80% of Taiwanese Prefer Climate-Friendly Products; ESG High-Rated Targets Offer Superior Returns

By admin Apr 18, 2024

Fidelity Investments Taiwan released a major survey titled “2024 Climate Risk and Biodiversity Awareness and Action Survey among Taiwanese People” on April 17th. The results revealed that 77.3% of respondents are willing to choose investment products that address climate issues, with research indicating that targets with better ESG ratings exhibit more resilience.

The survey highlighted that 86.5% of respondents acknowledge the impact of climate change on their lives, with the top three influences being rising temperatures (82.5%), increased risk of unknown virus outbreaks (65.8%), and natural environment degradation or pollution (62.7%). Additionally, 96.8% of respondents recognize the importance of preserving biodiversity, with 67.6% expressing concern about biodiversity loss leading to increased risks of unknown viruses and infectious diseases.

Chang Hsiao-feng, Head of Distribution at Fidelity Investments Taiwan, emphasized Fidelity’s commitment to ESG issues, implementing initiatives such as paperless online meetings and green office actions like turning off lights for an hour and a half during lunch breaks. All funds issued in Europe have passed local ESG ratings, reflecting Fidelity’s dedication to integrating ESG principles into products, aiming not only for corporate EPS but also ESG values.

ESG sustainability issues have become increasingly familiar to the public, expanding from climate change, the most common concern, to biodiversity. According to Wang Fang, Head of Governance for Asia Pacific at Fidelity International, nature plays a crucial role in achieving net-zero emissions, with biodiversity helping to mitigate climate change, while climate change accelerates biodiversity loss.

Wang Fang stressed that biodiversity loss poses systemic risks, leading to disruptions in supply chains, accelerated climate change, hindered medical advancements, global economic losses, emergence of new diseases, widespread famine, and malnutrition. However, the five key drivers of biodiversity loss are climate change, changes in land and marine use due to human activities, direct biological utilization such as fishing, invasive species, and environmental pollution.

The survey also revealed that as high as 68.4% of people agree that biodiversity issues are primarily the responsibility of governments and corporations, with internal energy transformation (64.3%) and ensuring environmental sustainability principles among upstream and downstream partners (61.8%) seen as primary actions for corporations. Additionally, 57.8% support or invest in projects beneficial to natural sustainability. Not only do respondents have expectations for governments and corporations, but they also recognize their own role, with 62.3% refusing to consume products from companies that harm the environment and ecology. When investment returns are equal, 77.3% are willing to choose products that address climate issues, with even higher willingness among higher income groups (81.0%).

Wang Fang expressed delight at Taiwanese people’s high awareness and action on sustainability issues. To address global natural crises, policymakers worldwide have introduced a series of initiatives and regulations to improve natural disclosure, encourage companies to set nature-related goals, and engage in discussions with companies on their impact on nature. Whether for business owners or individuals, investing in sustainability is seen as a win-win choice.

Fidelity’s research shows that during market downturns, such as during the pandemic, targets with better ESG ratings demonstrate greater resilience. Stocks with higher ESG ratings also outperform those with lower ratings. MSCI ESG data corroborates these findings.

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