Fidelity survey shows slow move to net-zero

Fidelity International’s annual ESG Analyst Survey has found that corporate progress towards net zero still has a long way to go.

The survey takes the views of its in-house analysts across the world and is based on almost 200 responses from equity and fixed income teams.

Europe still has the highest proportion of companies recognised as “leading the charge” by Fidelity’s analysts. However, more than half of Chinese companies are starting to change meaning over 70% are considering the transition to a low carbon economy.

Fiona O’Neill, Head of Strategic Initiatives, Global Investment Research, Fidelity International, comments: “This year’s survey has found tangible signs of corporate progress towards net zero, despite the impact of the war in Ukraine, and an increase in the immediate demand for substitute fossil fuels, including coal, to alleviate higher prices.

“The positive trajectory of China’s transition shows that Chinese companies are responding positively to increasing investor awareness and top-down cues after Beijing’s 2020 announcement that it is targeting net zero by 2060.”

“However, many businesses are still early in their ESG journey and have a long way to go. Overall, progress is slower than we would like but it is happening. As a business, we continue to focus on identifying those companies taking concrete actions and continue allocating capital to where it can do the most good.”

The survey also finds Fidelity’s analysts in aggregate see more opportunity than risk from the green transition, especially over the long term. Japan stands out, with analysts highlighting significant opportunities expected to emerge in autos, consumer staples and semiconductors over the next decade. China is also likely to benefit from green opportunities and is already a leader in areas such as solar panels.