Institutional investors around the world have launched a new initiative calling on the globe’s worst polluters to take action on climate change.
A total of 225 institutional investors have taken aim at more than a hundred of the world’s major corporate greenhouse gas emitters in the Climate Action 100+ initiative, calling for them to “act swiftly to improve governance on climate change, curb emissions and strengthen climate-related financial disclosures”, according to a statement.
The announcement was made yesterday in Paris at the One Planet Summit marking the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement, and is the first implementation of investors’ commitment as laid out in the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, which launched in September 2014.
The list of over a hundred polluters includes, but is not limited to, companies in the oil, gas, electric power and transport sectors, the statement said.
California Public Employees’ Retirement System investment director of sustainability Anne Simpson said motivating the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to align their business plans with that of the Paris Agreement would have “considerable ripple effects”.
“Our collaborative engagements with the largest emitters will spur actions across all sectors as companies work to avoid being vulnerable to climate risk and left behind,” Ms Simpson said.
Through the initiative, investors called upon these polluters to implement a strong governance framework, take action to reduce greenhouse emissions across their value chain and provide disclosure in line with recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
HSBC Global Asset Management director of responsible investment Stephanie Maier said long-term investors could not afford to ignore the “material and systemic risk” of climate change.
“To support the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, it is also vital that investors and universal owners across the mainstream investment community do more to ensure major corporate emitters move swiftly to address the risks and pursue the opportunities presented by climate change, providing greater disclosure on how they are aligning with the 2 degrees transition,” she said.
Senior manager of investments governance Andrew Gray from industry fund Australian Super, which helped lead the design and development of the Climate Action 100+, said a few short months had seen “a substantial community of institutional investors” rally around the initiative.
“They want to send an unequivocal signal – directly to companies – that they will be holding them accountable in order to secure nothing less than bold corporate action to improve governance, curb emissions and increase disclosure to swiftly address the greatest challenge of our time,” Mr Gray said.
The Climate Action 100+ initiative is due to the co-ordinated efforts of five partner organisations: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and Principles for Responsible Investment.
Alongside Australian Super, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), HSBC Global Asset Management, Ircantec and Manulife Asset Management also led the initiative’s design and development.