Investors call for improvements in company lobbying on climate change

PRI Climate Change

September 03, 2015

In a significant shift in the investor voice on corporate climate lobbying, more than 60 investors have made clear that company lobbying on climate change related policy and regulation must be in line with the universally accepted goal of limiting global temperature rises to two degrees Celsius. The worldwide group of investors, representing over US$3.8 trillion in assets under management, are explicitly calling for improvements in practice and transparency from investee companies on aspects such as their governance processes for climate policy engagement and their membership of or support for all third-party organisations that lobby on climate change (not just those where the company is on the board or provides financial support).

In a comment piece published in Bloomberg Brief’s Sustainable Finance publication, the PRI’s managing director Fiona Reynolds summarised investor concerns: “Improved transparency would give investors confidence that their capital is not being used to lobby against their long term interest in a safe climate.”

Investors will be taking this message to companies through both individual and collaborative engagement with company boards and management. The PRI is coordinating a working group of investors engaging companies in Australia, Canada and the USA and is working with the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) to support their parallel initiative in Europe. The statement and working group also support existing efforts underway including the UN’s Caring for Climate programme on responsible corporate engagement in climate policy.

Corporate climate lobbying will be discussed further at the upcoming PRI in Person conference, held at ICC, ExCel in London from 8-10 September.

The statement, Investor expectations on corporate climate lobbying, including the full list of signatories, can be downloaded here.

For more information, contact Paul Chandler paul.chandler@unpri.org.

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