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Pension funds to talk climate change with the Prince

The P8, a group of 12 of the world’s largest pension funds tasked with influencing policy makers on climate change, will meet in London next week for a two-day conference convened by its patron, Prince Charles, in the last meeting of the group before the Copenhagen conference of political leaders.

Aled Jones, deputy director of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, which acts as secretariat for the P8, said the pension fund discussion would centre on the policy and risk frameworks inherent in creating a workable investment market in climate change.

The group, which includes CalPERS, CalSTRS, New York State, APG, USS and sovereign wealth funds in Norway, Korea and other parts of Asia, will be represented by chief executives and chief investment officers and will conclude the meeting with a dinner at Clarence House, Prince Charles’ residence.

It is the fourth time the group of investors has met under the P8 moniker, with the last meeting in March hosted by the World Bank, resulting in the State of California committing $300 million into World Bank Green Bonds.

Jones said the meeting of pension funds created an intimate environment in which they could discuss their decision-making around these investments and share ideas.

In addition the group meets with leaders in climate change as well as policy makers in order to discuss the policy and risk frameworks for the creation of an investment market in climate change.

“It is a clear call to policy makers about the risk management involved and the challenges of creating a market in which these investors can invest,” Jones said.

Jones is in the process of documenting the funds investments in climate change which range from stock investments such as GE, to private equity investments in new technology, to green bonds, and even low carbon emerging markets infrastructure.

Jones said P8 played an instrumental role in educating government policy makers and public sector investors in the decision-making and needs of large institutional investors wishing to invest in climate change. In addition the ongoing dialogue with institutions such as the World Bank enabled pension funds to understand the scale and requirements of the potential market.

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