Global investors managing $32 trillion in assets have called on governments to accelerate steps to combat climate change, as policymakers meet for talks at a United Nations conference in Poland.
A total of 415 investors from across the world including UBS Asset Management and Aberdeen Standard Investments signed the 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change demanding urgent action.
“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,” the statement said.
The intervention is the single largest on the topic to date, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change said, as talks continue in the Polish city of Katowice to agree how to slow global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
That goal was agreed at a 2015 meeting in Paris, but investors said national governments were being too slow in enacting the policies needed to help the world transition to a low-carbon economy.
Failure to act could lead to permanent economic damage three or four times the scale of the impact of the financial crisis, British asset manager Schroders said.
As well as ramping up the involvement of the private sector, governments needed to commit to improving climate-related financial reporting, a move that would help investors better assess the risk and allocate capital to the right companies.