CalPERS CEO Anne Stausboll called Friday for investors to manage climate change risk and regulators to require climate risk disclosures by public companies.
Speaking at the United Nations, where the Paris climate agreement was signed, Ms. Stausboll said, “To achieve the goals of the agreement … the world must invest at least $1 trillion a year in clean energy” in the decades ahead, according to a transcript of her remarks released by the $293.6 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Sacramento.
“The agreement has unleashed an unprecedented opportunity for institutional investors worldwide — a powerful global green light to shape tomorrow’s low-carbon economy,” Ms. Stausboll told leaders from the public and private sectors following the morning signing of the historic agreement, the transcript said. “The agreement sent an unmistakable signal to capital markets that climate change is serious business — and as investors we intend to fully capitalize on the new opportunities ahead.”
“At the same time, investors must continue to manage the risks posed by climate change,” Ms. Stausboll said. “We call on regulators around the world, including the (Securities and Exchange Commission), to implement and enforce mandatory climate risk disclosure requirements for public companies.”
Of the 10,000 companies in CalPERS’ investment portfolio, “just 80 are responsible for 50% of our portfolio’s greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms. Stausboll said. “We are pushing these companies to adopt long-term strategies to meet head-on the swirling changes brought on by rising temperatures. These new strategies contain the seeds of our future investments and will help ensure the success of the remarkable agreement signed here today. The Paris agreement gives us the power to change. Together, let’s harness that energy, transform our markets and be responsible stewards for the future of our world.”
The agreement, reached in December by 195 nations, including the U.S., developed a framework for limiting worldwide “temperature rise to well below 2 degrees, maybe even 1.5” degrees Celsius, according to a U.N. statement about the signing ceremony.