A $13T Ultimatum on Climate Change

More than a hundred asset owners and managers called on G20 nations to fulfill the promises of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Investors representing more than $13 trillion have called on 20 of the world’s biggest economies to work with them to tackle climate change.

Ahead of the upcoming G20 meeting—a forum for the governments and central banks of 19 major countries and the European Union—130 consultants, managers, and asset owners told policymakers they had “a responsibility to work with the private sector” to achieve goals set last year as part of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Signatories included the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, New York State Common Retirement Fund, Denmark’s ATP, the BT Pension Scheme, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, New Zealand Superannuation Fund, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

“The Paris Agreement on climate change provides a clear signal to investors that the transition to the low-carbon, clean energy economy is inevitable and already underway,” the letter stated. “Governments have a responsibility to work with the private sector to ensure that this transition happens fast enough to catalyze the significant investment requires to achieve the Paris agreement’s goals.”

These objectives included keeping global average temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the century.

Investors called for policymakers to join and ratify the Paris agreement this year, as well as implement the recommendations of the 2015 Global Investor Statement on Climate Changes. These recommendations included providing “stable, reliable, and economically meaningful” carbon pricing and supporting innovation and development in low-carbon technology.

The coalition also requested support for the United Nation’s plan to double global investment in clean energy by 2020 and for the work of the G20 green finance study group.

Finally, the investors called on G20 members to prioritize their countries’ contributions to achieving the Paris agreement’s goals, including rulemaking by national financial regulators to require disclosure of material climate risks.

“Governments must ratify the Paris agreement swiftly and have a responsibility to implement policies that drive better disclosure of climate risk, curb fossil fuel subsidies, and put in place strong pricing signals,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC).

The full letter and list of signatories can be found on the IIGCC’s website.

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