INSIGHT by Ceres
The founding partner organizations of a major global initiative aimed at worldwide investor action on climate change are calling on the United States to rejoin the Paris Agreement following the country’s formal withdrawal from the global pact on November 4. With 189 nations having ratified the landmark accord since 2015, the U.S. is the only country in the world to have formally withdrawn from it.
In a statement issued by six of the founding partners of The Investor Agenda, including Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, and Principles for Responsible Investment, they wrote:
| “The United States must immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement, and all signatories to the Agreement must fulfill their obligations and step up their climate ambition in order to secure a sustainable global economic recovery and net-zero emissions future. Achieving its goals of limiting global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius would curb the worst financial and economic impacts of climate change and enhance institutional investors’ ability to generate sustainable returns for their beneficiaries.”
The partners lead organizations that represent networks of hundreds of institutional investors in regions around the world. They, along with investors, strongly support the Paris Agreement because it provides an ambitious framework with clear obligations for all signatories to address the systemic risks of the climate crisis facing our economies and societies.
In December 2019, 631 investors, who collectively manage more than $37 trillion in assets, called for world governments to implement the necessary climate actions and policies in line with the Paris Agreement. Full implementation will unlock significant investment opportunities in clean technologies, green infrastructure and other net-zero emissions assets, products and services, which will in turn, generate jobs and economic growth, including in communities that are currently reliant on carbon-intensive industries and that are overexposed to climate shocks.
| “Investors are looking to decrease their exposure to climate risk and benefit from the opportunities of acting in line with the Paris Agreement and in the transition to a net-zero emissions future that is already underway,” said Mindy Lubber, Ceres CEO and President and Founding Partner of The Investor Agenda. “It is time to listen to investors, businesses, states and other nations around the world and put the U.S. back in the Paris Agreement.”
| “The Paris Agreement has already established a strong market signal for investors that has helped shift the global economy towards decarbonisation,” said Emma Herd, Chief Executive Officer of the Investor Group on Climate Change and Founding Partner of the Investor Agenda. ”More and more investors are embedding Paris-aligned goals and strategies into their portfolio decisions than ever before, and capital flows are increasingly moving from emissions-intensive activities to assets that are better positioned to thrive in the net-zero emissions future.”
| “Global momentum in addressing climate change is increasingly clear and the next US administration needs to demonstrate they are part of the solution by re-joining the Paris Agreement as soon as possible,” adds Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and Founding Partner of the Investor Agenda. “Major global economies are already committing to a net zero future and the US needs to ensure it isn’t left behind in the race to a cleaner global economy. Recommitting to the Paris Agreement would provide an important policy signal, helping unlock additional flows of investor capital to support sustainable growth and job creation across key sectors of the US economy.”
| “There is strong international competition between nations for the trillions of dollars in private capital that institutional investors are looking to deploy into Paris-aligned and low emissions assets and companies,” said Rebecca Mikula-Wright, Executive Director of the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change and Founding Partner of the Investor Agenda. “To be competitive, attract international investment and fulfil their development goals, Asian nations must remain committed to the Paris Agreement and over time ratchet-up national climate policy ambition.”
The Investor Agenda is one of many efforts around the world that provide platforms for thousands of the largest investors to show their strong support for the Paris Agreement and take action in line with its most ambitious goals. More investors than ever before are embedding Paris-aligned goals and strategies into their portfolio decisions, and capital flows are increasingly moving from emissions-intensive activities to assets that are better positioned to thrive in the net-zero emissions future.
| “Now is the time for the U.S. to not only re-enter the Paris Agreement, but to join other nations in ratcheting up ambition, policies and targets towards limiting warming to 1.5 degrees,” said Paul Simpson, CDP CEO and Founding Partner of The Investor Agenda.
| “The commitment of governments to the Paris Agreement is essential if we are to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees,” said PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds and Founding Partner of The Investor Agenda. “The U.S. is one of the largest economies in the world, and we urgently call on the administration to re-enter the Paris Agreement to help address the climate emergency. In doing so, the administration can align itself with progressive governments and investors around the world in a shared commitment to protect the future of our planet.”
The Investor Agenda is a collaborative initiative to accelerate and scale up the investor actions that are critical to tackling climate change and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement with the aim of keeping average global temperature rise to no more than 1.5-degrees Celsius. It provides investors with a set of actions that they can take in four key focus areas: Investment, Corporate Engagement, Investor Disclosure and Policy Advocacy. It has been developed by seven Founding Partners: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investment and UNEP Finance Initiative. Visit www.TheInvestorAgenda.org for more information.
| All opinions expressed are those of the author. investESG.eu is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around ESG investing topics.