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  • Writer's pictureWorld Climate Foundation

Climate Leadership Through the Investment Engagement for a Net-Zero Transition

by Mr Chang-Ken Lee, President, Cathay FHC

Cathay Financial Holdings (Cathay FHC) is one of the leaders in climate action and investor engagements and the first strategic partner of the World Climate Foundation (WCF) from Taiwan. At World Climate Summit - The Investment COP 2022, Mr Hong-Tu Tsai, Chairman of Cathay Financial Holdings, delivered the keynote address at Investment Session 1B “Financial Transformation-Investor Innovation on Real Economic Impact” on 13 November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

“Participating in WCS gave us a great opportunity to learn climate-issue insights and to generate solid action plans towards sustainability.”

- Chang-Ken Lee, President, Cathay FHC

Embracing International Framework

As one of the largest financial groups in Taiwan with over USD$400 billion, Cathay Financial Holdings’ customers represent 63% of Taiwan’s population. We are also one of the most prominent institutional investors in Asia as we have also expanded into Greater China as well as operating from 9 out of 10 ASEAN countries.

Cathay FHC was the first financial institution in Taiwan to adopt the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Principles of Sustainable Insurance (PSI), Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), and Equator Principles (EP) and has aligned these international frameworks with its core financial functions in insurance, banking and asset management and disclosed relevant implementation reports.

In April 2022, Cathay Financial Holdings became the first Taiwan financial institution to join RE100 (the global corporate renewable energy initiative), committed to adopting 100% renewable energy for all of its locations in Taiwan by 2030 and 100% renewable energy for global operations by 2050. In September 2022, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) approved Cathay Financial holdings’ net-zero transition plan aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050.

Leveraging Engagement to Collaborate on a Net-Zero Transition

We manage customers’ wealth with trust and credibility. Therefore, it is important to think “on clients’ behalf, who should we support?”. This is why we have participated in multiple international climate initiatives in order to collaborate with our fellow institutional investors and various industries to have strong commitments and actions towards a net-zero transition.

We are the chair of the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) and participate in investor engagement programs including Climate Action 100+, Asia Utilities Engagement Program and Valuing Water Financial Initiatives. We conduct a comprehensive review and rebalance our loan and investment portfolio allocation to fulfil a higher standard of responsible investment. Cathay FHC is the only asset owner in Asia listed in the world's top ten best practices by the Investor Climate Action Plans (ICAP) for our corporate engagement and policy advocacy performance.

Since 2017, Cathay FHC has organised Cathay Sustainable Finance and Climate Change Summit dedicated to climate policy advocacy by building capacity and having influential impacts on NGOs, corporates and the government. In 2022, Cathay FHC broadcasted several panel and keynote sessions of WCF’s World Climate Summit during the Cathay Sustainable Finance and Climate Change Summit in Taiwan, to bring in expertise and experience from global leaders and experts. Many attendees of the Summit were from listed companies that accounted for over 70% of the total market value of TWSE and 46% of Taiwan’s total carbon emissions.

Aiming to Become a Leading Sustainable Financial Institution

Serious challenges can represent infinite opportunities. Cathay Financial Holdings strives to be the best and hopes to influence more enterprises and industries of the world to prosper, attain sustainability and reduce carbon emissions together. Cathay Financial Holdings upholds the determination towards sustainability, embraces opportunities, takes responsibility and provides better financial services.


About Cathay Financial Holdings

Cathay Financial Holding Co., Ltd. (Cathay FHC) is the largest financial group in Taiwan, with total assets of over US$400 billion. The group includes leading players in life insurance, banking, P&C insurance, asset management, securities and venture capital. Cathay FHC has a presence in 12 markets in Asia and aims to become a leading financial institution in the region. Serving as the fiduciary to our clients, Cathay FHC upholds its mission to become the most trusted financial group and help clients plan for a better financial life by leveraging technology innovation and offering state-of-the-art services.

About the author

Mr Chang-Ken Lee is the President of Cathay Financial Holdings. He is the Director of Cathay Financial Holdings, Cathay United Bank, Cathay Securities and Cathay SITE. Mr Lee joined Cathay Group in Oct 1986 and served in different roles, including Chief Strategy Officer, Executive Vice President, and Head of Economic Research Division at Cathay Financial Holdings. Mr Lee is also the Chairman of Financial Planning Association of Taiwan, the director of JCIC, and the Executive director of the Bankers Association.

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