Open letter to Finance Ministers in the Group of Seven

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10.06.15 11:00 | Responsible investment

120 investor CEOs from around the world managing funds worth more than $12 trillion have written an open letter to finance ministers urging them to support the inclusion of a long-term emissions reduction goal in the international climate agreement due to be sealed in Paris in December. The letter has been shared with ministers ahead of the 26-27th May meetings of G7 Finance Ministers in Dresden, Germany. 

Who initiated this letter? 

This letter was initiated by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), IGCC in Australia/New Zealand, Ceres/INCR in North America, AIGCC in Asia and the Principles for Responsible Investment. The letter builds on the 2014 global investor statement on climate change which brought together 367 investors with more than $24 trillion of assets under management. 

Who is the letter aimed at? 

Finance ministers play a crucial role within the consultation processes ahead of the Paris summit. Finance ministers can make or break the climate agreement, as they will have to agree to their country’s own emission reduction targets and to the mandate of negotiators in Paris. The German Presidency of the Group of 7 (G7) has made climate change and resource efficiency a critical part of the upcoming summit of Heads of State and Government in Elmau on 7th and 8th of June 2015. As G7 countries represent a major share of global emissions – and have considerable influence in the UN climate process – we are initially directing this letter to them. 

Why are we initiating this letter? 

At the UN conference in Cancun in 2010, all UN governments agreed to limit the global rise in average temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius. This year is critical as the Paris summit (COP21, 30th November – 11th December 2015) is expected to deliver a global climate agreement. In the run-up to the meeting, countries have been asked to make their climate change plans public and some major emitters such as the European Union, the United States and China have already published their plans up to 2025/2030. 

However, many countries are late in submitting their climate plans and it is also not clear if and how the 2C target agreed by countries in Cancun will be reached. From an investor perspective this uncertainty and the strength and depth of emissions cuts which are agreed will have implications for the ability of investors to manage portfolios, correctly value energy sector and other assets impacted by climate change, seize the low-carbon opportunities, and ultimately fulfil fiduciary responsibilities.