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Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network would again like to thank everyone who participated in the year-long 2021 Climate Action Pursuit! Thank you to our planning design committee, sponsors, host institutions, organizational partners, Second Nature & IEN staff and interns, and all of you who "attended"!  

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 - Your Second Nature & IEN Teams
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Friday, February 26 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Net Zero Endowments: Making the Commitment

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As asset owners, endowments have a tremendous opportunity to accelerate a just transition to a net zero economy by making a commitment to a net zero portfolio by 2050 or sooner. Doing so can also protect the endowment from climate risk, and enhance returns. While the concept is still new, several pioneering endowments have joined other asset owners in making this commitment. This in turn is pushing asset managers, data providers, and others to develop net zero strategies and answer open questions on this approach. In this session, participants will hear from those leading asset owners on how their institution made the decision to commit to net zero, what challenges they face, and next steps in the process of measuring, setting targets, and reporting on progress.

Some key takeaways from this session:
  • Climate risk is a threat to the global economy; a rapid, Just Transition to a low-carbon economy must and will take place.  Asset owners need to prepare for that by committing to net zero commitments. 
  • Challenges to making a Net Zero commitment include the lack of examples (not many asset owners have made commitments yet); It is complex; There is a need for standards to identify the correct metrics and data to use; Transparency into managers’ policies and activities can be limited.  Asset owners need to educate themselves on how to do this within the context of their own portfolio. 
  • Engagement with others is key -- Asset owners have a huge role to play and can leverage greater impact by influencing investment managers to establish net zero strategies.  Need to engage with companies, investment managers, and policy makers to reduce the systemic risks of climate and support a Just Transition.

avatar for Bob Litterman

Bob Litterman

Chairman, Risk Committee and Academic Advisory Board at Kepos Capital

avatar for Kathryn I. Murtagh, Esq.

Kathryn I. Murtagh, Esq.

Managing Director for Sustainable Investing & Chief Compliance Officer, Harvard Management Company, Inc.
avatar for Afsaneh Beschloss

Afsaneh Beschloss

Board Member, WRI Global Board of Directors; Founder and CEO, Rock Creek
avatar for Nili Gilbert

Nili Gilbert

Investment Committee Chair, David Rockefeller Fund

Friday February 26, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST