Notes from CERES' Investor Summit on Climate Risk

brettOn January 27, several hundred distinguished investors and government officials gathered at UN headquarters in New York for CERES’ 16th “Investor Summit on Climate Risk.” Building on the momentous agreements reached at the COP21 Climate Summit in Paris, the focus was on “Advancing the Clean Trillion” — finding ways to increase investment in clean energy by at least a trillion dollars a year.’s divestment specialist Brett Fleishman attended the day-long summit and provided us with an audio report of his three “takeaways” from the event. Click the “play” button below to hear Brett’s report.

Convenors of the summit included California State Treasurer John Chiang, State Controller Betty Yee, CalSTRS  CEO Jack Ehnes, and CalPERS CEO Anne Stausboll.  Although CERES continues to emphasize shareholder engagement over divestment, the phrase “portfolio decarbonization” was used by a number of speakers.  Speaker after speaker made it clear that we must move huge amounts of capital out of dirty energy investments and into clean energy investments to reach the goal of limiting global warming to no more than 2.0 degrees Celsius  — and to less than 1.5 degrees if possible.

The summit published a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Ceres, and Ken Locklin titled “Mapping the Gap: the Road from Paris.” At a CalCEF (California Clean Energy Fund) seminar later that week, CalCEF CEO Danny Kennedy provided a page of tweets from the Investor Summit that also echo the urgency of moving the global economy into the clean energy era.