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Pensions & Investments: Report calls for more climate impact disclosure

By Hazel Bradforn
Pensions & Investments
Investors need to get more information on how the companies in which they invest are facing and managing risks posed by climate change, according to a report released Thursday by Calvert Investments, Ceres and Oxfam America.

Investors need to get more information on how the companies in which they invest are facing and managing risks posed by climate change, according to a report released Thursday by Calvert Investments, Ceres and Oxfam America.

The report looks at how seven key sectors vulnerable to climate physical impacts — agricultural, food and beverage; apparel, power, insurance, mining, oil and gas and tourism — have suffered and managed losses from climate change events. The report is intended to help companies implement SEC guidance issued in 2010 on corporate disclosure of climate change impacts on companies.

The report “is a road map for investors, and for the companies themselves,” Bennett Freeman, senior vice president for sustainability research and policy at Calvert Investments, said in an interview.

“From the investor point of view, there needs to be greater understanding of risk, but also the opportunity side of the equation,” Mr. Freeman said. Calvert Investments, which manages $11.5 billion in assets, has two funds dedicated to investment opportunities related to global climate change.

Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, board chairman of the $37.6 billion Maryland State Retirement & Pension System, Baltimore, said pension officials there are beginning to demand more information from money managers and the companies in which the fund invests directly. Ms. Kopp is a member of the Ceres-led Investor Network on Climate Risk, a group of 100 institutional investors with $10 trillion in collective assets.

“We can't invest well without clear disclosure … and we need to have comparable information,” Ms. Kopp said on a conference call. “Now that we all are looking across the assets classes, we're finding it a little difficult. We need to make it part of normal ongoing due diligence, and not just part of ‘social investing.'”

The new report, “Physical Risks from Climate Change” is available at www.ceres.org.

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