Funds managing $2 trillion urge cement makers to act on climate impact

(Reuters News, 22 Jul 2019) Construction material companies warned they risk divestment and lack of access to capital as a growing number of investors shy away from carbon-intensive sectors.

European funds managing $2 trillion in assets called on cement companies to slash their greenhouse gas emissions on Monday, warning that a failure to do so could put their business models at risk.

With the extreme weather and natural disasters associated with climate change intensifying around the world, some asset managers are ramping up engagement with heavy polluters to demand a faster transition to a cleaner economy.

"The cement sector needs to dramatically reduce the contribution it makes to climate change," said Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, which has more than 170 members, mainly European pension funds and asset managers.

"This is ultimately a business-critical issue for the sector," Pfeifer said in a statement.

The group said investors had written to cement or construction materials companies including Ireland's CRH , Franco-Swiss group LafargeHolcim and France's St Gobain to demand they achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. They also noted that Germany's HeidelbergCement had already adopted the target.

The funds urged all cement companies to align themselves with the 2015 Paris agreement to combat global warming, engage with policy-makers to ensure an orderly transition to a low carbon economy, and increase their reporting of climate risk.

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Reuters News, 22 Jul 2019: Funds managing $2 trillion urge cement makers to act on climate impact