Business must take climate change seriously say investors

A series of workshops explore new ways of doing business that can help the world transition into a more sustainable global communityinvestment

Is climate change a funding and investment game stopper? Photograph: Peter Cade/Getty Images

Businesses must take the issue of climate change seriously if they are to enjoy the backing of institutional investors, a Business Council for Sustainable Development UK (BCSD-UK) workshop was told. World leading experts also gave an indication of the magnitude of the climate change impact on investment activity.

Craig McKenzie, head of sustainability at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, and one of the authors of a guide issued by leading investors, said: «In January 2012, 200 large institutional investors from the largest pension funds and asset managers across the world, between them representing $20tn of assets under management and one third of the invested assets, published a report on the expectations of corporate climate risk management. They are pushing the energy efficiency agenda and monitoring whether companies are adhering to these expectations».

The Pathway event asked the question: is climate change a funding and investment game stopper? It involved five local workshops in Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds and London all connected via the web and with the «hub» event hosted in London by PA Consulting,

Dr Rory Sullivan, senior research fellow at University of Leeds and senior advisor at Ethix SRI Advisors, an internationally recognised expert on the financial and investment implications of climate change, said: «There was $200bn invested in renewable energy in 2010. This represented half or one third of the investment required if we are to avert the most dangerous impacts of climate change. Even though this is impressive, it is significantly short of the rate of investment that we require for going forward».

John Firth, founder and CEO of specialist consultancy Acclimatise, said: «the cost of climate change across some countries is at least 7% as a minimum of GDP every year and going forward, some will rarely exceed 5% growth on GDP. Straight away you see that the potential risk is in effect they are in permanent recession.»

Thierry Berthoud, managing director of energy and climate at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development,

said: «There are 20 climate funds and close to 700 programmes. Eight billion US dollars has been approved for this climate fund – the largest one is the Japanese Hatoyama initiative which is $3.5bn. But only $1.7 has been distributed through these funds The single largest project is $350m which is the Eskom project in South Africa. There are 68 programmes above $10m, so basically not a very large scale yet through the climate fund, significant but not very lasting».

Video coverage of the event can be seen here. This was the fourth Pathway workshop in an ongoing series in which the BCSD-UK explores new ways of doing business that are positive contributions to the transition process needed to help the global community become sustainable

Source / Fuente:

Author / Autor: World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Date / Fecha: 03/04/12

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