June 4, 2018 Read More →

As global transition gains momentum, institutional investors question G7’s resistance

Reuters:

Institutional investors with $26 trillion in assets under management called on Group of Seven leaders on Monday to phase out the use of coal in power generation to help limit climate change, despite strong opposition from Washington.

Government plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions were too weak to limit warming as agreed by world leaders at a Paris summit in 2015, they wrote. U.S. President Donald Trump announced a year ago that he was pulling out of the pact.

“The global shift to clean energy is under way, but much more needs to be done by governments,” the group of 288 investors wrote in a statement before the G7 summit in Canada on June 8-9.

Signatories included Allianz Global Investors, Aviva Investors, DWS, HSBC Global Asset Management, Nomura Asset Management, Australian Super, HESTA and some major U.S. pension funds including CalPERS, it said.

As part of action to slow climate change, the investors called on governments to “phase out thermal coal power worldwide by set deadlines,” to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and to “put a meaningful price on carbon.”

The investors also urged governments to strengthen national plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and to ensure that companies improve climate-related financial reporting.

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGC), said it was the first time that such a broad group of investors had called for a phase-out of thermal coal, used in power generation.

“There is a lot more momentum in the investor community” to put pressure on governments, she told Reuters. The IIGC was among backers of the statement, delivered to G7 governments and to the United Nations.

More: Big investors urge G7 to step up climate action, shift from coal


Thompson Reuters Foundation:

The world’s major industrial democracies spend at least $100 billion each year to prop up oil, gas and coal consumption, despite vows to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, a report said on Monday ahead of the G7 summit in Canada.

Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – known as the Group of Seven (G7) – pledged in 2016 to phase out their support for fossil fuels by 2025.

But a study led by Britain’s Overseas Development Insitute (ODI) found they spent at least $100 billion a year to support fossil fuels at home and abroad in 2015 and 2016.

“Governments often say they have no public resources to support the clean energy transition,” the study’s lead author Shelagh Whitley told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“What we’re trying to do is highlight that those resources are there (but) it is being used inefficiently.

“The G7 have pledged to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, but they don’t have any systems in terms of accountability to meet the pledges – they don’t have road maps or plans,” added Whitley, head of the ODI’s climate division.

Researchers scrutinized and scored each country against indicators such as transparency, pledges and commitments, as well as their progress towards ending the use, support and production of fossil fuels.

France was ranked the highest overall, scoring 63 out of 100 points, followed by Germany (62), Canada (54) and the UK (47), the report said.

The United States scored lowest with 42 out of 100 points due to its support for fossil fuel production and its withdrawal from a 2015 global pact to fight climate change.

More: Big investors urge G7 to step up climate action, shift from coal

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