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Investors Managing $4 Trillion Call on Congress to Tackle Global Climate Change

20 March 2007

Dozens of institutional investors managing a combined $4 trillion in assets called on the US Congress to enact strong federal legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Joined by a dozen leading US 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 in Washington DC. The 65 signers include institutional investors and asset managers such as Merrill Lynch, and the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), as well as leading corporations such as BP America, Allianz, PG&E, DuPont, Alcoa, Sun Microsystems and National Grid.

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.

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:

  • Leadership by the US government to achieve sizable, sensible long-term reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with the 60-90% reductions below 1990 levels by 2050 that scientists and climate models suggest is urgently needed to avoid worst case scenarios. Wherever possible, the national policy should include mandatory market-based solutions, such as a cap-and-trade system, that establish an economy-wide carbon price, allow for flexibility and encourage innovation.

  • A realignment of national energy and transportation policies to stimulate research, development and deployment of new and existing clean technologies at the scale necessary to achieve GHG reduction goals.

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to clarify what companies should disclose to investors on climate change in their regular financial reporting.

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March 20, 2007 in Climate Change, Policy | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Why is this article in Green car congress? It has no product or technical discussion.
My only comment, is we are at the point of no return about global warming and "whatever will be, will be".
So enjoy Planet Earth the way it is now, for once the permafrost melts, the released Methane will accerelate warming.
Future generations will adjust as have past generations.

It has a tremendous ramification on the future of automobile design, including (but not limited to) the desirability and cost of more fuel efficient vehicles.

Arnt these the same asshats that pulled huge amounts of investments in the us the last time we pushed up enviro laws and thus hurt thier all mighty profits?

No. Different asshats.

Meaningful steps can be free.

Yesterday, the Canadian Federal government budget allowed a credit of up to $2000 (each) for the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles (under 5.5 L/Km average for cars and under 8.3 L/Km average for SUVs) while adding an extra levy of up to $4000 on every gas guzzler (over 13.0 L/Km)

Many Canadian Provinces will or already
have taken similar measures.

Depending of where you live, the financial advantage for the purchase of a fuel efficient Hybrid (or any vehicle with better than 5.5 L/Km) versus a gas guzzler may be as much as $10 000.

Those measures are almost revenue neutral but are a good first step for the reduction of personnal transportation GHG in the coming years.

“Toyota anticipates that Canadians who purchase the Prius are eligible for a rebate of $2,000 under this program, Camry Hybrid will be eligible for a $1,500 rebate under this program.
In addition, a number of Toyota vehicles should qualify for the $1,000 rebate, including Yaris Hatch or Yaris with a Trunk, the ever-popular Toyota Corolla with manual transmission, and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid intermediate SUV.
In addition, the Lexus RX 400h - the hybrid version of the most popular Lexus model in Canada - should qualify under this program for a $1,000 rebate.”

1 $US = 1.16 $CA

Rocky Mountain Institute (rmi.org) calls them "feebates". You charge a fee for gas guzzlers that goes to assist people buying fuel efficient cars. If someone that buys a 13 mpg SUV pays a $5000 fee and that fee goes to pay $1000 to 5 people buying 40 mpg hybrids, then it is revenue neutral.

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