The origins of the P80 began with the inspiration of HRH Prince Charles, who believed that the world's largest pension and sovereign wealth funds could be encouraged to increase the level of their investments which could benefit the climate and/or sustainable development. The concept quickly received the support of other global leaders such as Nobel Prize winner Al Gore.
Thus, HRH convened and hosted meetings of large pension and sovereign wealth fund leaders beginning in late 2007. Even the early meetings represented over $2 trillion in investment capacity.
Additional meetings were held in 2008 and 2009. The Group became known as the P8 (Pensions 8) and the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL) provided the infrastructure and staffing for the P8 Group. Although known as the P8, the actual number of large funds participating grew with each meeting, until there were many more than the original 8 funds.
Growth and creation of the P80 Group
In 2010, HRH and the P8 Group members posited there might be many more pension and sovereign wealth funds globally wishing to join in the effort. A decision was made to widen the reach to include other funds from all over the world and to create an expanded "P80 Group".
Examples of other funds which agreed to join the process included the National Pension Service of Korea, the world's third largest pension fund today and Khazanah Nasional, the investment holding arm of the Government of Malaysia. The first meeting of the P80 Group was hosted by the National Pension Service of Korea and took place in Seoul in June of 2010. It was at this meeting that Former President Clinton formally pledged his support to the work of the P80 Group stating:
The first P8 Summit, held in November 2007, discussed the issue of climate change and its impact on the pensions sector. Subsequent Summits held in July 2008, March 2009, October 2009 and February 2011 allowed the pension funds to explore the requirements of public–private partnerships in investment opportunities.
Shortly after the third Summit, the first green bond investment ($300 million) with the World Bank was announced by California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. Discussions also led to the development of pioneering funds by the Asian Development Bank (Climate Public Private Partnership Fund) and the International Finance Corporation (Climate Catalyst Fund).
“Our mission is to lead and guide the world toward a path of greater sustainability by developing financial instruments that deploy capital into technology that tackle global challenges.”
The P80 Group Foundation
The P80 Group Foundation was formed to manage and support the activities associated with delivering this mission. The Foundation is composed of individuals and entities who have pledged to serve as ‘”Friends” of the P80 Group.
The goal of the P80 Group and the Foundation is to bring about a more rapid growth in investments that address climate change and sustainable development resource shortages. We are convinced, even left alone, these investments will trend up over time. Thus, the role we wish to fulfill is to serve as a catalyst to speed up and strategically support this trend.
Activities of the P80 Group Foundation
The activities of the Foundation include:
Organizing and managing the P80 Group and its strategic supporters.
Identifying and structuring investment opportunities for pension funds, SWFs and MDBs belonging to the P80 Group. The Climate Public Private Partnership Fund and the Climate Catalyst Fund are good early examples of this activity.
Creating and managing strategic partnerships with key institutions, such as Club de Madrid, Clinton Global Initiative, World Economic Forum, Global Green Growth Institute and others.