CalPERS to Ramp Up Climate Change Engagement Efforts


A top CalPERS official disclosed on Friday that the pension fund plans to step up its engagement with companies on climate change, according to a report from Reuters.

This comes after a study, conducted by CalPERS, examining the carbon footprint of its portfolio. That study, according to CalPERS, revealed that a handful of companies are responsible for a significant portion of the portfolio’s carbon footprint.

More details from Reuters:

“This study means that we can be laser-focused on where we take our engagement,” CalPERS’ Investment Director of Global Governance Anne Simpson said on the sidelines of the Paris climate conference.

“We want the underlying companies in our portfolio to be aligned with the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

CalPERS has already pushed environmental and social governance measures at energy companies in which it invests, including Exxon Mobil, but Simpson said the pension fund also would begin targeting other carbon-intensive industries.

She said the study revealed that fewer than 100 companies in the fund’s enormous portfolio were responsible for half of its carbon dioxide emissions, including in the sectors of construction and materials, basic resources, travel and leisure, chemicals, and food and beverages.

“I think what we will do next is share this analysis with the funds that we work with and see the potential for a globally coordinated engagement plan, and not just in the oil and gas industry,” Simpson said. “Focusing on big oil and old coal will not get us there.”

CalPERS manages a $300 billion portfolio.


Photo by  rocor via Flickr CC License

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