As the great scholars AC/DC once said: “Money talks.”
Recently, a lot of that money has been talking about reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Last week we told you how U.S. banks will no longer finance the construction of coal plants unless the plant can operate profitably under a theoretical emissions cap.
This week, some of the world’s largest investment funds demanded that Congress introduce measures to reduce the United States’ emissions to 90% below 1990 levels by the year 2050. They also asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates U.S. financial activity, to force companies on the New York Stock Exchange to publish their exposures to climate change risks. They want analysts to calculate the carbon costs of companies, particularly in the energy and oil industries, who are involved in high pollution activities.
The group is composed of 40 investment giants who together control over $1.5 trillion. The request was made at the Investor Summit on Climate Risk in New York. They hope to boost investment in clean energy technology and promote investors’ awareness of the activities they may be promoting by investing in a company.
Alain Grisay, CEO of massive London investment firm F&C Asset Management, wants clear and quick government action on the climate. He believes that the economy will not be harmed if investors are aware of the : “Investors and industry need certainty over what the regulatory regime will be over the next two to three decades in order to release the billions of investment capital that will finance the shift we need to make to a low-carbon energy system.”
That’s a telling statement. Most businesses are now treating global regulations on carbon emissions as an eventuality. Don’t think their calls are completely altruistic, although they’re likely not completely self-serving either. Investors want to know what will be happening in this field in the future so they can prepare a strategy and make money. If there’s going to be a global sea change in emissions law, BP is going to be less profitable and they might want to move their money elsewhere. Like all financial decisions, it’s motivated by a desire for profit. Yet this call to arms by financial giants could have a huge positive influence on the future, and helps dispel the argument that emissions regulations would wreck the global economy.
Info from Guardian