The Investor Agenga

Information presented in this profile is for reference only. The Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative does not guarantee as to the exhaustiveness of this information and invites you to contact the Secretariat (contact@mainstreamingclimate.org) if you wish to propose any modifications.

By including this profile, the Initiative, its Supporting Institutions and the Secretariat do not endorse the activities described below nor the guidance and information provided in this profile.

Last updated: July 2018

Website: theinvestoragenda.org/

Contact: info@theinvestoragenda.org

Summary: The Investor Agenda was launched during the 2018 Investor Summit on Climate Risk by seven partner organizations (AIGCC, CDP, Ceres, IGCC, IIGCC, PRI and UNEP FI). “It is a comprehensive agenda for investors to manage climate risks and capture low-carbon opportunities, and a mechanism to report on their progress in four key focus areas: Investment, Corporate Engagement, Investor Disclosure and Policy Advocacy.”[1]. It will publish a first report on progress made by investors to achieving the Paris Agreement in September 2018.

What are the objectives of the initiative?

“The Investor Agenda provides the guidance investors need to act boldly, swiftly and collectively to help keep global temperature rise below 2˚ Celsius. It will also amplify investor voices calling for government implementation of the Paris Agreement, and increased support for low-carbon initiatives by policymakers.”[2]

Who launched it? Who is participating?

The Investor Agenda was launched by seven partner organizations:

  • Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC)
    CDP
    CERES
  • Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC)
  • Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)
    PRI
    UNEPFI

These seven partner organizations launched, as part of their Policy Advocacy work stream, the 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change, addressed to the members of the G7 and signed, as of June 2018, by 319 investors representing more than USD $28 trillion in assets.

Why has this been put into place?

“While many investors are inspired by this opportunity [act on climate change], they lack the support to take action on low carbon investments, with supply cited as a key challenge. Additional issues include definition and interpretation, fiduciary duty and consistency with previous commitments. The Investor Agenda provides the guidance investors need to act boldly, swiftly and collectively to help keep global temperature rise below 2° Celsius. It will also amplify investor voices calling for government implementation of the Paris Agreement, and increased support for low-carbon initiatives by policymakers.”[3]

What are the main work streams/areas of work?

Drawing on the existing work of its founders, the Initiative encourages investors, consistent with their fiduciary duties to their clients and beneficiaries, to act in a voluntary manner on one or more of the following four areas:

  1. Investment: “[The Investor Agenda proposes actions:] to make low carbon investments, to phase out investments in coal, to integrate climate change into portfolio analysis and decision-making, [which] are consistent with investors’ fiduciary duties.”[4]
  2. Corporate engagement: “Investors – individually and collectively – are a key influence on corporate practices and performance on climate change. Investors have an essential role to play in insisting that companies take action to limit the risks and maximize the opportunities of climate change by aligning their business strategies and capital allocations with the goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”[5] The Investor Agenda committed to supporting the Climate Action 100+ initiative and the CDP’s annual disclosure request to over 5,000 companies.
  3. Investor disclosure: “[The investors] have committed to improving our disclosures on the climate change-related risks and opportunities in our portfolios, in line with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) for asset owners and asset managers.”[6]
  4. Policy advocacy: asset owners and asset managers are invited “to sign the 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change”.[7]

What are outcomes of the Investor Agenda linked with the 5 Principles?

As the Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change was launched in the presence of the UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, 319 investors representing more than USD $28 trillion in assets called “on global leaders to:

  • Achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals
    • Update and strengthen nationally-determined contributions to meet the emissions reduction goal of the Paris Agreement, starting the process now in 2018 and completing it no later than 2020, and focusing swiftly on implementation
    • Formulate and communicate long-term emission reduction strategies in 2018
    • Align all climate-related policy frameworks holistically with the goals of the Paris Agreement
    • Support a just transition to a low carbon economy.
  • Accelerate private sector investment into the low carbon transition
    • Incorporate Paris aligned climate scenarios into all relevant policy frameworks and energy transition pathways
    • Put a meaningful price on carbon
    • Phase out fossil fuel subsidies by set deadlines
    • Phase out thermal coal power worldwide by set deadlines.
  • Commit to improve climate-related financial reporting
    • Publicly support the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations and the extension of its term
    • Commit to implement the TCFD recommendations in their jurisdictions, no later than 2020
    • Request the FSB incorporate the TCFD recommendations into its guidelines
    • Request international standard-setting bodies incorporate the TCFD recommendations into their standards.”[8]

Have intermediate or final reports / guidance been issued?

A first annual report was announced for September 2018. As of June 2018, the Investor Agenda published:

  • 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change (2018) – “As institutional investor with millions of beneficiaries around the world, we reiterate our full support for the Paris Agreement and strongly urge all governments to implement the actions that are needed to achieve the goals of the Agreement, with the utmost urgency.”
  • Briefing Paper on the 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change (2018) – “This Briefing Paper accompanies the 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change […] provides recommendations to governments on the specific steps that investors believe are needed to support a smooth and just transition to a low carbon, more climate resilient, economy. It focuses on three major areas for government action: 1) Achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals, 2) Accelerate private sector investment into the low carbon transition and 3) Commit to improve climate-related financial reporting. ”

Calendar and milestones

Supporting institutions of the Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative having signed the 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change:

[1] unfccc.int/news/investors-with-more-than-usd-26-trillion-call-for-climate-action-ahead-of-g7-summit

[2] theinvestoragenda.org/about-the-agenda/

[3] theinvestoragenda.org/about-the-agenda/

[4] theinvestoragenda.org/areas-of-impact/investment/

[5] theinvestoragenda.org/areas-of-impact/corporate-engagement/

[6] theinvestoragenda.org/areas-of-impact/investor-disclosure/

[7] theinvestoragenda.org/areas-of-impact/policy-advocacy/

[8] theinvestoragenda.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/GISGCC-FINAL-for-G7-with-signatories_-update-4-June.pdf

Links with the 5 Voluntary Principles for Mainstreaming Climate Action

As of July 2018, The Investor Agenda’s recommendations mainly refer to already existing initiatives. The initiative’s first annual report, announced for September 2018, is likely to contain some additional recommendations related to the 5 Principles.

This section aims to support discussions on the implementation of the 5 voluntary Principles for Mainstreaming Climate Action. Information provided in this section is for reference only; the Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative, its Supporting Institutions and the Secretariat do not endorse the activities nor the guidance and information provided in this section.

The Investor Agenda recommends signing on the Climate Action 100+ initiative.

The Investor Agenda recommends to:

  • “Phase out investments in thermal coal;
    Integrate climate change into portfolio analysis and decision-making.”

The Investor Agenda recommends to:

  • “Report existing low carbon investments and existing low carbon investment commitments;
  • Report new low carbon investments and new low carbon investment commitments”;
  • “Support CDP’s disclosure and action requests”;
  • “Report in line with the TCFD’s recommendations.”