A majority of the world’s largest investors are taking steps to tackle climate change, according to a new report.

The Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) found 60% of the 500 biggest asset owners – which together have funds worth $27 trillion (£21tn) – recognise the threat of climate change and are taking action, up by 18 percentage points since last year.

The report also found 201 asset owners with $12.5tn in investments show no evidence of any action on climate risk.

Julian Poulter, Chief Executive of the AODP, said: “It is shocking that many pension funds and insurers are still ignoring climate risk and gambling with the savings and financial security of millions of people.”

AXA in shift away from coal

Meanwhile, French insurer giant AXA has unveiled plans to sell investments worth €714 billion (£600bn) in companies that derive 50% or more of their revenues from coal.

Andrea Rossi, Chief Executive of AXA Investment Managers, said:

“As a responsible investor and active steward of our clients’ assets, we strongly believe that divesting from coal can help to de-risk portfolios over the long term by decreasing exposure to assets that are likely to become ‘stranded’ in the future as the world moves to be in line with the +2°C scenario.

“We want to engage with our clients, increasing awareness about the potential long-term risks related to the production and consumption of coal at current levels and encouraging investors to fully consider the long-term benefits of low carbon portfolios.”

> Download the AODP's report