Global investors call for government action on climate change

In advance of the climate change conference in Katowice, Poland this month, 415 global institutional investors signed a statement reiterating their support for the Paris climate agreement, noting the actions that various global governments must urgently take.

Among the investors, which represent US$32 trillion in assets under management, the Canadian signatories include the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the OPSEU Pension Trust.

“The global shift to clean energy is underway, but much more needs to be done by governments to accelerate the low carbon transition and to improve the resilience of our economy, society and the financial system to climate risks,” the letter read.

Read: International pension association releases guide to addressing climate change

Current government efforts to reduce carbon emissions as laid out by the agreement are falling short, the statement emphasized. It said failing to reach these goals poses a growing threat to the economy.

In addition to encouraging governments to achieve the Paris goals, the investors noted private sector investment is essential in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. The letter asked governments to align all relevant policy frameworks and transition plans to the goals of the Paris agreement. Specifically, that included putting a meaningful price on carbon emissions and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and global thermal coal power by set deadlines.

The statement also stressed the need for governments to encourage transparency and disclosure on climate change-related issues, namely by supporting the use of the Financial Stability Board’s task force on climate-related financial disclosures recommendations and commit to implementing them by 2020.

“We stand ready to work with government leaders in implementing these actions,” stated the letter.

Read: World’s largest public pensions differ widely on addressing climate change