Investors have a vital role to play in helping to reduce carbon emissions around the globe. That’s why UTAM, on behalf of the University of Toronto, is proud to be a founding participant in Climate Action 100+, which was officially launched in Paris on December 12, 2017 – the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Climate Action 100+ is a five-year, investor-led initiative to engage with more than 100 of the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters. The goal is to encourage curbs on emissions, strengthen climate-related financial disclosure and improve governance on climate change issues.

Through this initiative, UTAM is joining forces with other organizations that share our concern for the future health of the planet. Our collective goal is to work with the board of directors and senior management of each of the 100+ companies to secure three key commitments:

  • Implement a strong governance framework that clearly articulates the board’s oversight of, and accountability for, climate change risk.
  • Take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain – consistent with the Paris Agreement objective of limiting global average temperature gains to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  • Adopt enhanced disclosure practices – based on recommendations from international advisory bodies ­– that allow investors to assess companies’ business plans against a range of climate scenarios.

UTAM has embraced Climate Action 100+ not just by supporting its principles as a signatory, but by actively advancing its goals. For instance, we’ve committed to engage directly with at least one listed company in addressing the priorities outlined above. Our participation is only one facet of a broader commitment to responsible investing that includes adoption of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), endorsing the CDP global environmental disclosure system and signing the May 2017 “Letter from Global Investors to Governments of the G7 and G20 Nations,” which urges governments to stand by the pledges they made as part of the Paris Agreement.

Investment portfolios cannot disregard the fundamental systemic risk posed by climate change. By taking an active role in Climate Action 100+, UTAM joins other responsible investors in stressing that collaborative engagement with companies that are significant emitters is critical to ensuring a sustainable global economy.