Institutional investors managing $4tn in assets yesterday called on US lawmakers to enact strong federal legislation to curb the pollution causing global climate change.

Joined by a dozen leading US companies, the investor group outlined the business and economic rationale for climate action as they called for a national policy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions consistent with targets scientists say are needed to avoid the dangerous impacts of global warming.

The group, organised by Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk, issued a Climate Call to Action yesterday at a press conference in Washington DC.

Companies endorsing the Climate Call to Action include institutional investors and asset managers Merrill Lynch, and the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), as well as leading corporations such as BP America, Allianz, PG&E, DuPont, Alcoa, Sun Microsystems and National Grid.

Ceres believes that by endorsing the Climate Call to Action, investors and companies are sending a message that climate policy uncertainty and the lack of federal regulations may be undermining their long-term competitiveness.

‘Global warming presents enormous risks and opportunities for US businesses and investors,’ said Fred R Buenrostro, chief executive officer at CalPERS, the US’s largest public pension fund with $230bn in assets. ‘To tap American ingenuity and drive business to a leadership position in the low-carbon future, we need regulations to enable the markets to deploy capital and spur innovation.’

The entire statement and more information on the climate call to action can be found