US - Major pension funds and state treasury departments have joined F&C to petition the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) about companies' attitudes to climate change.
The 22-strong coalition, led by environmental group Ceres, has requested the SEC to demand that publicly traded companies should assess and fully disclose the financial risk posed to them by climate change.
Mindy S Lubber, president of Ceres, said: “The SEC needs to do more to protect investors from the risks companies face from climate change, whether from direct physical impacts or new regulations.”
Lubber added: “Shareholders deserve to know if their portfolio companies are well positioned to manage climate risks or whether they face potential exposure.”
Bill Lockyer, California state treasurer and a board member at the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), explained: “Our marketplace cannot properly function; our retirees' pensions cannot be protected, unless investors' right to know is fully enforced.
“We're asking the SEC to vindicate that right so investors can ensure their portfolios reflect the risks and benefits related to climate change.”
Alex Sink, Florida's chief financial officer and a board member at the state retirement system, summed up the mood: “Action by the SEC on this petition would result in better, more informed decisions for Florida's investors.”
The development comes as F&C, the only European provider among the coalition, has launched a climate change fund.
The portfolio will invest in companies developing products to cut greenhouse gas emissions or help the economy adapt to climate change.
Among the 22 petitioners are: Richard Moore, North Carolina's state treasurer; and Randall Edwards, the state treasurer of Oregon.
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