Ceres Joins Forces With Investors and Partner Organizations Worldwide to Launch Climate Action 100+
New global initiative aims to engage with world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to act on climate change
December 12, 2017 /3BL Media/ - The sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres joined forces with investors and partner organizations worldwide today to help launch a new five-year global initiative led by investors to engage with the largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters in North America and around the world to act on climate change. The effort is backed by more than 225 global investors, including nearly 70 North American investors, with USD $26.3trillion in assets under management at the time of launch.
As part of the investor initiative, known as Climate Action 100+, a growing number of investors, including the largest U.S. pension funds, will engage with the largest emitters to improve governance on climate change, curb emissions and strengthen climate-related financial disclosures.
Betty T. Yee, a board member of California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest U.S. public pension fund and a participant in Climate Action 100+, made the announcement during a panel discussion at the One Planet Summit. In her remarks, Yee explained that Climate Action 100+ is designed to implement the investor commitments agreed to in the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, which was released in the months leading up to the adoption of the Paris Agreement.
“We believe that engaging with the companies in which we invest to aggressively step up their actions on climate change is consistent with our fiduciary duty and will contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Yee. “It will require adjustments to business plans and practices consistent with keeping global temperature rise well below 2-degrees Celsius, and will require ambitious cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions — 80 percent by 2050.”
“Moving 100 of the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to align their business plans with the goals of the Paris Agreement will have considerable ripple effects,” said Anne Simpson, Investment Director of Sustainability at CalPERS, and a member of the Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee. “Our collaborative engagements with the largest emitters will spur actions across all sectors as companies work to avoid being vulnerable to climate risk and left behind.”
As part of today’s launch, investors released the list of the first 100 companies that they plan to engage as part of the initiative. The list includes but is not limited to companies within the oil and gas, electric power and transportation sectors that have been identified as the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. It was developed using data on the companies’ combined direct and indirect (scope 1, 2 and 3) emissions, including emissions associated with the use of their products.
“This united effort sends a powerful signal to companies from investors worldwide, including those right here in the U.S. and Canada, that will help transform the economy to build a more sustainable future for people and the planet,” said Mindy Lubber, CEO and President of Ceres, and a member of the Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee. Ceres is one of five partner organizations leading on the coordination efforts around Climate Action 100+. “This new and innovative way of working together will undoubtedly accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy at a pace and scale that the world hasn’t seen before.”
While some companies have been included on the list because of their scope 1 or 2 emissions, others have been included primarily in reference to their scope 3 emissions. Investors acknowledge that some of the companies have demonstrated climate leadership on one or more of the goals of the initiative, such as setting science-based targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, committing to source power from renewable energy, and providing disclosures consistent with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Each year, in partnership with researchers, Climate Action 100+ will produce a public annual report that will assess how the companies have responded to the collaborative engagement and help to set the participating investors’ engagement priorities for the year ahead. Companies may be removed from the list if they are considered to have made sufficient progress against the goals of the initiative.
“Investors are playing a significant role in the transition to a lower carbon economy as we work toward realizing the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, who serves on the Ceres’ board of directors.“We believe it is imperative that our portfolio companies take swift steps to address climate change, which is one of the greatest risks to our portfolio’s long-term value. By coordinating investor engagement with the most significant greenhouse gas emitters, Climate Action 100+ will help reduce this risk.”
An additional “+” list of companies, who are considered by investors to be potentially exposed to climate-related financial risks, is expected to be added to the focus list next year.
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.