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Monday, March 10, 2008

As the Science Pours In, Economists and Investors Call for Action

It seems that a scientific study emerges nearly every month highlighting the grave threats posed by global warming, and the ever-increasing need to reduce global warming pollution as quickly as possible. While federal response can be slow going, and has hardly ever been known to be quick, the private sector is on the move with economists and entrepreneurs jumping into investment in clean energy technology and petitioning big business for action on global warming.

A recent survey of investors, entrepreneurs and analysts found that roughly 24 percent of investors feel that clean energy technology will receive the most investment in the next two years, more than any other sector! And in 2007, venture investors globally invested $3 billion in 221 clean energy technology companies, up 43 percent from 2006.

There is also a growing network of environmentally minded investors who are unsatisfied with the conduct of some of the world's biggest corporations, and are flexing their monetary muscles to influence companies' behavior. The Investor Network on Climate Risk, 60 institutional investors whose collective assets total more than $5 trillion, is an ever-growing alliance focused on environmentally-sound investments. Several of these investors have filed 54 global warming shareholder resolutions -- a record number of environmental resolutions -- with Big Oil and Coal, airlines, banks and other large corporations that they feel are severely missing the mark when it comes to doing their part to fight global warming and mitigate its impacts.

ExxonMobil, Chevron, Southwest Airlines, U.S. Air, GM, Dynegy, Massey Energy, Ford and Citigroup are several of the corporations that the investors are targeting...

Such actions from investors signals a lack of tolerance for polluting industries' business-as-usual models in the face of mounting evidence concerning global warming; such industries must modify their conduct if they desire ongoing private investment. The federal government also changed the way that the coal industry will do business in rural communities last week, suspending their hefty loan program, and if the private sector holds the coal industry accountable as well, it will have nowhere to hide!

"Assessing Climate Change is an Essential Part of Intelligent Investing" - William C. Thompson Jr. New York City Comptroller, member of INCR


Sarah Keen said...

That's very good news! I really think that companies are getting wiser and more thoughful about solar and wind power and all of the alternative energies option on which country must focus it's energies (pardon the pun). The college I work for, Art Center, has a lot of students who work on creating new products with greener, smarter design. It's a start I guess. Also the school is hosting a major event called "Disruptive Thinking," which will bring together "disruptive" thinkers who challenge the status quo and demand new modes of creativity in areas that influence every aspect of our lives: climate change, geopolitics, business, science, and most importantly design. If you're interested in it, here's a link to the blog:

Anonymous said...

Here is one guy that changed his mind about man-made global warming. I wonder what real problems are being ignored because money is spent on this cause.