Investment groups reassure as Trump pulls plug on Paris accord

By John Kenchington

Added 2nd June 2017

Investment managers have played down Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement, saying the effect on companies will be minimal.

Investment groups reassure as Trump pulls plug on Paris accord

Countless developed and emerging companies now specialise in emissions-reducing products and services and so the withdrawal by the world’s largest economy from the global agreement could bode badly for the clean-energy sector.

Trump has ceased all implementation of the Paris accord, making it one of just three countries in the world who are outside the agreement, saying he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris”.

He has pledged to try to renegotiate the deal to make it more favourable to US industry, but an immediate joint statement from France, Italy and Germany rejected the idea.

Impact seen muted

However, investors have played the situation down.

Aberdeen Asset Management’s head of responsible investing, Cindy Rose, said:

"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris” - Donald Trump

“Clearly this is a backward step. But the actual material impact of the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement will be quite small.

“All major US cities are planning to stick to it and the US joins only two other countries in the world outside the agreement.”

Rose said the direction of travel “at a company level” was still towards more sustainable products and services.

“Regardless of any decision taken by the US government, investors still understand the importance of moving to a low carbon economy. We will keep engaging with companies on their carbon risks and press them to be more sustainable.”

Direction set

Nordea Asset Management Global Climate and Environment Equity Fund managers Thomas Sørensen and Henning Padberg said the move was “a blow” but far from fatal for the industry.

“Political support is only one of the drivers of this mega-trend,” the duo said in a statement.

“Donald Trump aside, we remain convinced the world is witnessing a revolution in attitudes towards the climate and environment – with corporates at the forefront of this change.

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