New framework released to drive investor action on the climate crisis and accelerate the transition to a net zero future

20 May 2021

Investors called on to lay out comprehensive Investor Climate Action Plans (ICAPs) in line with reaching the goal of a global net-zero emissions economy by 2050 or sooner

The founding partners of The Investor Agenda released today a new tool to enable institutional investors to step up action to tackle the climate crisis and accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy.

The Investor Climate Action Plans (ICAPs) Expectations Ladder and Guidance provides investors with clear expectations for issuing and implementing comprehensive climate action plans, including steps investors can take to support the goal of a net zero emissions economy by 2050 or sooner. The framework aims to help investors navigate existing expectations and initiatives on climate change. It is inclusive and unique in that it sets out expectations for investors wherever they may be on their climate journey.

The release of the ICAPs Expectations Ladder and Guidance comes amid increasing global momentum of investors committing to work with their portfolio companies and policymakers to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, and to set interim reduction targets for 2025 and 2030. The founding partners of the Investor Agenda, which are AIGCC, CDP, Ceres, IIGCC, IGCC, PRI, and UNEP FI, have been mobilising investors to make net zero commitments through a number of Investor Agenda-endorsed initiatives including the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, Paris Aligned Investment Initiative, Science Based Targets initiative and United Nations-Convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance. A net zero emissions economy by 2050 or sooner is necessary to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit average global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C.

The ICAPs Expectations Ladder summarises the key climate actions investors can take right now in the four interlocking areas of the Investor Agenda: investment, corporate engagement, policy advocacy, and investor disclosure. Governance is a cross-cutting theme across all four areas. The areas include:

  • Investment: Manage climate risks in investor portfolios and shift capital to value-creating businesses set to succeed in a net-zero future.
  • Corporate Engagement: Engage companies to drive climate action and demonstrate real progress in line with a 1.5-degree Celsius future.
  • Policy Advocacy: Advocate for policies aligned with delivering a just transition to a net-zero economy by 2050 or sooner.
  • Investor Disclosure: Enhance investor disclosure to help stakeholders track investor climate action in line with a 1.5-degree Celsius pathway.

Investors can use the ICAPs Expectations Ladder in several ways including:

  • Assessing their current approach to managing climate change risk and opportunity
  • Publishing a standalone ICAP
  • Embedding elements of the ICAPs into their climate change strategies and disclosures.
  • Communicating their current activities and future plans to stakeholders

The accompanying ICAPs Guidance enables investors to interpret the ICAPs Expectations Ladder. It can be used by investors to self-assess where they are on the ladder to understand the specific climate actions they can take to strengthen their approach and make further progress.

The Investor Agenda will measure progress on how many investors are developing and implementing climate action plans aligned with the Expectations Ladder, with the hope that at least 50 per cent of all major investors will issue an ICAP or incorporate elements of the Expectations Ladder into their plans, reports and strategies in the next year and that all major investors have an ICAP with net-zero targets in the next five years.

Read the full media release

Visit the ICAPs website