DeSmog

Survey Lists the Best and Worst Financial Funds When it Comes to Climate Change Risk

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Is your pension fund or insurance company a leader or laggard when it comes to avoiding risky bets on the future impacts of climate change?

A new survey released today finds that many major institutional investors, like retirement funds and insurance companies, are putting their investments (read: your money) at risk by not addressing the negative financial impacts posed by climate change and atmospheric disruption.

The survey, called the Global Climate Investment Risk, is based on data acquired from 460 funds who were invited to provide data, either from members of those funds or using publicly available information. Each fund is rated from AAA to X based on investment mix and recognition of the financial risks that climate change will have now and into the future.

Conducted by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), the survey concludes that, of the 460 funds, only 5 received a AAA rating, while 173 funds are rated “X.”

“While we can see some leaders emerging, many haven’t acknowledged their dangerous and foolhardy addiction to investments riddled with climate risk, let alone checked themselves into rehab,” says Julian Poulter, Executive Director of AODP“It’s pretty clear through the Index that the big laggard funds continue to be too scared to take on big fossil fuel companies, even though they know there are enormous risks through continuing investing in them.”

“A majority of the world’s investment industry are clearly acting contrary to the interests of those whose money they represent – this is an outrageous situation. It must be remembered that much of the money being held by these organizations is the product of workers’ lifelong savings,” Sharan Burrow, AODP board member and General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation said.

Here are the 10 best funds that are actively addressing the financial risks of climate change on behalf of their members:

1. Environment Agency Active Pension Fund (UK)

2. Local Government Super (Australian pension fund)

3. CalPERS (US pension fund)

4. Stichting Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW/PGGM) (Dutch pension fund)

5. VicSuper (Australian pension fund)

6. AustralianSuper (pension fund)

7. Government Employees Pension Fund (South Africa)

8. Florida Retirement System Pension Plan

9. BT Super for Life (Australia pension fund)

10. Aviva (UK insurance company)

There are too many “X-rated” companies to list here, but you can find a complete list on the AODP website.

So where is your money in this mix?

Image courtesy of US Coast Guard on Flickr.

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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