Madrid, Dec 10: A total of 631 institutional investors managing more than $37 trillion in assets have urged governments to step up efforts to tackle the global climate crisis and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement by phasing out thermal coal power and price on carbon pollution.
The Global Investor Statement to the participating governments at the UN Climate Conference (COP25), developed by the seven founding partners of The Investor Agenda, in the Spanish capital urged the governments to phase out thermal coal power, put a meaningful price on carbon pollution, end subsidies for fossil fuels, and update and strengthen nationally-determined contributions to meet 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 investors wrote on Monday.
They warned the current government commitments leave an “ambition gap” that will not prevent global average temperature from rising beyond the 1.5 degrees C threshold that scientists warn could trigger catastrophic and irreversible effects of climate change.
The investor call to action was highlighted by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his remarks to Heads of State and Government at COP25.
“I see the business community and the finance community very active. We received…a letter by the leaders of asset management entities…asking political leaders to enhance climate action, to end subsidies to fossil fuels, to put a price on carbon,” the UN Secretary-General said.
Signing the Global Investor Statement to governments on climate change is an action item in the Policy Advocacy focus area of The Investor Agenda.
Launched in 2018 by seven founding partners — Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investmentand UNEP Finance Initiative — The Investor Agenda is a collaborative initiative that aims to accelerate and scale up the investor actions worldwide, that are critical to tackling climate change and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement with the aim of keeping global average temperature rise to no more than 1.5-degrees Celsius.
It provides investors with a set of actions that they can take in four key focus areas: Investment, corporate engagement, investor disclosure and policy advocacy.
“Investors with $37 trillion in assets under management calling for our government leaders to act quickly and boldly on the global climate crisis is quite extraordinary,” Ceres CEO and President Mindy Lubber said.
“Investors are clear that governments should be much more ambitious in addressing climate change,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC).
Nearly 1,200 investors have taken action in one or more of the focus areas of The Investor Agenda since 2018, according to The Investor Agenda 2019 in September.
More than 750 investors have engaged with or directly influenced companies to act on climate change, more than 400 investors have stepped up their own disclosure on climate change and more than 260 investors have set a climate target for their investments.