A whopping 515 institutional investors — managing $52 trillion in assets — have called on governments around the world to step up action on climate change, ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit taking place this week.

It is the largest ever group of investors to call on governments to take meaningful action to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals.

The group wants governments to phase out thermal coal power worldwide, put a price on carbon pollution, end government subsidies for fossil fuels and update and strengthen nationally-determined contributions towards meeting emissions goals by no later than 2020.

“The global shift to clean energy is underway, but much more needs to be done by governments to accelerate the low carbon transition and to improve the resilience of our economy, society and the financial system to climate risks,” the investors wrote in a letter to governments on climate change.

The “Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change” was written by the seven founding partners of The Investor Agenda.

The Investor Agenda was developed for the global investor community to accelerate and scale up the actions that are critical to tackling climate change and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The group warns that current government commitments leave an “ambition gap” that will not prevent the global average temperature from rising beyond the 1.5 degree threshold that scientists warn could trigger catastrophic and irreversible effects of climate change.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is asking for leaders from governments and the private sector to present plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality — the balance of carbon emissions by carbon removal activities — by 2050.

“I am also asking all investors to scale up green ventures, to increase lending for low-carbon solutions and to stop, in effect, financing pollution,” he said ahead of the summit, which takes place on September 23.

The Investor Agenda’s founding partners also released a report saying nearly 1,200 investors have taken action in some form.

More than 750 investors have engaged with or directly influenced portfolio companies to act on climate change, more than 400 investors have stepped up their own disclosure on climate change, and more than 260 have set a climate target.