U.S. investors also added some domestic demands. Citing that the U.S. lags behind Europe and Asia both in clean energy investing, at less than half what those continents spend. "Climate change may be out of vogue in Washington today, but it poses serious financial risks that are not going away and will only increase the longer we delay enacting sensible policies to transition to a low-carbon economy," said Jack Ehnes, chief executive officer of the California State Teachers' Retirement System, the nation's second largest public pension fund with $141 billion in assets and one of the signatories.
Globally, low-carbon investment is increasing, especially in Asia. Still, substantially more money would flow to clean tech if better government policies were in place, according to a statement from Calvert Investments. They say global clean energy investment will top $200 billion in 2010, up a tad from 2009, but substantially less than the $500 billion that Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the World Economic Forum say is needed, per year, by 2020 to restrict global warming to below 2 degrees. Complicated and clunky on the numbers there, but the point is, not nearly enough money is going to renewable energy, and these investors feel that they can't do it alone; the governments of the world need to help.
This is what they call for:
Today's statement comes in advance of the next round of climate negotiations known as COP16 in Cancún, beginning Nov. 29. Global governments will try to negotiate a new international climate policy to substitute the Kyoto Protocol. No agreement or consensus is expected out of that summit, so the more pressure, from the more corners, the better.
This statement, after all, is just words on paper directed at the meeting in Cancún. Action is what is needed. There's plenty each of these money managers can do without a climate policy in place, and as GOOD pointed out in March, the business community needs to take some responsibility for the climate talks as well. Do you think this statement does it? What else should this investor group do, with one quarter of the world's assets in their charge?
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