Investing massively in climate change mitigation


dollars01.jpgBy reading Al Gore’s blog, I came to a very interesting fact. Investors are more and more interested in projects that are due to mitigate climate change.

As I was reporting earlier this month, renewable energies are witnessing a real boom of private investments and it seems it is only the beginning.

I discovered while writing this article that a network of investors and environmentalists exists since 1989 with the CERES.

According to the Associated Press (AP) article :

Al Gore advised Wall Street leaders and institutional investors Thursday to ditch businesses too reliant on carbon-intensive energy — or prepare for huge losses down the road.

“You need to really scrub your investment portfolios, because I guarantee you — as my longtime good redneck friends in Tennessee say, I guarandamntee you — that if you really take a fine-tooth comb and go through your portfolios, many of you are going to find them chock-full of subprime carbon assets,” the former vice president said.

(…) Gore’s remarks before a high-profile business crowd that collectively controls some $20 trillion in capital were intended to unleash a financial ripple effect that could force the world to start putting a price on carbon emissions.

Gore, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to warn about climate change, compared the financial risks facing investors in carbon-using industries with the meltdown in the market for subprime mortgages given to people with blemished credit records or low incomes.

“Similarly, the assumption that you can safely invest in assets that come from business models that assume carbon is free is an assumption that is about to go splat,” he said. “You have lots of assets, many of you do, in your portfolios right now that truly do deserve that epithet ‘subprime.'”

The U.N. played host to nearly 500 prominent financial leaders and institutional investors who came searching for insights on shifting business currents as the world shifts to cleaner energy sources and fuels.

“As soon as people believe carbon has a price, it’s going to have a price,” said Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist who was one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems.

Peter Darbee, chairman and CEO of PG&E Corp., an energy-based company in San Francisco, said cleaner-burning utilities should be rewarded and “those that burn coal should have to pay for clean energy.”

(…) At the last such meeting in 2005, participants pledged to invest $1 billion in clean energy technologies and followed up by doing that in less than a year.

“The shift towards a greener future is still in its infancy and needs nurturing,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told participants Thursday. “While the world looks to the U.N. to steward the negotiating process, the United Nations looks to you, as leaders in the financial sector, to lead in innovating financing and technological development.”

(…) Timothy Wirth, president of the U.N. Foundation, called the drive to adopt new energy sources would prove to be “as important as the computer revolution in generating new wealth and jobs.”

But investing in renewables is not the only sector that is increasing as investments in energy efficiency are also becoming to be interesting.

Further reading :

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