181 of the world’s largest investors say that the climate agreement in Copenhagen needs to be strong and binding.
This is from companies managing over $13 trillion and is the largest such statement to date. Their proposals are even stronger than what most activist organizations are asking for.
Top investors are pushing the US and other leaders to put their money and their policies into stopping global warming/climate change as soon as possible. This joint statement by these international giants was released at an “International Investor Forum on Climate Change” in New York on Wednesday.
Environmentalists and Investors
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, who is the head of the $116.5 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, asserted: “We must chart a new course toward long-term, sustainable business practices.” He went on to say, as if he were a leading environmental activist as well as a businessman: “We cannot drag our feet on the issue of global climate change. I am deeply concerned about the investor risks climate change presents, and the human cost of inaction is unthinkable. As investors in the global economy, we can lead the way toward a future of lasting prosperity.”
The investors are ready to invest in technologies and business that address the climate change risk, but say that governmental policies need to be put in place that do not prevent them from doing so. Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk, said: “Investors have a crucial role to play in building a low-carbon, energy efficient global economy. But without strong policies that encourage clean technologies and discourage high-polluting technologies, their hands are tied.”
The investors didn’t fail to mention that there is great economic potential in transforming our societies to address climate change. British keynote speaker at the forum, Lord Nicholas Stern (chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics and Special Advisor to the Group Chairman of HSBC on Economic Development and Climate Change), said: “building a low carbon economy creates opportunities for investment in new technologies that promise to transform our society in the same way as the introduction of electricity or railways did in the past.”
No Small Policies
Measures the investors say need to be in the international climate agreement are extremely strong and include:
•A global target for emissions reductions of 50-85% by 2050 (1990 baseline)
•Developed country emissions reduction targets of 80-95% by 2050 with interim targets of 25-40% by 2020 backed up by effective national action plans
•Developing country action plans that deliver measurable and verifiable emission reductions
•Government support for energy efficient and low carbon technology
•Measures that support the move to an effective global carbon market, including ambition caps, fair and efficient allocation of allowances and links between different trading schemes
•Revisions to the Clean Development Mechanism to ensure real, permanent and verifiable emission reductions
•Public financing mechanisms that leverage private sector finance for investment in developing countries
•Measures to reduce deforestation and promote afforestation
•Support for adaptation to unavoidable climate change impacts
The business world, leading companies and investors seem ready to address the climate change problem. Will political leaders get behind strong climate policies as well?
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Image Credit 1: midweekpost via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image Credit 2: JohnLeGear via flickr under a Creative Commons license
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