An open letter published in the Financial Times in May 2018 is the clearest sign yet that investors and pension funds are increasingly concerned about the economic impact of climate change. In the same line, the governor of the Bank of England has warned of the “catastrophic impact” climate change could have for the financial system in April 2018.
Investors behind the open letter, including Aberdeen Standard Investments, Axa Investment Managers, Amundi, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Fidelity International, Newton Investment Management and Legal & General Investment Management, Aviva Investors, BMO Global Asset management, Old Mutual Global Investors, Schroders and HSBC Global Asset Management, oversee almost $10.5tn in assets. In the open letter, 60 investors acknowledged the importance of moving to a low-carbon future for the sustainability of the global economy and prosperity of their clients. Since the oil and gas industry and its products account for 50% of global carbon emissions, the investors behind the open letter call for oil and gas companies to be “more transparent and take responsibility for all of its emissions”. The investors also urged policymakers to take clearer and more collective action to implement regulation supporting investment in lower-carbon technologies.
Intensified climate action should involve making concrete commitments to substantially reduce carbon emissions, assessing the impact of emissions from the use of their products and explaining how the investments they make today in energy sources and technologies are compatible and consistent with a pathway towards the Paris Agreement objectives, according to the letter.