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Investors call on policy-makers to encourage low-carbon investment

16 Sep 2009

The world’s largest global investors grouped together to call upon international policy makers to take strong action in the fight against global warming.

Amid growing attention on upcoming climate treaty talks in Copenhagen, investors said a strong and binding international treaty should be implemented to catalyse global investment in low-carbon technologies.

Signed by 181 investors collectively managing more than $13tn in assets, the investor statement is the largest of its kind on climate change in world history.

The statement was co-ordinated by Investor Network on Climate Risk, the European Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, the Investors Group on Climate Change and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative.

‘Unmitigated climate change poses a threat to the global economy,’ said Lord Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics. ‘But 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.’

The investors’ group is seeking a global target for emissions reduction of 50-85 per cent by 2050, developed country emissions reduction targets of 80-95 per cent by 2050 with interim targets of 25-40 per cent by 2020 and developing country action plans that deliver verifiable emission reductions. In addition, governments should support the move to an effective global carbon market, including caps, allowances and links between different trading schemes and finally, public financing mechanisms that leverage private sector finance for investment in developing countries should be introduced.

‘Climate change has quite rightly been framed as the greatest market failure ever. The magnitude of the negative economic impacts and the potential of climate change to bankrupt our global financial system, as well as to threaten the planet’s life supporting natural ecosystems, are chilling,’ added Rob Tacon, chair of UNEP Finance Initiative. ‘The financial services community in general, and long-term institutional investors in particular, can play a critical leadership role in ensuring that capital at scale is directed to the emerging clean, green, low carbon economy that will underpin the most vibrant industries of the future.’

Copyright © 2009 NewNet

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