The Montreal Pledge vs. the Montreal Carbon Pledge, Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition!

by | Dec 20, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Montreal mayor calls for cities to sign the Montreal Pledge, plus the Montreal Carbon Pledge, and the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition!



Last week, during opening remarks at the COP15 Biodiversity conference in Montreal, Valerie Plante, that city’s mayor, urged all other cities attending the two week event to take the Montreal Pledge. It’s a pledge to protect biodiversity and ecosystems in urban environments through 15 specific actions. Plante initiated the Montreal Pledge because she believes cities are at the forefront in observing biodiversity loss and being impacted by its effects. As local governments, they’re also well placed to take rapid, concrete action to halt this decline. 

The 15 actions include

  1.     integrating biodiversity into territorial and regulatory planning, 
  2.     aiming to eliminate plastic waste, cutting pesticide use by two-thirds, 
  3.     ensuring the equitable and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in decision-making and in the process of knowledge acquisition and transmission, and
  4.     aiming to ensure urban agriculture, aquaculture and forestry zones are accessible and sustainably managed to contribute to food security

just to name a few.

Plante, also the Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity, says, “With this strong commitment, the signatory cities of the Montréal Pledge will demonstrate the leadership and ambition of cities around the world to act swiftly and influence their partners to do the same, in order to reverse the trend and protect our biodiversity.”  Why does the Montreal Pledge matter to us? In less than a month almost 50 cities on 5 continents representing over 113 million people have signed it. Check out the link to the Montreal Pledge by clicking on the link in the Deeper Dive section of this story at

BTW, the Montreal Pledge is NOT to be confused with The Montreal Carbon Pledge.

DEEPER DIVE: Montreal Pledge, Montreal Carbon Pledge



So what’s the difference between the Montreal Pledge and the Montreal Carbon Pledge? The MCP was launched on 25 September 2014 at PRI in Montréal, and is supported by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)And it states: “As institutional investors, we have a duty to act in the best long-term interests of our beneficiaries. In this fiduciary role, we believe that there are long-term investment risks associated with greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and carbon regulation. In order to better understand, quantify and manage the carbon and climate change related impacts, risks and opportunities in our investments, it is integral to measure our carbon footprint. Therefore, we commit, as a first step, to measure and disclose the carbon footprint of our investments annually with the aim of using this information to develop an engagement strategy and/or identify and set carbon footprint reduction targets.”

Why does measuring the carbon footprint of one’s asset portfolio matter to us? Thankfully, here’s also ever-growing pressure – from governments, civil society and from the investment community – for companies and the investors that hold stakes in them to measure and reduce their carbon footprint. So, Measuring the carbon footprint of a portfolio means you can:

  • compare it to global benchmarks
  • identify priority areas and actions for reducing emissions
  • track progress in making those reductions

The Montréal Carbon Pledge also allows investors and investment managers to formalize their commitment to the goals of portfolio decarbonization in ways that support the transition to a low-carbon economy. The Montreal Carbon Pledge overseen by the PRI has attracted commitment from over 120 investors with over US$10 trillion in assets under management. 

DEEPER DIVE: Montreal Carbon Pledge, UNPRI



So here’s the thing: all this research we’ve been doing this week around COP15 Biodiversity taking place in Montreal has really gotten us here at The Climate Daily much more intimately acquainted with the UN. The result? We love the United Nations even more. What we’ve discovered is it’s basically like a local library, with tons of resources, and also staff doing great research work, which they then publish. So maybe not so much a LOCAL library. More like a university library, where folks get paid to research and publish stuff.  

For example, have you ever heard of the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, PDC? It was CO-founded in 2014 by UN Environment and its Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the fourth national pension fund of Sweden (AP4), Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi, and CDP, the most important mechanism for climate disclosure worldwide. In 2016—six years ago—the PDC authored a report which offers suggestions on how governments, investors and the PDC members themselves can accelerate the process of portfolio decarbonization in ways that support the transition to a low-carbon economy. 

Why does a report that’s almost seven years old matter to us? Because it exists! And because it’s been around for seven years waiting for governments, investors and the PDC members themselves to use it as a template to accelerate the process of portfolio decarbonization in ways that support the transition to a low-carbon economy!  Yes, I said TEMPLATE. To be fair, seventeen members of the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition now have formal decarbonization related objectives and targets covering some or all of their investment portfolios. And twenty-seven have started to take substantive action to decarbonize their investment portfolios and have adopted a variety of approaches, ranging from engagement to divestment. 

And oh by the way—they’ve changed their name to the Net-Zero Alliance. Strong move.

DEEPER DIVE:  Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, 2016 REPORT