CalPERS Comments on Paris Agreement Decision
June 1, 2017
Communications & Stakeholder Relations
Brad W. Pacheco, Deputy Executive Officer
Wayne Davis, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Megan White, Information Officer
SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has issued the following statement from Marcie Frost, chief executive officer of CalPERS, concerning the decision today by President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement:
"CalPERS supports the Paris Agreement because it makes financial sense. It's notable that the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement comes just one day after ExxonMobil shareowners passed a resolution calling on the company to disclose climate change risks. There is growing support in the business and financial community for the goals of the Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to 2 degrees or less.
"As a global investor and as fiduciaries focused on the long-term sustainability of our investments, we will continue to support the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Paris Agreement enables us to manage material risk and build opportunity in our investment portfolio. Supporting its goals ultimately benefits our members and their long-term retirement security."
Our Efforts Addressing Climate Change Risks
CalPERS has long advocated for environmental issues and engaged with the companies we invest in to address climate change.
Last year, the CalPERS Board of Administration adopted a five-year Environmental, Social, and Governance Strategic Plan (PDF) calling for engagement with companies to establish a carbon reduction target consistent with the Paris Agreement.
We are a founding signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment, a United Nations-backed initiative focusing on environmental, social, and governance practices; a member of Ceres, a national coalition of investors, environmental organizations, and other groups working to address sustainability issues; and the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a network of over 100 investors promoting corporate governance practices on climate change.
During proxy season this year we also submitted 17 resolutions urging companies to report how a two-degree temperature increase would impact their business. To date, shareowners at the utility company PPL Corporation, Occidental Petroleum, and ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, have approved the resolutions. Two more climate risk reporting solicitations are still to come on June 7 at Hess Corporation and Devon Energy.
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 1.8 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 $322 billion. For more information, visit www.calpers.ca.gov.