Asian asset owners use lack of regulation as an ‘excuse’ not to go green, says APG rep
One of APG's most important executives in Asia has said a lack of regulation is holding back investors in that region from going green.
Yoo-Kyung Park, who is head of responsible investment and governance at APG Asset Management Asia, part of Dutch pension giant APG, said most asset owners in Asia do not make ESG and sustainability a priority, simply because there is no legal incentive to do so.
Most players place profitability and growth over green credentials, she said.
"When regulation moves, everyone moves, and the biggest excuse I hear from Asian companies is that they are waiting for regulatory frameworks before they take climate action," Park told the regional trade publication Asian Investor.
"There is not really a sense of urgency about climate change," she stated.
"A significant proportion of Asia is made up of developing markets that are fundamentally more focused on growth and less on their climate impact, but without Asia, we cannot achieve the net zero target by 2050," Park reportedly said.
APG is a shareholder in some of Asia's biggest companies, including Korean giant Samsung, so Park said the pension fund can and should use its position to push for more green investment strategies.