Investors worth $15 trillion have called on world leaders to
stand by their commitment to fight climate change, as the U.S.
weighs pulling out of a global treaty to reduce carbon
letter released Monday, 217 investment organizations
including the $320 billion California Public Employees
Retirement System and $1.2 trillion manager Legal & General
urged the governments of nineteen countries and the European
Union the G20 to adhere to the Paris Agreement, a
2016 covenant to keep global temperatures below two degrees
As long-term institutional investors, we believe that
the mitigation of climate change is essential for the
safeguarding of our investments, the investors wrote.
Although the Paris Agreement was signed by nearly all G20
members, some including Russia and Turkey have
not yet ratified the climate change accord. The United States,
which committed to the agreement under President Barack Obama,
may abandon the pact under President Trump, who has already
reversed a number of Obama-era environmental regulations.
Investors back the Paris Agreement on climate change
because it provides the economic framework for us to manage
both the risk and opportunities over the long term, said
Anne Simpson, investment director of sustainability at CalPERS,
noting that corporations including ExxonMobil also support the
accord. When investors and energy companies join forces,
politicians should pay attention.
In the letter, investors aired concerns about the lack of
climate change discussion at a G20 finance summit in March, and
called for explicit acknowledgement of the topic at the G20
Leaders Summit in July.
It is vital that the governments of G7 and G20 nations
continue to publicly express their commitment to support
climate finance to both mitigate and adapt to the effects of
climate change, they wrote.
Other signatories included the $203 billion California State
Teachers Retirement System, HSBCGlobal Asset Management,
and the New York State Comptroller, who is responsible for a
$179 billion pension system.
Strong and clear government policy is needed to
maintain forward momentum and prevent catastrophic changes to
our climate, said New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Its vital that governments live up to their
commitments under Paris Climate Agreement. The suggestion that
the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement is disturbing
and ignores the fact that investors and nations around the
globe are actively addressing climate risk.
Several sustainable investing organizations coordinated the
letter, including the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change,
the Carbon Disclosure Project, Ceres, the Investor Group on
Climate Change, the Institutional Investor Group on Climate
Change, and the Principles for Responsible Investment
With the U.S. threatening to pull out of the Paris
Climate Agreement next week, now is the time for investors to
make their voices heard by encouraging governments to stand
firm on their commitments to the Paris Agreement, said
Fiona Reynolds, PRI managing director, in a statement.
The Trump administration is expected to announce a final
decision on whether to withdraw before the G7 meeting in Italy