One hundred investors worth $8trn sign up to Montreal Pledge on carbon disclosure

Latest AUM figure surpasses original $3trn target ahead of COP21

The Montreal Pledge, which commits investors to disclosing the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios, has attracted 100 signatories representing just over $8trn (€7trn), the Principles for Responsible Investment has said.

The Pledge was launched in September 2014 at the annual PRI in Person event in Montréal and it commits investors to measuring and disclosing the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios on an annual basis.

The initiative, overseen by the PRI, aimed to attract commitment from portfolios totalling $3trn in time for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in December 2015 in Paris.

Among the latest to sign up are the Church Commissioners, the £6.7bn (€8.9bn) UK church investment body. Edward Mason, Head of Responsible Investment for the Commissioners called it an “important step” in their drive to be at the forefront of responsible investing practice: “This underscores our continued commitment to the transition to a low carbon economy.”

The pledge is part of a series of initiatives taken by the Commissioners to encourage sustainability. Last year the Commissioners co-filed (as a lead in the ‘Aiming for A’ coalition) shareholder resolutions on climate resilience at the BP and Shell annual meetings.The Commissioners disclosed information about the relative carbon intensity of their listed equities portfolio for the first time in their 2014 annual report responsible investment review.

The Montreal Pledge is open and can be signed at any time, though to be included in an announcement at COP21, signatories must provide full details and publish their carbon footprint by 1 December 2015. Separately, almost 400 institutional investors representing more than $24trn in assets have placed an ad in leading business and finance journals around the world. The joint statement comes from the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk, the Investor Group on Climate Change, the PRI and the UNEP Finance Initiative.

“At the Paris climate negotiations, we call for strong political leadership to provide certainty to investors by committing to a clear, long-tem goal,” they say.

Meanwhile, the £28bn Barclays Bank UK Retirement fund (UKRF) has become the first UK bank pension fund to sign up to the PRI, committing to incorporating environmental, social and governance issues into its investment decision-making.

UKRF Chief Investment Officer Tony Broccardo said the integration of ESG factors was “not only good for society” but was also “a proven way to deliver superior, more sustainable returns for our members”.