$26 Trillion Institutional Group Pushes Paris Agreement Adoption Ahead of G7 Summit

Alliance concerned about agreement’s goals ‘falling short.’

In preparation for Canada’s 2018 G7 Summit, a titanic group of institutional investors with $26 trillion in assets is calling for a phasing out of coal power to regulate climate change, regardless of Washington’s stance.

The 288-member group published a statement Friday, in which it demanded global leaders and policymakers support and implement the climate-related polices in the Paris Agreement. The letter was delivered to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and G7 government leaders, which has now been backed by the UN.

“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 statement read, declaring that it is “vital” that policymakers adopt the agreement’s principles.

The G7 Summit is an annual forum where world leaders and policymakers meet to discuss domestic and international priorities. This year’s event will take place in Quebec on June 8 and 9.

Signatories of the document include California pension funds CalPERS ($352 billion) and CalSTRS ($224 billion), Canada’s $230 billion Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), and the $185 billion Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, as well as New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

The group expressed concerns that the agreement’s goals have been falling short, which was one of the drivers of the statement’s urgency. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global temperature average “well below” 2-degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above “pre-industrial levels.”

This comes at a time where institutional investors are pushing for a reduction in greenhouse gas emitters such as Shell and Exxon Mobil in all portfolios, swapping the pollutants for low-carbon and renewable energy companies. It also comes as a form of backlash against President Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement last year, as well as his support of the fossil fuel industry. Trump is expected to attend the event.

Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investment, and UNEP Finance Initiative developed the statement. Investors can sign the statement here.

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