Our Firm

Our Views on the Recent News About the Paris Climate Accord: Letter from the Parnassus Investments President

Print Version

Parnassus Investments is deeply disappointed that the United States has withdrawn support for the Paris Climate Agreement. At the same time, we are glad to see the groundswell of support for continued climate action to meet the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement. Many business leaders, including representatives of companies we invest in, are recommitting to carbon emissions goals because they understand the importance of sustainability, not only for the health of our planet, but also for business and the economy.

These business leaders also know that the expanding clean energy industry is good for jobs. According to a January report published by the U.S. Department of Energy, there are already more than four and a half times as many U.S. jobs in renewable and low emission technologies as in coal—749,000 renewable energy jobs versus 160,000 in coal. This trend certainly will continue and will require retraining to benefit both displaced workers and the innovative industries in the energy sector that are gaining momentum.

For our part, Parnassus has invested in companies that have comprehensive programs and policies in place to responsibly manage their environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions, since 1984. We regularly monitor our portfolio companies to make sure they are continuing to prioritize their environmental progress. In addition, two of our funds do not invest in fossil fuels. Like all the Parnassus Funds, they aim to deliver Principles and Performance.

Even though the U.S. government pulled out of the Paris Accord, progress on reducing carbon emissions and developing clean energy continues through the private sector and the states. The many corporate heads and others who have vowed to maintain—and even step up—their pledges to environmental sustainability are pointing the way forward to a better future. We hope that this sentiment continues to grow and that states, municipalities and private companies in the United States continue to work together to meet and exceed the U.S.’s Paris Accord targets, despite the unfortunate actions of the current administration in Washington D.C.

Benjamin E. Allen

Mutual fund investing involves risk, and loss of principal is possible.

The views expressed are subject to change at any time in response to changing circumstances in the markets and are not intended to predict or guarantee the future performance of any individual security, market sector or the markets generally, or the Parnassus Funds. Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to risks.