Climate Finance Pursued by Faith-Based and Socially-Responsible Investors
April 14th, 2015
The Missionary Oblates, along with other ICCR members, are trying to limit climate-related risk by advancing research and dedicated investment in climate change solutions. These Climate Finance initiatives are being pursued by faith-based and socially responsible investors to propel the shift we need to a low-carbon economy.
What is lacking is a favorable policy environment that can ensure optimal risk-adjusted returns, which, investors, as fiduciaries, are required to achieve. As articulated in the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change (endorsed by 265 investors including ICCR, and representing $24 trillion in assets), private investment will only flow at the scale and pace necessary if it is supported by clear, credible and long-term policy frameworks that shift the risk-reward balance in favor of less carbon-intensive investment. For this reason, ICCR members are working with others in the investment community to press for the climate policy shifts that will unleash this flow of capital and drive clean energy investment. At the same time, members are seeking to educate the broader responsible investment community about both current and future climate finance opportunities.
Here are some examples of initiatives in which the Missionary Oblates have been active:
PUTTING CAPITAL TO WORK IN THE GREEN ECONOMY
Boston Common Asset Management led an investor coalition with $540 billion in assets under management in sending letters to 63 banks asking them to explain their long-term approaches to climate risk. The Missionary Oblates was part of this coalition. Over 20 banks responded, and both PNC Financial and JPMorgan have modified or developed policies and programs to address climate change, actively incorporating investors’ feedback. Further, as a result of ICCR member engagement, PNC Bank recently announced it would no longer finance mountain-top coal removal, a practice known to have devastating environmental and social impacts.
INNOVATIONS IN CLIMATE FINANCE
On February 9th, 2015 ICCR convened its first Climate Finance roundtable with investors, investment professionals and leaders in climate finance to catalyze investments in climate solutions. Recognizing that there is a critical role for investors to play in moving the economy toward a low-carbon path by investing in innovative new technologies and infrastructure, a group of roughly 100 shared vehicles, opportunities and strategies to promote increased investment in green energy solutions.