Led by CalSTRS and Oregon Treasurer, 22 U.S. Investors Sign Climate Declaration, Joining Call to Action on Climate Policy
On the Eve of the First Global Investor Forum on Climate Change in Hong Kong, Investors Cite Economic Opportunity of Addressing Climate Change in the U.S.
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – On the eve of the inaugural Global Investor Forum on Climate Change on June 13-14 in Hong Kong, a total of 22 American investment firms with approximately $240 billion in assets under management, led by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the Oregon State Treasurer’s office, have signed the Climate Declaration, calling on U.S. policymakers to seize the American economic opportunity of addressing climate change.
These financial leaders join more than 150 other American businesses, including industry icons General Motors Co., Intel and Nike and more than 100 ski areas, in asserting, “Tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century … There must be a coordinated effort to combat climate change—with America taking the lead here at home.”
“As the global economy moves toward a low-carbon future, governments that act aggressively to enact strong, long-term climate and energy policies will reap the biggest rewards,” said Jack Ehnes, chief executive officer of CalSTRS, the world’s largest educator-only pension fund serving 862,000 beneficiaries with a portfolio valued at $167 billion. “In order to tackle the global climate crisis, we must realize the strength of our combined efforts. That is why CalSTRS signed the Climate Declaration. U.S. policy leaders need to step up on this issue and embrace climate change policies as an economic opportunity.”
Investors have been an important force in supporting policy changes related to clean energy and efficiency. Last year, investors managing $800 billion in assets called on Congress to renew the Production Tax Credit for renewable energy, which was ultimately extended for another year. Investors have also been outspoken proponents of state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPSs) that more than two-dozen states have enacted to boost sourcing of wind, solar and other renewable energy. RPSs have catalyzed billions of dollars of investments, thousands of new projects and hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, including 30,000 new jobs in 2012 alone.
“Being smarter when it comes to climate change is the right thing to do for all of our families, and it also will translate into economic and investment opportunities,” said Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, who has previously called for better disclosure of climate-related opportunities and risks. “I am proud to stand with Oregon’s largest employers and premier ski destinations to recognize that a cleaner future will also be a more profitable one.”
Today’s announcement comes on the eve of the first Global Investor Forum on Climate Change, sponsored by Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) along with the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, the EU-based Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and the Investor Group on Climate Change, which represents Australian and New Zealand investors.
The two-day event will bring together investors and financial institutions from both developed and emerging markets for the first time to discuss the challenges presented by a changing climate, as well as the imperative to scale up investment in low-carbon infrastructure and business. Al Gore, co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management, and Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, will address the assembly via video.
“Without the participation of the financial community, we won’t get low-carbon solutions to the scale needed to address climate change, nor will the U.S. capture the full economic benefits of building a global clean energy economy,” said Anne L. Kelly, director of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), a Ceres-led business network that helped launch the Climate Declaration in April. “We are pleased to see strong support from the investor community on climate change policy, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We urge the investors meeting at this week’s event to take the challenge of tackling climate change seriously.”
In addition to CalSTRS and the Oregon Office of the State Treasurer, Climate Declaration investor signatories include: Boardwalk Capital Management; Boston Common Asset Management, LLC;
Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc.; Chrysalix; Domini Social Investments LLC; ESG Integrated Solutions; First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC; Friends Fiduciary Corporation; Green Century Capital Management; Leadership Council of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; Mercy Investment Services, Inc.; Pax World Management Corp.; Portfolio 21 Investments; Sisters of St. Dominic (Caldwell, NJ); The Christopher Reynolds Foundation; The Sustainability Group at Loring, Wolcott and Coolidge; Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment; Trillium Asset Management; Walden Asset Management; and Zevin Asset Management.
Over the course of an ongoing campaign organized by Ceres and BICEP, other leading businesses and investors, as well as individuals, are encouraged to sign the Declaration and join the call to action. For more information about the Climate Declaration, please visit www.climatedeclaration.us.
More information on the Global Investor Forum on Climate Change is available at investorforumonclimate.com.
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $167.2 billion as of April 30, 2013, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. For 100 years, CalSTRS has served California’s public school educators and their families, who today number 862,000 from the state’s 1,600 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.
Ceres is a nonprofit organization mobilizing business leadership on climate change and other sustainability challenges. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $11 trillion. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org.
BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy), a project of Ceres, is an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation enabling a rapid transition to a low-carbon, 21st century economy – an economy that will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate. BICEP is a project of Ceres. For more information and a list of member companies visit: http://www.ceres.org/bicep.
About the Oregon State Treasurer
The Oregon State Treasury protects public assets and manages a portfolio valued at $82.4 billion as of April 30, 2013. State investment policies are overseen by the Oregon Investment Council, of which the Treasurer is a member. The Treasurer also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices.