GLOBAL - A coalition of global investors, including pension funds, with combined assets of $28.9trillion has written to 1,800 of the largest quoted companies asking for the disclosure of investment information on greenhouse gas emissions.
Funds, including the California Public Employees' Retirement System ($200bn), the California State Teachers’ Retirement System ($137.1bn), Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan ($84bn), USS (£25bn) and PGGM (e71.5bn) have all put their names to the list compiled by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) which allows institutional investors to collectively sign a single global request for disclosure of information.
Those who will receive a request include over 300 of the largest global electric utility companies who are in partnerships with both CalSTRS and CalPERS.
According to the CDP, this is the fourth iteration of such a request and notably companies who previously did not respond are requested to do so, or to provide reason why they do not believe the request is relevant to their business.
The advisor for responsible investment at USS, David Russell, said: “We are interested in seeing greater disclosure of climate and carbon related risks and opportunities. This is because we believe that failure to manage the issue by companies could pose risks to investment returns both in the short-term as a result of policies like the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and in the longer-term as a result of the physical impacts of a changing climate.”
The project co-ordinator for the CDP, Paul Dickinson added: “The numerous indications of accelerating human induced climate change make it clear that there are business risks and opportunities that have implications for the value of investments in corporations world-wide.”
The recipients of the request have been given four months to respond and reports compiled on any disclosure will become public in September 2006.
By Daniel Flatt
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Malcolm Mclean says getting the channels of communication right and engaging more openly is a good starting point