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KATOWICE, Poland: December 10, 2018. As the Trump Administration, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait refuse to fully endorse a UN report to keep global warming below 1.5 Celsius, 415 investors managing assets worth US$32 trillion have called on the four oil producers to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and move to a low-carbon economy.

Among specific policies, the members of the Investor Agenda group want governments to phase out thermal coal power, put a meaningful price on carbon, and phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

“Despite the misguided policies of the Trump Administration, global efforts to address the very real threat climate risk presents to the economy, financial markets and investment returns are ongoing,” explained New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, responsible for the US$207 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund.

SRTICiting data from the Powering Past Coal Alliance, the Investor Agenda says EU and OECD countries must phase out coal-fired electricity generation no later than 2030, with the rest of the world following no later than 2050. Failure to do so, says group signatory Schroders, will result in temperature rises of around 4°C and US$23 trillion of permanent global economic losses over the next 80 years.

“The reality is that the long-term nature of the challenge has, in our view, met a zombie-like response by many. This is a recipe for disaster as the impacts of climate change can be sudden, severe and catastrophic,” added Chris Newton, an executive director for IFM Investors that has US$80 billion in assets under management. “We need our infrastructure assets to continue to provide essential services to communities and economies around the world. We have a duty to our investors to act for the long term when others are clearly sidestepping the challenge.”

Launched by the UK and Canada, the Powering Past Coal Alliance now has 75 members, including 28 national governments, nine US states and 28 corporations and organisations.

In a related move, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) has launched the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI), an online platform to disclose ship-recycling data.

Last year 835 ships were recycled out of a world fleet of 50,000. Despite the known risks, there is no global regulation currently in force.

“We are really proud to be launching the SRTI site this week,” said SSI co-chair Stephanie Draper. “The SRTI is an opportunity for shipowners, cargo owners, investors and others to collectively demand transparency and through that better standards. We think that the industry can lead by working across the supply chain to change itself and it is great to be shaping this positive example of that.”

SRTI signatories include The China Navigation Company, Hapag-Lloyd, A.P. Moeller-Maersk, NORDEN, Stolt Tankers and Wallenius Wilhelmsen; financial stakeholders GES, Nykredit and Standard Chartered Bank; classification society Lloyd’s Register; and sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future.

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