PRI voices support for Paris Climate Agreement

LONDON, 14 December 2015

The PRI, which represents more than 1,400 signatories with US$59 trillion in assets under management, said that the agreement was the turning point that investors have been seeking. The organisation also applauded the fact that the talks recognised the role of private finance in the climate change discussions.

“We welcome recognition of the role that private finance plays in achieving a low carbon transition and emissions reduction goals,” said Fiona Reynolds, managing director of the PRI.  “This recognition will give additional encouragement to institutional investors, both asset owners and managers.  It is now essential that the target to hold warming below 2 degrees is actually achieved.”

At the end of the 11-day meeting in Paris, representatives of 195 nations reached a landmark accord that will, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate the most drastic effects of climate change. The agreement includes legally binding requirements that countries ramp up the robustness of their future climate change policies. Countries will be required to reconvene every five years, starting in 2020, with updated plans that would tighten their emissions cuts.

The PRI is also supporting L’Appel de Paris (the Paris Pledge for Action), which represents a unique opportunity for non-state actors to welcome the Paris Agreement on climate change and commit to implement it. By joining the pledge, businesses, cities, civil society groups, investors, regions, trade unions and more promise to ensure that the ambition set out by the Paris Agreement is met or exceeded. Investors can show support for the pledge here.

“Whilst the Paris Agreement places commitments on governments and sets further timetables for reviews, investors are not waiting for 2020,” said Reynolds, “but are already taking action to decarbonise their portfolios and to measure their carbon exposure through the PRI Montreal Carbon Pledge, which has now been signed by nearly 120 investors representing US$10 trillion AUM.  They are also making commitments to low-carbon, climate resilient and green investment opportunities and are actively engaging with companies on business planning around the transition to a low-carbon economy, future investment opportunities and full transparency on political and climate lobbying activities.”

PRI signatories representing some of the largest global asset owners – Allianz,  AXA, Caisse des Depots, CalPERS, Old Mutual and HESTA pension fund – have already taken a stance on climate finance, clean energy and carbon risk issues. The PRI is working across its membership base to deepen investor awareness and understanding of climate issues and to formulate responses to key climate questions.  To this end, the PRI launched a Green Infrastructure Coalition at COP21 to mobilise capital to meet the growing need for climate-resilient infrastructure development.

Reynolds concluded: “The PRI congratulates all the players who made COP21 a success, in particular, the French Government, the UN and the UNFCCC lead by Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.”

For more information, contact:

Joy Frascinella
Head of PR
Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
+44 (0) 20 3714 3143