Wednesday 26th October 2016                 Change text size:

Investors demand government action to avoid dangerous climate change impacts

Photo: Lazy Sam via Flickr

A coalition of institutional investor groups has written a letter urging governments of some of the world’s most powerful economies to show decisive action over climate change and its related impacts.

The letter, which has been published by Ceres ahead of climate negotiations in Doha next Monday, says that a rise in greenhouse gas emissions “[increases] the risk of dangerous and disruptive climate change”.

It is signed by the European Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), the North American Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), the Australia/New Zealand Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and also has the backing of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

The groups call out for urgent investment into low-carbon technology, and also urge governments to share knowledge about effective climate and clean energy policies. They also advise world leaders to come to a consensus on climate policy and greenhouse gases at the talks in Doha next week, which will deliver certainty across the market.

Serious climate change will only be averted if governments and private investors work together”, said Stephanie Pfeifer of the IIGCC.

With severe weather events increasing in frequency and intensity, economic losses as a result of these events is increasing in turn. These losses impact upon the investments and retirement savings of billions of people.

Well-designed, stable policy which stimulates clean energy investment is essential to put economies on a low-carbon path and avert the serious economic impacts of climate change.”

Three of the institutional investors that signed the letter – the INCR, the IIGCC and the IGCC – recently published a report that highlighted the gap between climate change and action. It showed that 83% of asset owners see climate change as a “material risk or opportunity in their investment portfolios”, but that just over a quarter of these individuals (26%) have altered their investment strategies to reflect this.

The same trio, who manage some $20 trillion in assets, launched a collaborative appeal to governments in June for oil and gas producing nations to challenge the current control of methane emissions.

Further reading:

Investor report highlights gap between climate change and action

Investors urge governments to act upon dangerous methane levels

Biggest global investors call for urgent action on climate change

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