Investors Demand Climate-Change Risk Transparency


A group of investors that includes CalPERS, CalSTRS, bcIMC, and others has petitioned the SEC in hopes of requiring companies to disclose balance-sheet risk relating to climate change.


(November 25, 2009) – An international group of institutional investors representing more than $1 trillion in assets is calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to increase transparency on climate-related risks.


The group of asset owners—which includes representatives of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), the New York State Common Retirement Fund, and Canada’s British Columbia Investment Management Corporation—has signed a petition that is demanding the SEC require that companies disclose balance sheet risks stemming from climate change. Ceres, an environmental investment group, has organized the petition, according to Reuters.


Under current regulations, companies are required to inform potential and current investors of any information that might influence the purchase or sale of the company’s stock. This often includes regulatory and currency risk, but does not include climate risks such as emissions. “The SEC should strengthen and enforce its current requirements so investors’ decisions fully account for climate change’s financial effects,” signatory Anne Stausboll, CalPERS CEO, said in a statement, according to Reuters.


This is not the first such petition filed by the group. In 2007, a similar petition was sent to—and rejected by—the administration of former President George W. Bush. While the Obama administration is admittedly more predisposed to such actions, the SEC has yet to make any comment on the petition.

To contact the <em>aiCIO</em> editor of this story: Kristopher McDaniel at <a href=''></a>