With mounting speculation surrounding the United States’ commitment to COP21, several of the world’s biggest investors have teamed together to maintain pressure on governments who aren’t on track to stick to their commitments. Together, these investors are worth over $20 trillion, and are the second conglomerate of influential people to team up and fight for climate action following the lead of several U.S. coal companies who openly urged Donald Trump to stick with the Paris climate deal.
COP21 of course, was the first major international agreement on greenhouse emissions, where several agreement were made to reduce fossil fuel consumption, harmful emissions and increase funding in the renewables sector – all in a bid to keep global warming under the 2˚C mark. The investors are making it known that they support measures meant to enforce those agreements, and are warning major economies to stay the course.
There has already been talks about the risks associated to countries outright leaving the agreement – as the United States is threatening to do – with sanctions, legal issues and a major hit to that country’s economy all accepted consequences for that action. What these investors are making clear though, is that their money will not flow into any nation who drags their feet on the issue, potentially aggravating any economic lapse suffered by withdrawing from COP21.
Additionally, these investors have said they are willing to follow the direction taken by different countries in order to reach their goals. Everything from a cap and trade carbon tax, to industry-wide changes in production and distribution has been approached by several countries, which has at times drawn criticism from the public and local businesses, but the investors are throwing their support behind governments that are taking action.
On top of this, they have expressed a desire to help governments by funding the research, development and implementation of certain measures. Several more investors and prominent businesses are expected to support this latest push ahead of the G7 meeting later this month, and will be ensuring that their voices are heard, as Chief Executive for the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) explained to the press:
“While the private sector can provide the investment required to build a secure, affordable and low emissions global energy system, we urge the G7 to set strong policy signals which provide the investment certainty needed to drive trillions of dollars into new clean energy investment opportunities. (We) are prepared to participate in what is required to tackle climate change. We are prepared to be part of that response ourselves”