GLOBAL - Some 181 of the world's largest global investors have issued a joint call for policy makers to take "strong action" against climate change ahead of key negotiations to be held in Copenhagen this December.
The investors - which include the UK's BT Pension Scheme, the French Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites and the US-based Illinois State Board of Investments - collectively manage in excess of US$13trn in assets.
The statement called for a "strong and binding" international treaty to reduce pollution and increase investment in low-carbon technologies.
It also makes a number of key recommendations on climate change policy in the build up to the expiration of the Kyoto treaty in 2012.
The statement argues a global target for emissions reductions of 50-85% by 2050 should be set - with developed countries taking the bulk of the responsibility in achieving this target.
But it said developing countries must in turn produce action plans that deliver "measurable and verifiable emission reductions".
It said governments should also continue to support energy efficient and low carbon technology in order to attract great levels of private investment within the renewable energy sector.
And it said signatories would be keen for the treaty to spell out measures supporting a move to a more effective global carbon market in the future.
Universities Superannuation Scheme's co-head of responsible investment David Russell said, "The proposals issued in the statement should provide investors with a long-term voice in the ongoing discussion between investors and political parties across the globe.
"It is critical that global policymakers are able to deliver the stable, long-term policies that will allow pension funds and other investors to make long-term decisions with confidence.
"If governments are able to achieve this, I would expect to see greater allocation of pension fund capital to be directed towards low carbon and renewable energy investments."
The statement was co-ordinated by four investor groups on climate change -the US-based Investor Network on Climate Risk; the European Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change; the Investors Group on Climate Change in Australia and New Zealand; and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, which operates globally.
The groups said the statement formalises the private sector's requirement for a strong, binding framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.
The full statement can be read at: http://www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/documents/need_agreement.pdf
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.
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