Top Investors Urge G7 to Stick to Paris Accord

Institutional investors have urged the G7 governments and G20 leaders to fight climate change, regardless of what the US administration does
The Paris climate accord aims to limit a rise in global temperatures by phasing out the use of fossil fuels.
The Paris climate accord aims to limit a rise in global temperatures by phasing out the use of fossil fuels.
Investors believe unraveling the Paris climate agreement would be a disaster for future generations

High net-worth Investors with more than $15 trillion of assets under management have urged governments led by the United States to implement the Paris climate agreement to fight climate change despite US President Donald Trump's threats to pull out.

"As long-term institutional investors, we believe that the mitigation of climate change is essential for safeguarding our investments," according to the letter signed by 214 institutional investors and published on Monday, Reuters reported.

"We urge all nations to stand by their commitments to the agreement," it said.  Signatories of the letter included the California Public Employees Retirement System and other pension funds from Sweden to Australia.

The three-page letter was addressed to governments of the Group of Seven, before a summit in Italy on May 25-26 and to Group of 20 leaders who will meet in Germany in July.

There is strong speculation that Trump could renege on his country's commitments under the Paris Accord signed in 2015, which aims to limit the global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Trump is due to announce in coming days whether he will carry out his campaign threat to "cancel" the agreement.

The European Union has been scrambling to persuade Trump, who wants to bolster the US coal industry, to stick with the accord. His advisers have warned of legal problems if Washington stays but waters down its climate commitments.

"Climate change action must be an urgent priority in the G20 countries, especially the United States, whose commitment is in question," Mindy Lubber, the head of the non-profit organization Ceres, which helped coordinate the letter, said in a statement.

Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors, said, “We need global statesmen and women to continue to look forward to a carbon neutral economy, not back to a fossil fuel past.

“Any backsliding by President Trump will be a financial and economic loss for us all, not just the US economy. Unraveling [the] Paris [agreement] would also be a disaster for future generations.”

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change in Europe, which also coordinated the letter, said nations should shift to a low-carbon economy "regardless of what the US administration does".

Separately, senior government officials from almost 200 nations will meet in Bonn from May 8-18 to work on detailed rules for the Paris agreement.

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