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Looking beyond COP21: How will asset owners respond to an international climate agreement and the global energy transition to low-carbon?

Given the sluggishness of regulatory action against climate change in most nations and at the international scale, many companies continue to derive significant income from activities that endanger the climate. 

In turn, many professional investment companies such as pension funds, mutual funds, in the US and Europe, and sovereign wealth funds invest in such “high carbon” assets, placing pension savers’ and other stakeholders’ assets at great risk.  The level of risk-taking represented by high-carbon assets leaves investment fiduciaries open to legal liability. That is the argument advanced by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), considered in this episode.

AODP is an independent not-for-profit global organization whose objective is to protect retirement savings and other long-term investments from the investment risks posed by climate change by improving disclosure and industry best practice.

This podcast features the CEO of AODP who explains how climate change represents significant risks to portfolio value for the world’s largest investors. Two guest lawyers speak to the rise of fiduciary trust and securities law as new drivers of action on climate change risk by institutional investors around the world.  The experts are interviewed by Myanna Dellinger, Associate Professor of Law with the University of South Dakota School of Law.
  • Julian Poulter is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the AODP.
  • Sarah Barker is a Special Counsel in the Corporate Group in Minter Ellison's Melbourne office, and has published extensively on trustee fiduciary duty and climate risk. Ms. Barker provides advice to AODP on climate risk and fiduciary duty in the Australian context.
  • Jay Youngdahl is a partner in the Houston-based law firm, Youngdahl & Citti, P.C. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the College of Business at San Francisco State University and has been a Senior Fellow with the Hauser Institute’s Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University. Mr. Youngdahl provides advice to AODP on fiduciary law and climate change risk in the United States.

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