A Decade of Investor Action on Climate Change
In 2003, Ceres and 10 investors launched The Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) at the United Nations in New York during the first Investor Summit on Climate Risk. It was the first investor gathering of its kind in the world, and it introduced the term “climate risk” into the financial lexicon. This year, INCR turned 10 years old, celebrating a decade of investor action on climate risk.
Watch the video below to hear from founding members, Ceres staff and other financial leaders about the impact that investors have had over the past 10 years on corporate responses to climate change, policy advances addressing climate risk and the global movement to mobilize investors to reduce climate change risks from their portfolios.
INCR’s mission is to mobilize investor leaders to address climate and other key sustainability risks, while building low-carbon investment opportunities. Over the past 10 years, this handful of investors has grown to more than 100 members managing over $11 trillion in total assets. INCR now includes the largest institutional investors in North America as well as leading religious and labor funds, asset managers and socially responsible investment funds.
Though the colossal challenges posed by climate change are clearer than ever, INCR has achieved a great deal in 10 years by:
Requiring Climate Disclosure
Responding to a petition by INCR members, the Securities & Exchange Commission in 2010 issued first-of-its kind formal guidance on climate-related material risks that publicly held companies must disclose in their financial filings.
Protecting California's Climate Law
Dozens of INCR members publicly opposed California’s Proposition 23, a voter referendum in 2010 that would have overturned the state’s landmark bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction law (A.B. 32).
Promoting Corporate Sustainability
Citing climate change, natural resource constraints and other trends, two-dozen INCR members sent letters to CEOs of the Russell 1000 index, encouraging them to meet key expectations of the The 21st Century Corporation: Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability.
Engaging Global Stock Exchanges
Advocating Global Clean Energy
Nearly 300 investors representing $20 trillion in assets called on national governments and international policymakers in 2011 to adopt strong climate and clean energy policies that will accelerate clean energy investments globally.
Spurring Record Clean Investment
At the 2012 Investor Summit, Bloomberg New Energy Finance announced that global clean energy investment hit a record $260 billion in 2011, a five-fold increase from $52 billion in 2004.
Supporting Better Fuel Standards
The federal government in 2012 adopted a 54 miles per gallon average fuel economy standard for U.S.-made cars and trucks after INCR members made the economic case for strong clean transportation policies.
In 2012, INCR joined three other regional investor groups – the IIGCC (Europe), IGCC (Australia/New Zealand) and AIGCC (Asia) – to form the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change (GIC), a powerful platform for galvanizing international policy advocacy and investment best practices relating to climate change.
Saying ‘No’ to Flaring
Responding to investor pressure, the largest oil producer in North Dakota’s Bakken region, Continental Resources, committed in 2013 to reduce natural gas flaring from its wells to as close to “zero percent as possible.” Gas flaring from unconventional oil production is one of the country’s fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas pollution.
Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks joined more than a dozen other consumer giants in agreeing, after being pressured by investors, to source 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil for their food products. The 2013 commitments will help slow rampant destruction of carbon-storing forests in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.