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World's Biggest Investors Join Climate Change Chorus

Group says 'trillions at risk,' calls for stronger government policies

Common Dreams staff

Investors are speaking out about the huge economic risks to ignoring climate change. (Photo by ironmanixs via Flickr)

Better late than never, a coalition of the world's largest investors have joined the chorus of activists, scientists, journalists, etc. that has been warning of the impending catastrophe that is climate change.

On Tuesday, the alliance of investors issued an open letter asking governments to get serious about emission standards and sustainable development or risk trillions of dollars in investment and disruption to economies worldwide, Reuters reports.

The assembly, together responsible for managing $22.5 trillion in assets, said, "The investments and retirement savings of millions of people were being jeopardized because governments were delaying tougher emissions cuts or more generous support for greener energy."

"Strong carbon-reducing government policies are an urgent imperative," said Chris Davis, Director of Investor Programs at Ceres, a national coalition of investors advocating sustainable business practices.

In an ironic pivot, the investor group is calling on governments to enact policies and regulation to expedite the shift to cleaner energy. According to Reuters, "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."

This letter comes on the heels of a World Bank report which said that maintaining current climate policies would ensure global warming of up to 4 degrees Celsius by 2100 with catastophic consequences. The report was issued despite the Bank's own record of spending 25 percent of its energy lending – 3.4 billion dollars – on coal-fired power plants, as pointed out:

Both announcements come less than a week before the U.N. climate conference in Doha, Qatar, where almost 200 nations will meet to discuss the extension of the Kyoto Protocol.

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