Leading fund managers call for climate action

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Britain’s biggest institutional investors want to see compulsory carbon emission reductions introduced by the Government, new research will suggest today, but warn that the short-termism prevalent amongst many of their clients is acting as a brake on the speed with which the UK tackles climate change.

A survey of 39 leading fund managers conducted by FairPensions says that while much of the City now accepts that the long-term implications of climage change could be disastrous for investment returns, the short-term climate is not conducive to taking action now.

Some 83 per cent of investment managers say the low price of carbon means many clients feel they do not have to take action, while 80 per cent believe companies should be foreced to publicly disclose their carbon emissions. That would go further than current government policy, which doesn’t envisage mandatory reporting standards.

In addition, to back up the improved disclosure rules, ome 72 per cent of the funds, which together manager £6 trillion in assets, say there should be mandatory reductions of emissions.

Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive of FairPensions, said “Climate change is a key issue in ensuring that the UK economy and investments are rebuilt in a way that anticipates future potential financial crises, and institutional investors have the power to either promote or suppress corporate emissions reduction – we all have an interest in prompting them to promote sustainability.”

Rob Nash, capital accountability policy officer at the WWF, said "This report shows the support among fund managers for mandatory reporting of emissions by companies. Now this support must be turned into action: companies in very high emitting sectors, like oil and gas and power, should also be required to report on the big risks they face due to the rising cost of emitting greenhouse gases."