AXA to invest $ 1.74 billion to fight deforestation
To protect the world’s forests, AXA will invest 1.5 billion euros (approximately 1.74 billion dollars) to support sustainable forest management, including 500 million euros in reforestation projects in emerging countries. These efforts will capture a total of 25 megatonnes of CO2 each year.
“Forests represent 80% of the planet’s biodiversity and play an essential role in the fight against climate change. AXA was a pioneer in the financial sector by adopting, in 2013, restrictions on unsustainable palm oil operations to protect stressed ecosystems, ”said AXA. Thomas Buberl, CEO: “Faced with the climate emergency, and before COP26, we are proud to extend our commitments and announce new measures to fight deforestation, protect forest ecosystems and preserve biodiversity.
AXA indicated that it is currently an active player in sustainable forest management, with over 60,000 hectares of forests in its portfolio, all certified by the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification or the Forest Stewardship Council.
In addition to its support for forest management, the insurer will also strengthen its insurance requirements in activities that actively contribute to deforestation. These activities include some production of soybeans, palm oil, timber and livestock in areas where these industries have contributed to deforestation.
AXA also announced its membership in the World Heritage Sites initiative, a project initiated by the United Nations Principles for Sustainable Insurance and WWF. Through this partnership, AXA will put in place specific exclusions on its insurance activities in order to protect the biodiversity reserves identified by UNESCO. It was noted that half of these sites, located in 110 countries, are recognized as biodiversity hotspots and are essential for mitigation of natural disasters.
In a company statement, AXA prefaced that it would continue its continued commitment to biodiversity conservation as a founding member of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures. The working group will develop a reporting framework that will allow financial institutions to identify and assess economic activities that have both a direct and indirect material impact on biodiversity.