December 14, 2015

Communications & Stakeholder Relations
(916) 795-3991
Brad W. Pacheco, Deputy Executive Officer
Contact: Joe DeAnda, Information Officer

Pledge signifies a commitment to the agreements reached at COP21

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) signed the Paris Pledge for Action, a commitment to support and implement the Paris Agreement, the global climate change agreement reached at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). The pledge was coordinated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations body responsible for climate efforts.

In addition to CalPERS, the pledge was signed by cities, regions, businesses, investors, civil society groups, and trade unions. It recognizes the wide range of actions that will be undertaken to reach a safe and stable climate in which temperature rise is limited to under 2 degrees Celsius.

"As a long-term investor, we understand climate change presents risks to not only the environment, but also businesses," said Anne Stausboll, CalPERS Chief Executive Officer. "We also recognize that businesses have the opportunity to develop innovative solutions to correct these problems. We support the Paris Agreement and the Paris Pledge for Action as a vital step in tackling climate change."

By signing the pledge, CalPERS is committing to continued implementation of their climate change responsiveness efforts including the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change (PDF), the Montreal Pledge, and the Pocantico Statement (PDF). CalPERS joins other signatories committed to climate leadership, including the 20 countries from five continents that signed Governor Jerry Brown's Under 2 MOU agreement.

"While much work needs to be done, the Paris Agreement and associated pledge are a turning point," said Anne Simpson, CalPERS Investment Director of Global Governance and speaker at COP21. "Months of negotiations on a global scale led up to COP21, which for the first time brought together the powerful alliance of international, national, and local government commitments with the backing of investors and businesses."

For more than eight decades, CalPERS has built retirement and health security for state, school, and public agency members who invest their lifework in public service. Our pension fund serves more than 1.7 million members in the CalPERS retirement system and administers benefits for more than 1.4 million members and their families in our health program, making us the largest defined-benefit public pension in the U.S. CalPERS' total fund market value currently stands at approximately $295 billion.