Global investors call for action on serious climate danger

SINGAPORE Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:36pm IST

The Sheldon Glacier with Mount Barre in the background, is seen from Ryder Bay near Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica, in this NASA handout photo. REUTERS/British Antarctic Survey/Handout

The Sheldon Glacier with Mount Barre in the background, is seen from Ryder Bay near Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica, in this NASA handout photo.

Credit: Reuters/British Antarctic Survey/Handout

Related Topics

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A coalition of the world's largest investors called on governments on Tuesday to ramp up action on climate change and boost clean-energy investment or risk trillions of dollars in investments and disruption to economies.

In an open letter, the alliance of institutional investors, responsible for managing $22.5 trillion in assets, said rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions and more extreme weather were increasing investment risks globally.

The group called for dialogue between investors and governments to overhaul climate and energy policies.

The call comes less than a week before major U.N. climate talks in Doha, Qatar. Almost 200 nations will meet in Doha from November 26 to December 7 to try to extend the Kyoto Protocol, the existing plan for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by developed nations that runs to the end of 2012.

On Sunday, the World Bank said current climate policies meant the world was heading for a warming of up to 4 degrees Celsius by 2100. That will trigger deadly heat waves and droughts, cut food stocks and drive up sea levels.

"Current policies are insufficient to avert serious and dangerous impacts from climate change," said the group of investors from the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The investments and retirement savings of millions of people were being jeopardised because governments were delaying tougher emissions cuts or more generous support for greener energy.

The group said the right policies would prompt institutional investors to significantly increase investments in cleaner energy and energy efficiency, citing existing policies that have unleashed billions of dollars of renewable energy investment in China, the United States and Europe.

But many economies were still going to be heavily reliant on polluting fossil fuels such as coal, and policies needed to be implemented to speed up the shift to cleaner energy, the investors said.

They issued seven action points, including slashing fossil fuel subsidies and boosting carbon markets, for governments to focus on and said the re-election of Barack Obama in the United States and the leadership change in China were an opportunity to push for tougher climate talks.

"Strong carbon-reducing government policies are an urgent imperative," said Chris Davis, director of investor programs at Ceres, a U.S.-based coalition of investors and green groups.

"Hurricane Sandy, which caused more than $50 billion in economic losses, is typical of what we can expect if no action is taken and warming trends continue," said Davis, who also works for the Investor Network on Climate Risk, which groups 100 institutional investors with assets of more than $11 trillion.

(Editing by Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Markets

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Segway in India

Segway in India

Segway’s India business pegs hope on tech-savvy Modi  Full Article 

Power Outage

Power Outage

Mumbai hit by power cuts  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Gold imports, premiums to jump on festive demand - top refiner  Full Article 

Economic Worries

Economic Worries

Pakistan's promises to IMF in doubt as protests sap economy   Full Article 

Islamic Finance

Islamic Finance

Basel III deposit challenge looms over Islamic banks   Full Article 

Antitrust Probes

Antitrust Probes

U.S. business lobby says concerned China antitrust probes unfair.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage