Reaching for net zero

Understanding the investment risks and opportunities created by what may be the largest redeployment of capital in history

Unless investment is ramped up – significantly – the world cannot meet desired net zero targets by 2050, according to a paper jointly written by BNY Mellon Investment Management and Fathom Consulting. And this is more about redeploying capital than new investment.

The research undertaken by BNY Mellon Investment Management’s chief economist Shamik Dhar and Brian Davidson, head of climate economics at Fathom, looks at existing global spending commitments, highlighting key areas of necessary advancement. There are significant hurdles the world needs to overcome on the road to net zero. With any transition, especially one of this size and scale, comes not just risk but opportunity. Analysis of investment needs by sector and by country shows that the net zero transition should offer opportunities to informed investors. Here we outline some of the paper’s key points.

Implications for investors

Excerpts from the report: An investor’s guide to net zero.

1.The nature of around US$100 trillion worth of investment will be very different in the net zero scenario compared to business as usual – this creates opportunities and risks.

2.The firms which profit most from the transition will not necessarily be the ones making most of the green investment.

3.Mining activity is set to increase significantly as demand for metals and minerals used for transition-related technology (i.e., lithium) soars.


Incumbents from all sectors, but especially energy and utilities, should play a key role in making net zero a reality; but if they don’t do the green investment, new players will.

Net zero video
Investors can do more to ensure the funds they manage are aligned with the Paris climate goal, and that the companies in which they invest are making the investments necessary to turn these pledges into reality
Shamik Dhar
Chief Economist
An overview
Corporate issues
Where in the world
At home

Download the full report