Prince Charles leads ‘P8’ pensions powerhouse on climate change

RI Exclusive: Low-profile group of the world’s biggest pension funds to act on investment strategies against global warming.

HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, is spearheading a low-profile group of eight of the world’s biggest pension funds known as the P8 – in reference to the G8 group of global economic powers – that aims to advance investment strategies to combat global warming.
The Prince joined Nobel peace prize winner Al Gore in addressing the P8 pension funds at a private meeting last month, which took place in advance of last week’s Bali Communique, a statement signed by 150 of the world’s biggest companies and led by the Prince of Wales’s corporate leaders group on climate change. It called for a legally binding and comprehensive international deal on greenhouse gases and was sent to environment ministers and heads of state ahead of the UN talks in Bali this week aimed at beginning negotiations on a post-2012 global climate deal. The P8 group is understood to include pension fund signatories of the communiqué including ABP in the Netherlands, AP7 in Sweden, CalSTRS and CalPERS from the US and the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme.
The P8 funds are believed to collectively manage more than $2 trillion in assets.The inaugural P8 summit was an invitation only event of 32 people drawn from the 8 pension funds, plus a select group of leading investment and climate change experts.
A source who attended the event told Responsible Investor the meeting was designed to be a: “quiet, behind-the-scenes effort on climate change by the world’s biggest investors.”
A spokesman for the University of Cambridge Programme for Industry, which runs the Prince of Wales’ Business & the Environment Programme, confirmed the existence of the P8 group and said its aim was to draft a “plan of action” for investors on climate change for a subsequent meeting in approximately six months time.
Prince Charles has become increasingly active on climate change issues in recent months. In September, he brought together a group of 37 UK insurance companies to launch ClimateWise, an initiative to tackle climate change and encourage responsible environmental behaviour by insurance clients. Launching the inititiative, HRH Prince Charles, said: “We have to think of this as if we were in a wartime situation. If you don’t believe it, just watch Al Gore’s film.”