New five-year investor climate action initiative launched at PRI in Person

Major project will engage with climate ‘sickies’

A new five-year initiative designed to implement the Paris climate accord through collaborative investor engagement with the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters was unveiled at the PRI in Person event in Berlin.

Called the Climate Action 100+, it was ‘soft launched’ at the event by officials from US pension fund CalPERS (Priya Mathur), Australian super fund HESTA (Robert Fowler) and the asset management arm of HSBC (Stephanie Maier).

The project was originally to be called the ‘Global Climate 100’, as reported by Responsible Investor here, and will be more formally launched later in the year.

It will target ‘Systemically Important Carbon Emitters’ or ‘SICEs’ – pronounced ‘sickies’.

The idea is to “work together in the common interest,” CalPERS and PRI board member Mathur said – adding the aim is for it to be the “pivot point” from talk to action.

It will use data from environmental data body CDP and work with the world’s leading climate and investor NGOs, along with the PRI.

It is governed by a steering committee of representatives from Australian Super, Ircantec, CalPERS and HSBC Global Asset Management, and lead executives from five organisations who partnered together to develop the initiative.Those organisations include the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors’ Group on Climate Change and the PRI.

Through collaborative engagement, investors will request that companies:

• Take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, consistent with the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep global temperature rise well-below 2-degrees Celsius.

• Provide enhanced corporate disclosure in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations and sector-specific Global Investor Coalition Investor Expectations on Climate Change guidance.

• Implement a strong governance framework that clearly articulates the company board’s accountability and oversight of climate change.

It builds upon the investor engagement pioneered since 2012 by the four regional investor networks who collaborate as the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change.

“With this initiative, global equity investors and universal owners are sending a powerful signal directly to these emitters that they are asking and expecting them to act on climate change,” the new initiative said.