Investors Encourage US to Rejoin Paris Agreement, as Poll Uncertainty Looms

US should join other nations in “ratcheting up ambition, policies and targets”, according to major investor groups.

Investor groups have called for the United States to rejoin the Paris Agreement on the day of the country’s formal withdrawal from the accord, amid uncertainty over the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election.

The call was issued by the six founding partners of The Investor Agenda, a global initiative which coordinates investor action on climate change and represents institutional investors in all regions of the world.

“Now is the time for the US to not only re-enter the Paris accord, but also for the US to join other nations in ratcheting up ambition, policies and targets to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Investors stand ready to welcome the US back into the global accord and call on all governments to ensure their national response to the climate crisis and the economic downturn are consistent with a 1.5 degree world,” it said.

The incumbent Trump Administration announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement in 2017 and began the process in November last year. The US formally leaves the pact on November 4, 2020, but Democratic challenger Joe Biden has declared his intention to rejoin should he win the election held November 3. Due to tight voting, it is currently expected that the final outcome may not be known for a number of days, if not weeks.

Biden has committed to a Green New Deal which would aim to achieve a 100% clean energy economy and reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050, as well as encouraging major nations “to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate targets”.

The investors’ statement also called on the 189 nations which have ratified the 2015 agreement to fulfil their obligations and step up their climate ambition “in order to secure a sustainable global economic recovery and net-zero emissions future”.

“We strongly support the Paris Agreement because it provides an ambitious framework with clear obligations for all signatories to address the systemic risks of the climate crisis facing our economies and societies,” the signatories said.

Last year, the partners of The Investor Agenda issued a ‘Global Investor Statement to Governments in Climate Change’, calling on governments to implement actions and policies to the achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The statement was backed by 631 investors, collectively responsible for more than US$37 trillion in assets.

According to the signatories’ latest statement, full implementation of the Paris Agreement will create significant investment opportunities in clean technologies, green infrastructure and other assets, products and services needed in this new economy. “In turn, investors will generate jobs and economic growth, including in communities that are currently reliant on carbon-intensive industries and that are overexposed to climate shocks,” it added.

The founding partners of The Investor Agenda are the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, the CDP, Ceres, the Investor Group on Climate Change, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and the Principles for Responsible Investment.

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