Investor meeting with Brazilian Congress
As financial institutions, we have a fiduciary duty to act in the best long-term interests of our beneficiaries. We recognize the crucial role that tropical forests play in tackling climate change, protecting biodiversity and ensuring ecosystem services. We will continue to monitor developments in Brazil to assess our exposure to financial risks arising from deforestation.
We were very interested in understanding the position of the Brazilian Congressmen on the protection of the country’s natural capital, in particular its tropical forests. We take note of the presentations made by the meeting participants and would like to make clear that it is not our role to endorse or commit to any particular item presented at the meeting.
We reiterated five issues in the meeting which will be important for our assessment of developments going forward:
1. Significant reduction in deforestation rates, i.e. showing credible efforts to comply with the commitment set down in Brazil’s Climate Law, article 19.
2. Enforcement of Brazil’s Forest Code.
3.The ability of Brazil’s agencies tasked with enforcing environmental and human rights legislation to carry out their mandates effectively, and any legislative developments that may impact forest protection.
4. Prevention of fires in or near forest areas, in order to avoid a repetition of fires like in 2019
5. Public access to data on deforestation, forest cover, tenure and traceability of commodity supply chains.
We would like to express our gratitude to Representative Rodrigo Maia, Representative Rodrigo Agostinho, Representative Alceu Moreira, Representative Marcelo Ramos, Representative Zé Silva and Ambassador Marcelo Dantas.
Comment from Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO Storebrand Asset Management, regarding the meeting
"We are pleased to hear that the House share our concerns. The representatives expressed that they will not vote on matters related to the environment that may damage Brazil's image abroad and any approval of bills needs to go through proper process. This is important to ensure a regulatory framework that is consistent, long-term and protects the forests and the best interest of Brazil, companies and investors. Given the recent developments with increasing deforestation, action will speak louder than words."
The following financial institutions attended the meeting with the Brazilian Congress: Storebrand Asset Management, BlueBay Asset Management, NN Investment Partners, Robeco, KLP, SEB Investment Management, AP2 Second Swedish National Pension Fund, Legal and General Investment Management, Nordea Asset Management and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, Aviva Investors, Actiam, a.s.r. asset management, Church Commissioners for England, LGPS Central, Border to Coast Pension Partnership, Brunel Pension Partnership, Surrey Pension Fund, Northern LGPS, The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, Church of England Pensions Board, Comgest, Fram Capital, Domini Impact Investment, MP Pension, Pax World Funds, AP Pension.
Storebrand Asset Management is leading and coordinating a public policy dialogue with the Brazilian government. So far, 34 investors representing over US$4.6 trillion have joined. The initiative marks the start of an ongoing process of investor engagement with Brazilian authorities on the systematic and sustainable management of the Amazon rainforest.
A letter was sent out to the Brazilian embassies on June 22, 2020 marking the start of the dialogue with the government of Brazil https://www.storebrand.no/en/asset-management/sustainable-investments/active-ownership. The meeting held today is a response to the letter.
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Storebrand's ambition is to provide our customers with financial freedom and security by being the best provider of long-term savings and insurance. Storebrand will deliver sustainable solutions adapted to the customer's individual situation, so that each person receives a better pension in a more sustainable world. Storebrand has about 40.000 corporate customers and 2 million individual customers, and has its headquarter at Lysaker outside of Oslo, Norway. Storebrand manages more than NOK 800 bn and is Norway's largest private asset manager. We work hard to fulfill our mission: A future to look forward to. Storebrand (STB) is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange.
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