By Maitane Sardon
A group of 515 institutional investors, including UBS Group, AXA and HSBC Holdings PLC, are pressuring governments world-wide to step up actions to tackle climate change as global investor efforts to promote responsible climate practices continue to grow.
UBS Asset Management, AXA Investment Management, HSBC Global Asset Management, Allianz Global Investors and Legal and General Investment Management--who collectively have $35 trillion in assets under management--are some of the investors urging governments to ramp up measures to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
In a statement sent Thursday to leaders across the globe, the investors asked for the phasing out of thermal-coal power, the placing of a "meaningful" price on carbon pollution or the cessation of government subsidies for fossil fuels, among others.
The investors are also calling on governments to update and strengthen nationally determined contributions to meet the emissions-reduction goal of the agreement no later than 2020.
The investors say the current emissions targets are not enough and would lead to an "unacceptably high" temperature increase that would cause negative economic impacts.
"It is vital for our long-term planning and asset-allocation decisions that governments work closely with investors to incorporate Paris-aligned climate scenarios into their policy frameworks and energy transition pathways," the investors say.
Climate-related risks--such as droughts or floods caused by changes in temperature and precipitation that can lead to agricultural losses--are already threatening investment portfolios and are set to grow, according to research by BlackRock.
The investor group also asked governments to commit to improving financial reporting on climate-related issues by supporting the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. The TCFD is a voluntary disclosure platform created by the Financial Stability Board that can be used by companies to provide financial information related to physical or supply-chain risks they face due to climate shifts.
The initiative is a result of a collaboration by non-profits and investor groups, including the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, CDP, Ceres, Principles for Responsible Investment, Investor Group on Climate Change, United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative and Asia Investor Group on Climate Change.
Write to Maitane Sardon at firstname.lastname@example.org