Hugh O’Reilly, President and CEO of OPTrust, has called for investors to act on climate issues as part of Climate Week NYC 2018, citing that proper measurements are necessary to understand the cost of climate-related risk.
OPTrust is one of the largest pension funds in Canada, with net assets of over $20bn and 92,000 members within its key pension plan.
O’Reilly spoke at a seminar called Accelerating the Path to Climate Action, which was organised by global index provider MSCI and PRI (Principles for Responsible Investing) as part of Climate Week.
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“Whether we take action or not, climate change is already having profound impacts and markets are responding accordingly,” said O’Reilly. “Integrating climate risk is not only necessary, but it is in the best interests of all our Plan members, both today and in the long term.”
OPTrust released its Climate Change Action Plan in June, which includes building climate risk into its investment approach as well as pushing for increased disclosure of climate change related information from its portfolio companies.
“Measurement matters. Accurately pricing risk in a world without commitments to proper climate-related disclosure from corporations is almost an impossible task,” O’Reilly added. “We are focused on developing and using measures and tools that accurately support pricing climate change-related risk.
“This is a quick, reliable way to set the stage for action and start gathering the critical data that we need for proper benchmarking and targets.”