CalPERS Calls for Global Climate Solutions at United Nations Conference
December 11, 2014
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Joe DeAnda, Information Officer
SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) today provided the North American perspective on the need for policy action on climate change at the United Nation's Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. The pension fund represented the Investor Network on Climate Risk, led by Ceres, and made up of more than 100 institutional investors representing more than $13 trillion in assets.
"CalPERS has a fiduciary duty to protect the investments of our members and the effects of climate change have the potential to seriously impact our portfolio," said Bill McGrew, CalPERS Portfolio Manager, speaking for the pension fund at the conference. "Institutional investors will play a key role in financing the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. But first we must push policymakers to take action on carbon pricing, to provide regulatory support for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and to fully support innovation and deployment of new low-carbon technologies."
Earlier this year, CalPERS and other investors called on governments and policymakers to develop an ambitious global agreement on climate change by the end of 2015, including setting meaningful carbon pricing and ending fossil fuel subsidies. These actions would give investors the confidence to fully support and accelerate investment in low-carbon technologies.
The International Energy Agency says the world needs to invest more than a trillion dollars per year into clean energy in order to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius and avoid the worst effects of climate change. Leading global investors have already begun making low-carbon investments and are committed to seeking additional opportunities in order to plan their assistance in helping finance the transition to a low-carbon economy.
CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the U.S., with approximately $300 billion in assets. CalPERS administers health and retirement benefits on behalf of 3,090 public school, local agency and state employers. There are more than 1.6 million members in the CalPERS retirement system and more than 1.3 million members in its health plans. For more information about CalPERS, visit www.calpers.ca.gov.