Investors worth $5tr in assets pledge to back 'just transition' guidelines

Guide to help investors link worker and social considerations with climate and low carbon investment policies formally launches at COP24

Investor support for a ‘just transition’ for fossil fuel workers as the world shifts towards a low carbon economy is picking up momentum, with institutions worth $5tr in managed assets throwing their weight behind a set of investor guidelines due to be formally launched at COP24 today.

More than 100 investors – including Aviva, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Hermes, and the Church of Scotland Investors Trust – have signed a statement pledging to integrate workforce and social considerations in to their climate and low carbon investment practices.

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The aim is to prevent high levels of unemployment as carbon intensive industries are phased out in favour of clean technologies – a risk the statement warns “has been given insufficient attention”.

The investors promise to share best practices and communicate progress in linking decarbonisation and climate resilience with decent work and inclusive growth policies, arguing that achieving a just transition in line with the Paris Agreement “will help to accelerate climate action in ways that deliver the Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs).

Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva, stressed the need “to collectively ensure that no one is left behind”.

“It’s critical that the transition is swift enough to mitigate the growing risks of climate change,” he said. “We recognise that the more that the social justice questions are considered, the faster the speed of the transition will ultimately be.”

It comes off the back of a project announced earlier

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