Investor meeting with Brazilian Government and Central Bank of Brazil
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 government of Brazil 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 raised five issues in the meeting which will be important for our assessment of developments going forward:
- Significant reduction in deforestation rates, i.e. showing credible efforts to comply with the commitment set down in Brazil’s Climate Law, article 19.
- Enforcement of Brazil’s Forest Code.
- 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.
- Prevention of fires in or near forest areas, in order to avoid a repetition of fires like in 2019
- Public access to data on deforestation, forest cover, tenure and traceability of commodity supply chains. We would like to express our gratitude to Vice President Hamilton Mourão, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ernesto Araújo, Minister of Agriculture Tereza Cristina, Minister of Environment Ricardo Salles, and the President of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto.
We greatly appreciate their willingness to meet with us and discuss our concerns about the risks that deforestation poses to our long-term financial interests and those of our clients.
Comment from Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO Storebrand Asset Management, regarding the meeting
"We are encouraged by the initial response and dialogue with the Brazilian government representatives and look forward to its continuation and results on the ground. It is only through collaboration between governments, companies and investors that we can achieve necessary changes. This marks a start."
"We are convinced that sustainability and economic development goes hand in hand. As financial institutions, we see deforestation and the associated impacts on biodiversity and climate change as systemic risks, that have the potential to negatively impact returns. Achieving a regulatory framework that is consistent, long-term and protects the forest is therefore in the best of interests of both companies and investors".
The following financial institutions attended the meeting with the Brazilian government
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.
Storebrand is leading and coordinating a public policy dialogue with Brazilian embassies in the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, UK, France, Netherlands, France, Japan, US and Brazil. So far, 34investors 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.
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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