$546bn investor group backs US Environmental Protection Agency on greenhouse gases

Domestic and overseas investors in plea to political leaders

A group of 44 international investors with $546bn (€388bn) in assets under management have written to the leaders of the US Senate urging them to back the Environmental Protection Agency on greenhouse gas regulations.

They warn the US risks falling behind other countries in the “new energy economy” as well as identifying risks for companies in their investment portfolios.

Signatories to the March 29 letter include US-based socially responsible investors such as Calvert Asset Management, Domini Social Investments, Christian Brothers Investment Services, Trillium Asset Management and Walden Asset Management.

Also listed are religious investment institutions as well as non-US investors such as Canada’s British Columbia Investment Management Corp., the UK’s Henderson Global Investors, Local Authority Pension Fund Forum and F&C Management and Mn Services of the Netherlands.

They are urging Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and their colleagues to allow the EPA to take the lead in addressing climate change by passing comprehensive climate and energy legislation.
“As investors we prefer long-term certainty on energy and climate policy to be able to predict investmentrisks and opportunities,” the group states.

“While we realize that complete certainty is not feasible, inconsistent and volatile clean energy and climate policies have already resulted in capital moving overseas and job loss in the United States.

“Until the US provides more reliable and positive signals to the market on regulation of greenhouse gases that can unleash investment in clean energy and low-carbon technologies, America will continue to fall behind other countries in creating a new energy economy.”

Last month the Pew Environment Group released a study which found that both China and Germany were ahead of the US in clean energy technology investments in 2010.

The investors add that they are concerned about the potential adverse impacts of climate change on economic growth and “the prospects of the companies held in our investment portfolios”.

They cite extreme weather events that have disrupted corporate supply chains worldwide.

“Regulation of US greenhouse gas emissions is needed to help avoid the most severe consequences of unchecked climate change, and to help avoid the significant costs of adapting to the physical impacts of climate change,” they conclude. Link to letter