The market was represented by both asset owners and asset managers, with Paris undoubtedly being one of the major European markets on the subject. Asked about the new requirements of institutional investors in terms of diversification and taking into account ESG issues, Frédéric Sadaca, Head of Real Assets, PRO BTP, pointed out that ESG criteria applied to infrastructures were simply synonymous with good risk management. Infrastructure management is therefore “ESG” by nature even if this subject is more complicated for a generalist than for a specialized energy transition infrastructure actor. It should also be noted that there is a strong demand for the “E” of the ESG in energy transition.
In the next round table, dedicated to SRI management, there was also discussion surrounding on the energy transition, with the pace of investment in this asset class seemingly accelerating, as Pierre Valentin, Chairman of the Board of Ecofi Investissements, pointed out. Lars Dijkstra, CIO of Kempen CM, noted that it is the countries that have put in place genuine regulation that are the most advanced in Europe, such as France and the United Kingdom. But be careful, warns Salwa Bousoukaya-Nasr, the FRR’s financial director, “Limiting CO2 in portfolios is like inviting people to disinvest!”. How can we get companies to decarbonize without forcing them too much? The other big question at this table was, of course, how to influence the strategies of the energy giants. Eventually, Guillaume Pitron, a French journalist who published a book on the subject in 2018, reminded us that Western countries, after having relinquished the extraction and production of rare metals (cobalt, lithium, etc.) to China, are buying their electronic components from the latter. The Chinese industry, which has become the leader in this sector, is extremely hungry for electrical energy to extract and process these rare metals under catastrophic environmental conditions. However, this electricity is produced in China by coal- fired power plants, mainly…. It seems that we continue to go around in circles!