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Insurer Phoenix sets carbon targets for $339 billion of investments

By Reuters

-Phoenix Group laid out new carbon reduction targets on Monday, which it said will cut the emission intensity of 250 billion pounds ($338.75 billion) of investments by at least half in less than a decade.

The blue-chip life insurer, which invested over 700 million pounds in sustainable assets in the first half of 2021, double the amount from a year earlier, said the interim targets were part of its goal to achieve net zero carbon for investments by 2050.

“Across all the portfolios what we will be looking to do is to be engaging with companies. It is not a case of excluding those companies that don’t have a good carbon footprint because we want to work with them to help them make their industry green,” Phoenix boss Andy Briggs told Reuters.

Briggs said that if companies were not putting enough effort into making themselves greener, Phoenix would likely exclude them from its portfolios.

“If we have a company that isn’t putting any energy or focus into looking to make itself green, we are likely to exclude those from our portfolios.”

Phoenix specialises in books of life insurance business closed to new customers though it plans to expand its business of open policies after buying out the Standard Life brand earlier this year.

It said its research showed that responsible investment was important to the majority of its 13 million customers and clients.

($1 = 0.7380 pounds)