Addressing Sustainability Challenges for Investment Professionals
29 March 2022 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 78, Issue 2

Net-Zero Carbon Portfolio Alignment

  1. Patrick Bolton
  2. Marcin Kacperczyk
  3. Frédéric Samama
This article outlines a methodology to help passive and active investors align portfolios with a science-based carbon budget, providing an exit roadmap for carbon-intensive corporates.
Read the Complete Article in the Financial Analysts Journal CFA Institute Member Content


We outline a simple and robust methodology to align portfolios with a science-based, carbon budget consistent with maintaining a temperature rise below 1.5 °C with 83% probability. We show how to keep the tracking error at a negligible level. This approach works for both passive and active managers. It also establishes an exit roadmap for carbon-intensive corporates, thereby generating a form of competition to decarbonize within each sector. We also discuss four sources of risks: uncertainty around a rapidly shrinking carbon budget, time impacts on decarbonization rates, implementation risk due to market-wide selling pressure, and uncertainty about taxes on polluting companies.

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