Investors managing $41 trillion in assets urge governments for ambitious climate policy ahead of COP

57 investors managing more than US$41 trillion in assets have released a new joint statement to all world governments urging a global race-to-the-top on climate policy.

57 investors managing more than US$41 trillion in assets have released a new joint statement to all world governments urging a global race-to-the-top on climate policy and warning that laggards will miss out on trillions of dollars in investment if they aim too low and move too slow.

This represents the largest collective assets under management to sign on to a global investor statement to governments on climate change since the first statement in 2009.

The Investor Agenda, launched in 2018 by seven founding partners: AIGCC, CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, IIGCC, PRI and UNEP-FI, provides a common leadership agenda on the climate crisis for investors that is unifying, comprehensive, and focused on accelerating investor action for a net-zero emissions economy.

Head of UNEP-FI and Investor Agenda Steering Committee member, Eric Usher, said: “We applaud this renewed momentum from investors and look forward to continuing to support governments across the world as they take meaningful action. Policymaker and regulator signaling helps reinforce the needed market-led, climate-focused capital mobilisation, which is so critical to avoiding the climate crisis.”

The initial signatories to the 2021 Global Investor Statement have been released ahead of the G7 Summit to encourage further investor advocacy for ambitious climate policy action ahead of the 26th United Nations Climate Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November. The statement will remain open for further institutional investors to sign until COP26 and will be periodically updated with new signatories at key moments throughout 2021.

Signatories to date include some of the world’s largest institutional investors and asset managers.

State Street Global Advisors Global Chief Investment Officer, Lori Heinel, said: “We are committed to engaging with companies not just on the goal of reaching net-zero, but on how they will get there. The push to net-zero is both urgent and necessary, and equally important is understanding the transition pathways companies will choose to achieve the commitment and deliver value for investors over the long term.”

The investor signatories call on all governments to undertake five priority actions before COP26 in November:

  • Strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for 2030 in line with limiting warming to 1.5°C;
  • Commit to a domestic mid-century, net-zero emissions target and outline a pathway with ambitious interim targets including clear decarbonization roadmaps for each carbon-intensive sector;
  • Implement domestic policies to deliver these targets, incentivise private investments in zero-emissions solutions and ensure ambitious pre-2030 action; including: “the removal of fossil fuel subsidies by set deadlines, the phase out of thermal coal-based electricity generation by set deadlines in line with credible 1.5°C temperature pathways, the avoidance of new carbon-intensive infrastructure (e.g. no new coal power plants) and the development of just transition plans for affected workers and communities.”
  • Ensure COVID-19 economic recovery plans support the transition to net-zero emissions and enhance resilience; and
  • Commit to implementing mandatory climate risk disclosure requirements aligned with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations.

Find out more here.