Back in January we introduced you to the Ceres “Clean Trillion” renewable energy investor campaign, but you ain’t heard nothing yet. That Niagra-scale roar coming out of midtown Manhattan this morning is the sound of 340 renewable energy investors pulling their collective weight together in a press conference to fight for renewable energy. These are no small potatoes, either. These are global institutional investors with a pile of assets to the tune of $24 trillion.
What these renewable energy investors are looking for is a playing field tilted in favor of sustainability, which according to their manifest boils down to no more subsidies for fossil fuels as well as the introduction of global carbon pricing. That’s familiar turf, so what’s really new here is the massive financial interests that have rallied to the renewable energy cause.
The Renewable Energy Investor Slugfest
We’ve been harping on this theme for a while, but for those of you new to the topic, the renewable energy battleground has transitioned from a battle between environmental groups and Big Oil (or Big Coal or whatever), into a slugfest between corporate and institutional giants with massive financial interests at stake.
That’s the natural result of two complementary forces. One is the growing market penetration of cost effective renewable energy technology, and where markets are growing, investor dollars will follow.
The other part of the equation is the growing renewable energy track record in the commercial sector. Aside from nuts-and-bolts advantages such as lower utility costs, long term price stability, energy security, and the potential for grid independence (aka on site generation with energy storage), businesses are realizing the branding advantages of powering their products and operations with renewable energy.
340 Renewable Energy Investors Join Forces
With that in mind, take a look at what the 340 are up to. The press conference hasn’t taken place as of this writing (it’s skedded for 10:00 EST), but you can get links to the materials, including a complete list of the 340 renewable energy investors, through Ceres and other stakeholders later today.
The press conference is being hosted by Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk, Europe’s Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, the Investors Group on Climate Change in Australia and New Zealand, the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and Principles for Responsible Investment.
With 340 institutional renewable energy investors signed on to its manifest, the group is calling for an “ambitious” global climate agreement by the end of 2015. In terms of finance, the aim is to establish market confidence for institutional renewable energy investors, in order to accelerate the flow of dollars into clean tech. Here’s the nut of the argument:
Ultimately, in order to deliver real changes in investment flows, international policy commitments need to be implemented into national laws and regulations.
As for the details, the group is calling for carbon pricing, regulatory support for energy efficiency and renewable energy, financial support for clean energy R&D as well as deployment, and a phase-out of subsidies for fossil fuels.
Recognizing that climate change is already happening under our feet, the group is also calling for adaptation and resilience strategies that support renewable energy investment.
Agenda 21, Much?
Well, it looks like Ceres and friends have their work cut out for them. Here in the US, for example, don’t be surprised if you see the already red-hot conservative reaction to the UN’s Agenda 21 sustainability guidelines burst forth into a new froth of paranoia over this latest manifestation of jack-booted thuggery.
Also keep in mind the enormous stake that Koch Industries has in the fossil fuel sector, which the Koch brothers have translated into a gigantic lobbying effort. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil is doubling down on its shale gas-to-plastics investment in Baytown, Texas, and certain US legislators are pushing for more fossil fuel exports from the US.
Follow me on Twitter and Google+
Image (cropped and altered): Charlotte Disipio-Grillo, cc license.
I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.