Big investors call on world governments to take climate action

Institutional investors with more than $26 trillion in assets are urging world governments to scale up climate action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“The global shift to clean energy is underway, but much more needs to be done by governments to accelerate the low carbon transition and to improve the resilience of our economy, society and the financial system to climate risks,” the group of 288 investors wrote in a joint statement announced on Monday.

The statement was delivered to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and G7 government leaders before the G7 summit in Canada on June 8-9. Prominent signatories include Allianz Global Investors and HSBC Global Asset Management.

“We are concerned that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is currently falling short of the agreed goal of ‘holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2-degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels’,” they added.

In the statement, investors set out the strategies they have taken in recent years to drive the low-carbon transition and minimize climate risk. They are now asking world leaders to do their part.

Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, encouraged investors around the world to sign on to the statement.

“It’s extremely encouraging to see so many institutional investors coming together around such a powerful message to governments and the international community,” said Ms. Espinosa. “Leveraging private finance to fund the transition to a low-emissions and low-carbon future in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement is a necessity – one that public administrations cannot afford to do on their own.”

The statement was developed by Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investment and UNEP Finance Initiative.

“Investors are stepping up in unprecedented numbers to act on climate change”, said Emma Herd, CEO of the Investor Group on Climate Change. “Investors could do even more if governments delivered the policies required to effectively manage climate risk and accelerate investment in low carbon solutions. This statement sets out what investors need from governments to really deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement and manage climate risk in their portfolios.”

Image credit: Jonathan Brennan via Flickr

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