It’s not just the environmental groups that are actively participating in the debate – and politics – of climate change. Now the institutional investors that are entering the arena. This past Earth Day I wrote about institutional investors in the U.S. becoming vocal.

Now as leaders of G8 most industrialized nations are to meet in Germany, a U.K. based organization, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change in an open letter called for greater clarity from key industrialized nations on policies addressing climate change. The organization is a forum for collaboration between pension funds and other institutional investors on issues related to climate change. Primarily comprised of U.K. institutional investors, the 17 signatories hold 3 trillion euros in assets (approximately $3.95 U.S.). The investor group said it wanted the G8 event to decide upon major aspects for a new Kyoto agreement, in advance of a UN meeting in Indonesia in December.

What does this have to do with participants in retirement plans? Simple. The institutions that manage the investments in these plans need to be able to rely on an effective long-term climate change policy for investment decision-making. Now getting the G8 to agree on a common policy is a little more complicated.