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- Marching Since: October 27, 2005
When Ceres first suggested that climate change poses enormous risks and opportunities in virtually every sector of our economy, many doubted that Wall Street or institutional investors would ever pay attention. This has changed.>
Today, investors around the globe realize that climate change and emerging limits on greenhouse gas emissions pose new challenges for global companies and investors. Whether it’s cars in Canada, aluminum in Europe, or electric power in the United States, the carbon footprint of goods and services made by U.S. companies is a growing competitive factor.
Fortunately, a growing number of major investors, many of them part of the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), are taking action. At a recent climate risk summit organized by Ceres at the United Nations, more than two-dozen leading institutional investors, representing $3.2 trillion in assets, endorsed a 10-point action plan seeking deeper analysis, disclosure and action from Wall Street firms, securities regulators and companies on the business risks and opportunities from climate change. U.S. and European investors also pledged to invest $1 billion in companies with clean technologies that stand to benefit as greenhouse gas limits become more widespread.
This dramatic surge in investor activity on climate change is not about doing what is environmentally-sound. It’s about prudent financial and strategic planning that will make our companies more viable and profitable in the years ahead. For many years, it has been environmentalists leading the charge on climate change. But it will require companies, environmental groups, investors and politicians working together to confront this daunting challenge to keep our economy thriving for generations to come.
Mindy S. Lubber is the president of Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental groups spearheading national and international activity to make global warming a leading business issue. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk a network of 50-plus institutional investors with over $3 trillion in assets. For more information, visit www.ceres.org