Four major automakers — Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen — entered into a voluntary compromise agreement with California to limit emissions across the country, recognizing that it is time to accelerate climate action beyond the goals of our current federal government. But the Feds launched a legal action to investigate these companies for antitrust violations, throwing a dirty trick in the way of cleaning up the industry.
And then, in a stunning betrayal of investors and in ignorance of the clear need to transition to a low carbon economy, General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler decided to side with the president in his attempt to revoke California’s authority and help the Trump administration drag the auto industry backward while the rest of the world speeds ahead on climate.
As investment advisor to, and custodian of, New York City’s five pension funds, charged with protecting $200 billion in pension fund assets, my job is understanding and anticipating risk. Let me be clear: Climate change is a much more impactful risk to U.S. companies than Trump’s empty threats.
That’s why I and a coalition of 25 major investors with $1.1 trillion in collective assets called on General Motors to sign on to the compromise agreement with California, which would provide the regulatory certainty they need. Doing so would have signaled to the marketplace and to investors that automakers are prepared to protect their investments, profits and their workforce beyond the limited term of the Trump administration and prepare for a carbon-constrained future.