A total of 288 global investors, with $26 trillion in assets under management, urged governments on Monday to step up their ambition and action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, support investment in the low carbon transition, and improve climate-related financial disclosures.
"The global shift to clean energy is underway, but much more needs to be done by governments to accelerate the low carbon transition and to improve the resilience of our economy, society and the financial system to climate risks," investors wrote in a joint statement four days ahead of the upcoming 2018 G7 Summit in Quebec, Canada.
The statement, known as the 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change, was delivered to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and G7 government leaders.
"We are concerned that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is currently falling short of the agreed goal of 'holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2-degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels," the signatories said.
In the statement, investors noted that they continued to make significant investments into the low carbon transition across a range of asset classes, and increasingly incorporated climate change scenarios and climate risk management strategies into their investment processes, while engaging with the largest greenhouse gas emitters.
Investors called on world leaders to do their part "with a strong sense of urgency," asking world governments to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, accelerate private sector investment into the low carbon transition, and commit to improve climate-related financial reporting.
At an investors' meeting on Monday in London, Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary of the UNFCCC, encouraged investors around the world to sign the statement.
"It’s extremely encouraging to see so many institutional investors coming together around such a powerful message to governments and the international community," Espinosa said.
"Leveraging private finance to fund the transition to a low-emissions and low-carbon future in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement is a necessity—one that public administrations cannot afford to do on their own," she added.
The statement has been developed by Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investment and UNEP Finance Initiative.
Signatories included Allianz Global Investors, Aviva Investors, BNP Paribas Asset Management, and HSBC Global Asset Management.
"Every year more investors sign this important statement calling for governments to increase their level of ambition and to set meaningful targets nationally and internationally," said Eric Usher, head of the UNEP Finance Initiative.
"For us to achieve a sustainable and low carbon financial sector, we need policy and regulatory frameworks that incentivize for more green investments, but also that help us mainstream sustainability factors into finance institutions' core decision making.
"We congratulate this renewed momentum from the investment community and look forward to continuing to support governments as they take action," he said.
The statement comes on the same day Britain's Overseas Development Institute issued a report saying the world’s major industrialized countries, known as the G7, provide at least $100 billion a year supporting fossil fuels despite repeated pledges to phase out related subsidies since 2009.
By Hale Turkes