Policy: Environment

Introduction

Environmental policies are a significant concern for the sustainable investment community.  At the start of 2016, investment managers considered environmental criteria across $7.79 trillion in assets under management. Climate change was the most significant overall environmental factor in terms of assets. Money managers with $1.42 trillion in assets under management and institutional asset owners with $2.15 trillion in assets considered climate change risk in their investment analysis, more than three times the amounts affected in 2014. 

Investors and businesses need policy certainty and long-term signals, including a price for carbon and incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy, to make the significant capital allocations required for a transition to new energy system.  Well-designed federal policy can help drive innovation, create jobs for US workers, benefit US consumers and bolster international efforts to curb climate change.

Priority Areas of Action

Paris Climate Agreement: The exit of the United States from the Paris Agreement is unequivocally the wrong decision.  It will harm the environment and damage the health and safety of the American people, our country's international reputation, and progress towards a vibrant, innovative and low carbon economy. In addition to concerns about negative environmental implications, there is also widespread concern among business leaders and investors that the US exit from the Paris Agreement harms the international reputation and competitiveness of US companies doing business abroad.

Clean Power Plan: The electric power sector is the source of one-third of US greenhouse gas emissions and is a key part of any plan to curb emissions and address climate change. We oppose the Trump Administration’s efforts to weaken the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.  We support the Clean Power Plan as a way to advance public health and benefit US consumers by helping to unleash investment in clean energy sources. It is also key to America’s previous international commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Sustainability Disclosure: Meaningful sustainability reports are valued by multiple stakeholders, including investors, and should continue to be required to be filed at the SEC by all public companies. Sustainability information provided on company websites alone is not sufficient to address investor needs as it does not permit comparison of consistent, comparable information on material risks and opportunities. Regulation S-K disclosure should be geared towards all types of investors, from the average investor to the sophisticated professional financial analyst. Every segment of the investor community is entitled to have access to information they deem necessary and material –regardless of size, interests and sophistication.
 
Letters and Statements

US SIF Statement On President Trump's Withdrawal From The Paris Climate Agreement 06/2017
US SIF Clean Power Plan Statement 03/2017
US SIF Comment Letter on Regulation S-K Disclosure 07/2016
Investors Urge The SEC To Require Mandatory Sustainability Disclosures 7/2016
US SIF Comments On President Obama’s Release Of Final Clean Power Plan Establishing Clean Air Act Standard For Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Power Plants  08/2015
US SIF Comment on the U.S. EPA 's Proposed Rule on the Mandatory Reporting of GHG 06/2009