Nearly 400 investors with assets worth $32 trillion announced The Investor Agenda last week, a first-of-its-kind global agenda aimed at demonstrating and supporting investors in accelerating and scaling-up actions critical to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The Investor Agenda was launched at the Global Climate Action Summit held in San Francisco last week by a group of partner organizations including 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. The self-proclaimed aim of the Agenda is to call “global investors to accelerate and scale-up the actions that are critical to tackling climate change and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.” Specifically, the Agenda provides a way for investors to directly report actions they are taking, and a means to scale-up their commitment to act across four key areas — Investment, Corporate Engagement, Investor Disclosure, and Policy Advocacy.
“Investors are showing great leadership to promote climate action in multiple fronts,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in welcoming the launch.
“Their efforts to meet the shortfall in the financial resources required to deliver the Paris Agreement goals, and further building on engagement with high-emitting sectors are a valuable contribution. Yet we believe many more opportunities exist. The Investor Agenda offers a clear path to scale-up investor action, which is essential to meet the needs in every region of the world to address climate change. It gives investors multiple opportunities to continue to demonstrate their willingness to become part of the transformation that will lead us to a more cleaner, greener, sustainable future for all.”
The potential of The Investor Agenda is highlighted by the work already done by its founding partner organizations using the Agenda pre-launch. A total of 392 investors with assets worth $32 trillion under management have already committed to policy advocacy activity under the Investor Agenda, and have made significant strides across the four focus areas:
- Investment highlights 120 investors pursuing new and existing investments in low carbon and climate resilient portfolios, funds, strategies or assets such as renewable energy and energy efficiency projects; phasing out investments in coal; and integrating climate change into portfolio analysis and decision-making.
- Policy Advocacy highlights 345 institutional investors with US $30 trillion in assets who are urging governments to implement the Paris Agreement and enhance their climate policy ambitions by 2020. The full policy statement includes calls for bolder action from governments including phase out of thermal coal power worldwide, greater investment in the low-carbon transition and improving climate-related financial disclosures.
- Corporate Engagement highlights 650 investors with US $87 trillion in assets backing the CDP’s environmental disclosure request; and 296 investors from 29 countries with US $31 trillion in assets that are signatories to Climate Action 100+. This investor-led initiative engages the world’s largest corporate greenhouse-gas emitters and asks them to curb emissions to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Investor Disclosure highlights the more than 60 investors committed to reporting in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations. This is a sizeable portion of total finance sector signatories reported by the TCFD, but also illustrates room for growth in expected submissions of activity, as more investors participate in The Investor Agenda.
The Investor Agenda expects the total number of investors taking action in line with its Agenda to grow over the coming months and years.
“Progress is on the agenda of the investment community, and today’s announcement is hugely important, but this is just the beginning of an extraordinary, economy-wide transformation to low-carbon that we must achieve within a generation,” said Christiana Figueres, convener of Mission 2020. “We have an acute need for speed. The shift in investment – away from high carbon towards low carbon – needs to exponentially increase, and investors can now focus on scaling up financial flows to enable greater national ambition by 2020.”