CalPERS To Helm Climate Action 100+

CalPERS’ Michael Cohen will be appointed as steering committee chair of the organization.  

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System on Tuesday announced that Michael Cohen, the fund’s chief operating investment officer, will be appointed as steering Committee Chair of Climate Action 100+.

The organization is a network of more than 700 institutional investors, including some of the largest asset owners such as CalPERS, CDPQ, ABP, and Australian Super. Climate Action 100+ seeks to ensure that the largest polluting companies scale back their carbon emissions.  

The organization is further assisted by investor networks such as the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, Ceres, the Investor Group on Climate Change, the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change, and the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment.  

The steering committee chair is a rotating position, Cohen will succeed François Humbert in the 12-month appointment. Humbert is currently engagement lead manager at Generali Asset Management.  

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“I am honored to be appointed chair of the Steering Committee and eager to help guide the organization through its next phase of investor engagement,” Cohen said in a statement. “Climate Action 100+ was founded to ensure companies take meaningful steps to address the existential financial threats from climate change. There is still more to do to constructively engage with our corporate partners and build upon early successes.” 

Climate Action 100+, which was co-founded by CalPERS in 2017, has engaged more than 170 different companies, encouraging them to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.  

“Our organization played a pivotal role in creating Climate Action 100+,” said CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Marcie Frost in a statement. “Michael will be a steady hand for the Steering Committee at a crucial moment, one where our fiduciary duty requires swift and substantive action on climate change to ensure long-term value for our members, their families, and their retirement security.” 

In recent months, several asset managers, including Invesco, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, State Street Global Advisors, and PIMCO withdrew from the initiative. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, also reduced its participation in Climate Action 100+ by moving the firm’s participation to its international division. Climate Action 100+ in June 2023 initiated its phase two strategy, which would see its members take more responsibility for implementing net zero plans.  

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CalPERS Approves New Private Assets Allocation in Private Equity Push 

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