A group of pension funds representing $2 trillion in assets has called on 55 European firms to review and improve their approach to climate lobbying.
The initiative is led by the Church of England Pensions Board, London — which manages more than £2.3 billion ($3 billion) in assets — and the 426 billion Swedish kronor ($46.7 billion) AP7, Stockholm.
The group identified 55 high-emission companies across seven industry sectors, as assessed by independent non-government organization InfluenceMap. Assessments included overall climate policy position, influence on policymakers and whether publicly stated corporate climate policies matched those of the trade associations that act on their behalf.
Each firm has been asked to review relationships with their key trade associations and lobbying organizations to ensure they align with formal company positions when it comes to implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement. A list of investor expectations outlining best practice on lobbying has been sent to each firm.
Sent to the chair of each company, the letter said: "We would ask you to review the lobbying positions being adopted by the organizations of which you are a member. If these lobbying positions are inconsistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, we would encourage you to ensure they adopt positions which are in line with these goals. More generally, we would ask you to ensure that your lobbying practices align with the 'Investor Expectations' document you have been sent, and that you are transparent about your own policy positions and how you ensure these are implemented in your direct and indirect lobbying activities."
The letter also said corporate lobbying activities that are not consistent with the Paris Agreement present regulatory, systemic economic, and reputational and legal risks to investors.
The companies are 13 utilities companies; 12 mining and metals firms; 10 oil and gas businesses; seven in the auto sector; five food, beverage and industrials companies; four chemicals firms; and four transportation firms.