1,000 companies to push them on climate but does not specify any of the requests made to the companies and the deadlines to implement them. However, the inconsistency between the asset management giant’s commitments and its practice for the coal sector is already being denounced. In 2021, Amundi voted in favor of Glencore’s “climate” plan – the mining multinational continues to expand in coal.

Lara Cuvelier, Sustainable Investments Campaigner at Reclaim Finance, commented: “At first glance, Amundi’s announcement ticks all the boxes of a credible engagement strategy (3) but on closer inspection it does not provide any of the details that would ensure its effectiveness. With more than 10 mentions of the word “ESG” in its press release, but no mention of the fossil fuel problem, this announcement might be funny if its implications weren’t so grave. The sheer vagueness of today’s announcements undermines Amundi’s credibility as a “leader in responsible investing” and seems to confirm that the European passive management giant will continue to offer its clients fifty shades of green, even if it means chucking some brown in.”

Furthermore, Amundi has not made any new announcement on its passively managed funds, even though its takeover of Lyxor has positioned it as a giant in the ETF market. Reclaim Finance noted in a recent report the lack of exclusion of coal companies in the majority of Amundi’s index funds, which by January 2022 will represent more than 15% of its assets under management.

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(1) Amundi does not specify whether this is 30% of revenue or production.

(2) According to a calculation made by Reclaim Finance using data on current and future production from Urgewald’s Global Oil and Gas Exit List (GOGEL), the exclusion of companies generating more than 30% of their production from shale oil and gas and tar sands in 2020 is equivalent to excluding companies responsible for only 26% of the volumes of hydrocarbons currently being developed or evaluated. Please note that GOGEL does not allow for this calculation to be made according to the % of revenues derived from shale oil and gas and tar sands.

(3) Namely: Say on Climate, time-bound commitments, requests associated with a precise timetable, monitoring of progress through milestones, escalation procedure in AGM, etc.