There may be ongoing discussions about how to measure ESG, or what exactly is encompassed by net-zero targets, but no one is in any doubt about the direction of travel.

“I think there is a sea change going on,” Gordon Bajnai, Campbell Lutyens’ global head of infrastructure and a former Hungarian prime minister, told attendees at the Infrastructure Investor Global Summit in Berlin on Monday. “A few years ago, the most progressive LPs had an impact pocket. Now, ESG and net-zero frameworks are must-haves.”

Of course, that’s not to say the detail doesn’t matter. Take offsets, for example. As Cameron Talbot-Stern, senior responsible investment and ESG manager for APG Asset Management, put it: “Offsets need to be part of a larger strategy. First, nature-based solutions and lastly offsets for the hard-to-decarbonise assets. If a company only does offsets, it’s a bit of a red flag, as it means they’re not putting real effort into abatement.”

“We’ll be at net-zero without offsets and we expect to sell offsets [from our agri portfolio] but some assets like transportation will have to purchase offsets,” argued John Anderson, Manulife’s global head of corporate finance and infrastructure. “There can be some fussing here and there, but in terms of efficiency and bang for buck, offsets will be part of the solution.”