After adopting a proactive climate strategy for its investments in 2020, including a total exit from coal by 2030, French ICMIF member MAIF is extending its exclusion strategy to non-conventional fossil fuels and oil. The French mutual is also committing to join the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, in order to contribute to achieving the climate objectives set by the Paris Agreement. This strong ambition positions MAIF as one of the most committed financial players in the decarbonisation of their investment portfolios.
On 13 October 2021, MAIF’s Board of Directors approved a strategy for exiting from fossil fuels. This commitment complements MAIF’s climate strategy applied to investments, adopted in 2020, which aims to be in line with the trajectory set by the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to +1.5°C by 2030. The Group thus wishes to contribute, through its investment policy, to the objective of global carbon neutrality by 2050. This is the main objective of the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, which MAIF is joining today, enabling it to highlight its collective and concrete commitment to the climate.
One of the most committed fossil fuel exit strategies on the market
According to the IPCC, the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels account for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The “Net Zero by 2050” scenario defined by the IEA in April 2021 is unambiguous: funding for new oil and gas projects must stop immediately to meet the Paris Agreement target.
“Through its investment activities, the MAIF Group has a decisive capacity for action in financing the transition to a more sustainable economy. As an actor of the common good, we are taking the historic decision, with full responsibility, to no longer finance these energies whose exploitation is destructive to nature and human beings and to focus our investments on more sustainable activities and models” said Dominique Mahé, Chairman of the MAIF Group, and Pascal Demurger, CEO of the MAIF Group.
This strategy is based on 3 pillars:
- An immediate halt to the financing of new oil and gas production projects: Absolute exclusion of companies developing new oil and gas exploration or production projects; Commitment to asset management companies to stop financing new fossil fuel projects (oil and gas).
- Complete exit from unconventional oil and gas by 2030: Exclusion of non-conventional fossil fuel producers beyond a threshold of 5% of their production; Commitment to asset management companies to adopt an exit strategy from unconventional fossil fuels by 2030.
- Complete exit from conventional oil by 2040: Exclusion of oil companies (including oil-based power generation) above a threshold of 5% of turnover; Commitment to management companies to adopt an oil exit strategy by 2040.
A responsible and coherent approach to the energy transition
This new investment policy will be applied to MAIF’s entire portfolio of financial assets, through direct management and dedicated funds, as well as through delegated management. MAIF will support its partner management companies so that they in turn commit to a fossil fuel exit strategy by 2025 at the latest, including at least the exit from non-conventional fossil fuels by 2030 and the cessation of financing for new fossil fuel projects. Beyond this date, MAIF undertakes not to entrust any new investments to companies that do not respect these criteria.
MAIF’s responsibility as an institutional investor is also reflected in the promotion of savings solutions that act for the common good with a proposal for units of account that will exclude non-conventional fossil fuels and oil by the end of 2021 at the latest. In addition, MAIF VIE is offering a green unit of account, MAIF Rendement Vert, which allows individuals to finance renewable energy projects through short and medium-term debt.
This strategy will be subject to an annual review process and may be further accelerated depending on the evolution of the issues and the analysis of experts.
“MAIF is a long-standing player in socially responsible investment. Nevertheless, the deployment of an approach aligned with the values of our mutual and its raison d’être is a constant challenge in order to respond to social and environmental issues. Thus, we are committed to making our SRI and climate strategy part of a continuous improvement process and to supporting our partners in implementing an investment policy that is attentive to building a fairer and more sustainable society” said Carole Zacchéo, Director of Investments and MAIF Investments.
MAIF joins the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA)
To achieve its goals, MAIF announces its membership of the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, launched in September 2019 by a consortium of investors under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). The main objective of this engaging initiative is to converge all asset owners towards a contribution to carbon neutrality by 2050 through the decarbonisation of investment portfolios. It will also support the implementation of MAIF’s climate strategy by leading the company to set interim targets every five years.
Image: © Mélanie CHAIGNEAU/MAIF