Global institutional investors concerned about climate change are calling on U.S. companies to align their lobbying efforts with the Paris Agreement and for world governments to do more.
"Investors are stepping up like never before to call for leadership from both companies and policymakers to tackle the global climate crisis," Ceres CEO and President Mindy Lubber said Thursday in a statement on the actions, which precede Climate Week beginning Sept. 25. The U.N. Climate Action Summit is part of the week's events.
CalPERS is one of 515 global institutional investors with more than $35 trillion in assets under management urging world governments to step up efforts to tackle climate change. The Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change said that while investors are taking action on climate change, there is an "ambition gap" with current government commitments to the Paris Agreement. That agreement aims to prevent average global temperatures from rising beyond the 1.5 degree threshold predicted to trigger catastrophic effects of climate change.
The investors, including hundreds of pension funds around the world, also asked government leaders to also accelerate private investment into low-carbon transition efforts.
Climate change needs to be addressed urgently because "it is vital for our long-term planning and asset allocation decisions," they said.
Also this week, 200 investors with $6.5 trillion in assets under management wrote 46 of the largest publicly traded U.S. corporations to make sure their lobbying activities are consistent with addressing risks associated with climate change.
The companies have been identified as either large greenhouse gas emitters or influential in helping to drive a clean energy transition.
The investors, including many large public pension funds, are urging action of climate change because they "are convinced that unabated climate change will negatively impact our clients, plan beneficiaries and the value of our portfolios," the letter said, and traditional ways to manage the risk will not be enough.
One signer, Marcie Frost, CEO of the $380.7 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, said in a statement that CalPERS officials "are proud to stand with institutional investors throughout the world, working cooperatively to advocate for business practices that deliver sustainable markets and strong, consistent returns."