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.