Big investors up call for governments to take climate action

MADRID (AP) — More than 600 institutional investors managing a whopping USD37 trillion in client assets called yesterday for governments to step up their efforts against climate change.

The investors, including banks, pension funds and insurance companies, directed their message to countries participating in a two-week United Nations (UN) climate conference in Madrid.

Firms such as Britain’s Aviva, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and Zurich Insurance Group demanded an end to thermal coal power plants worldwide, the introduction of a “meaningful” price on carbon, an end to fossil fuel subsidies and for governments to increase planned emissions cuts beyond what has already been pledged.

Similar appeals have been issued by investment companies before, but yesterday’s is the biggest so far. The 631 companies involved held assets worth more than the GDP of the United States and China together last year.