Over 200 of the world’s largest investors, representing more than $15 trillion of assets under management, signed a letter on Monday urging governments to implement the Paris climate agreement as US President Donald Trump considers withdrawing support.
The 217 signatories included major US institutional investors such as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and pension funds from Canada, the UK, Sweden and elsewhere. Their letter asked for global leaders to support and implement the Paris agreement, which calls for the transition to a low-carbon economy to prevent global warming from reaching temperature averages 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
“As long-term institutional investors, we believe that the mitigation of climate change is essential for the safeguarding of our investments […] and we reiterate our call for governments to continue to support and fully implement the agreement,” according to the document.
The letter was addressed to governments of the Group of Seven ahead of their summit in Italy on 25 and 26 May. It is also a message from the investment community to Trump, who has said he will announce as soon as this week whether he will pull out of the 2015 Paris agreement. The US President has said he favours policies that help fossil fuel production and has promised to revive America’s coal industry.
Leaders of the Group of 20 will also meet this July in Germany.
“Investors recognise the global transition to a low-carbon, clean energy economy is now firmly underway and they want to make well-informed decisions that help Paris agreement signatories deliver their national commitments,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.
Other signatories include Allianz Global Investors, AMP Capital, Andra AP-fonden, APG Asset Management, Aquila Capital, AustralianSuper, Hermes Investment Management, Ontario Pension Board, PensionDanmark and Universities Superannuation Scheme.
Government officials from almost 200 nations are meeting in Bonn, Germany this month to establish rules for implementing the Paris agreement.