Investors Managing $4 Trillion Call on Congress to Tackle Global Climate Change
Investor/Business Coalition Touts Competitive Benefits of Strong Federal Legislation; Includes Call for 60-90 Percent Greenhouse Gas Reductions
Washington, DC — March 19, 2007
For the first time, dozens of institutional investors managing $4 trillion in assets today called on U.S. lawmakers to enact strong federal legislation to curb the pollution causing global climate change. Joined by a dozen leading U.S. companies, the investor group outlined the business and economic rationale for climate action as they called for a national policy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions consistent with targets scientists say are needed to avoid the dangerous impacts of global warming.
The group, organized by Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk, issued a Climate Call to Action at a press conference today in Washington DC. The 65 signers include institutional investors and asset managers such as Merrill Lynch, Allianz and the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), as well as leading corporations such as BP America, PG&E, DuPont, Alcoa, Sun Microsystems and National Grid. (See full list below)
In endorsing the statement, investors and companies sent a strong message that climate policy uncertainty and the lack of federal regulations may be undermining their long-term competitiveness because it is preventing them from investing in clean energy and climate-friendly technologies and practices.
"Global warming presents enormous risks and opportunities for U.S. businesses and investors,” said Fred R. Buenrostro, chief executive officer at CalPERS, the country’s largest public pension fund with $230 billion in assets. "To tap American ingenuity and drive business to a leadership position in the low-carbon future, we need regulations to enable the markets to deploy capital and spur innovation.”
“Investors and companies are asking Washington to set a clear policy direction to address the risks of climate change,” said Ceres president Mindy S. Lubber, whose organization also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk. “The greatest climate risk facing investors and business is the uncertainty caused by the absence of U.S. policy.”
Climate change presents far-reaching risks and opportunities for businesses and investors. Some companies in sectors such as electric power, oil and automotive will face high financial risks from carbon-reducing regulations if they are not prepared to act. Insurance companies and businesses with infrastructure in places vulnerable to extreme weather events also face financial exposure. On the flip side, climate change presents significant economic opportunities for businesses that invest in new technologies and products to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Citing these trends – as well as recent scientific reports concluding that climate change is taking place and that human activities are the primary contributor – investors and companies called for the following three actions:
Contact: Peyton Fleming, Ceres, 617-247-0700 x20
or 617-733-6660 cell
Peter Kelley, 202-270-8831 cell