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Investor climate change statement to governments gains more backers

climate change

More than 400 institutional investors have backed a policy intervention advocating for carbon pricing and other climate change policies from world leaders.

The 2018 “Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change” was initially launched in June ahead of a G7 summit in Canada, with 319 investors representing more than $28trn (€25trn) assets under management signing the document.

The statement was issued again today to coincide with the COP-24 negotiations on the Paris Agreement that are taking place in Katowice, Poland, with 415 institutional investors – pension funds, asset managers, insurance companies and others – now backing the call-to-action.

European asset owners that have signed the statement in the past few months include Swedish pension buffer fund AP6, Caisse de Prévoyance de l’Etat de Genève in Switzerland, and UK auto-enrolment provider NEST.

The policy statement calls for governments to do more to limit global warming and sets out measures investors needed to see to help them “further shift their portfolios”.

Developed by several investor organisations, the statement was coordinated by The Investor Agenda since its launch in September.

Last month a report from UN Environment said the world was on course for global warming of around 3°C, and that although it was still possible to keep global warming to below 2°C, the technical feasibility of capping temperature increases at 1.5°C was “dwindling”.

According to S&P, global warming of 3°C would cut global economic output by 2%, affecting emerging economies much more than developed ones.

Chris Newton, executive director for responsible investment at Australian asset manager IFM Investors, said: “The reality is that the long-term nature of the challenge has, in our view, met a zombie-like response by many.

“This is a recipe for disaster as the impacts of climate change can be sudden, severe and catastrophic.”

In September, the Investor Agenda also introduced an online platform to report their climate-related investment actions and make new commitments.

Peter Damgaard Jensen, CEO of DKK275bn (€37bn) Danish pension fund PKA and chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, said at the time that the emergence of the platform reflected “the mounting urgency among the global investor community to address the greatest challenge of our time through measurable and transparent actions”.

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