Global Faith Investors in joint backing for COP21 agreement

Faith-consistent investor groups from Europe and the US today welcomed the agreement at COP21.

The CIG (Church Investors Group) and ICCR (Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility), which have over 350 members and over £80bn in assets under management between them, are today re-affirming their firm commitment to help speed the transition to a low carbon economy.

COP21 has built huge momentum around the need to act on climate change and to ensure that warming does not exceed two degrees. The role of faith and investors and how they intersect to create impact was clearly seen in Paris. Faith investors are committed to building on this momentum and to redoubling their efforts to promote an energy transition through a comprehensive approach including reducing demand for fossil fuels through corporate engagement, positive investment in the low carbon economy and promoting more ambitious public policy on climate issues. It is now vital that the emissions reductions pledged by UN member states are implemented and that public policy ever more strongly signals and supports the re-direction of capital to the low carbon economy.

Edward Mason, Head of Responsible Investment at the Church Commissioners said: “COP21 has created new momentum and expectations on climate change far beyond the negotiating suites in Paris. It is clear that Church investors can play a key role in the transition to a low carbon economy through their investment decision making and by echoing the voice of faith in setting values and driving change. Church Investors have real influence in the investment industry, business and beyond.”

James Corah, Secretary to the Church Investors Group, said: “Collaborative engagement amongst Church investors has driven significant change in corporate behaviour in recent years. We look forward to playing our part in the critical 2016-20 period for the low carbon transition”.

Laura Berry, Executive Director of the ICCR, said: “For nearly three decades ICCR members have pushed companies and policy makers to address climate change. The COP21 talks underscore the urgency of the call to action. Time has run out for modest proposals and limited commitments. Governments, companies and communities around the globe must embrace vigorous action to address climate change. Beyond Paris, we will continue to raise our voices, and strengthen our efforts to reduce demand for fossil fuels while focusing on investments in renewables. We have faith that cleaner energy for future generations is not only necessary, it is entirely possible.”

About the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)

Currently celebrating its 44th year, ICCR is the pioneer coalition of active shareholders who view the management of their investments as a catalyst for change. Its 300 member organizations with over $100 billion in AUM have an enduring record of corporate engagement that has demonstrated influence on policies promoting justice and sustainability in the world.

About the Church Investors Group

The Church Investors Group represents institutional investors from many mainstream Church denominations and church related charities. Whilst each investor is responsible for its own investment policy our members come together on issues of common concern. Currently the CIG has 55 members, predominantly drawn from the UK and Ireland, with combined investment assets of over £15bn.

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