Two dozen U.S. and European institutional investors, which collectively run $3 trillion in assets, today committed a combined $1 billion to private equity and venture capital investments focused on "clean technologies" that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"This coalition has an economic interest to advocate for progress to sustain the long-term health of our investment," said Denise L. Nappier, Connecticut state treasurer, at a news conference announcing the plan. "As a principal fiduciary of Connecticut's $20 billion pension fund, I have come to believe that climate change poses a long-term risk for the many companies in which we invest. When we think green, we're not talking about grass and trees."
Of the $1 billion commitment, CalPERS has invested $200 million and committed another $250 million, according to Steve Westly, California state comptroller and trustee of the $182.8 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System and the $125 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, both of Sacramento. The commitment is part of the group's 10-point plan to pressure corporations, Wall Street firms and the SEC to provide investors with comprehensive analysis and disclosure about the financial risks of climate change.
The plan, announced at the Institutional Investor Summit on Climate Risk held today at the United Nations, includes requiring investment managers that run pension money to describe their resources, expertise and strategies for assessing financial risks associated with climate change. The plan also includes a report, to be completed by the end of this year, ranking the world's 100 largest publicly held companies on their actions to reduce climate change and urging the SEC to require companies to disclose financial risk related to climate change.