united statesen
Sustainable Investing Glossary

Decarbonization

The reduction in the carbon intensity of worldwide energy use. In line with this development, investment portfolios can also be decarbonized.

The 21st United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP21), held in Paris in December 2015, came up with concrete targets to limit further global warming. Reducing global warming means cutting the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. This will require some large companies such as the oil majors and utilities to fundamentally change their business models. However, moving towards a global energy system based on renewable sources creates another problem: stranded assets. These are the vast reserves of coal and oil that probably cannot be used if the world is to limit global warming to 2°C or lower. 

In line with this decarbonization trend, investors are also adjusting their portfolios. The simplest way to do this would appear to be by divesting fossil fuel companies from portfolios. However, as there is a buyer on the other side of every sell transaction, this would simply mean displacing the problem. An effective alternative is to engage with carbon-intensive companies to try to cut emissions at source. Another way to reduce the carbon footprint of the portfolios is by impact investing. This can be achieved by, for example, underweighting the industry groups that account for over 80% of the global environmental footprint, i.e. energy, materials, utilities and transportation. 

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) encourages companies to disclose their greenhouse emissions and climate change strategies in order to set reduction targets and improve their environmental impact.

Making better-informed investment decisions
Making better-informed investment decisions
Sustainable investing
Navigating the ESG labyrinth
Navigating the ESG labyrinth
In this handy guide, we share the knowledge and experience we have gained from decades of sustainable investing.
05-02-2020 | Insight
Exclusions may simply be transferring a problem
Exclusions may simply be transferring a problem
Do exclusions work?
03-02-2020 | Research
Podcast: It’s time asset managers make money talk
Podcast: It’s time asset managers make money talk
If we start investing much more towards the long term, and to sustainable solutions, things will go very, very quickly, says Robeco CEO Gilbert Van Hassel.
22-01-2020 | Podcast
Logo

Disclaimer

This page is intended for US prospects, clients and investors only and includes information about the capabilities, staffing and history of RIAM US and its participating affiliates, which may include information on strategies not yet available in the US. SEC regulations are applicable only to clients, prospects and investors of RIAM US. Robeco BV, Robeco HK and Robeco SH are considered a “participating affiliate” of RIAM US and some of their employees are “associated persons” of RIAM US as per relevant SEC no-action guidance. Employees identified as associated persons of RIAM US perform activities directly or indirectly related to the investment advisory services provided by RIAM US. In those situations, these individuals are deemed to be acting on behalf of IUAM, a US SEC registered investment adviser.

By clicking I agree, I confirm that I have read and understood the above.
I Disagree