Trillions of dollars need to be invested in clean technology, and governments need to enact policies that will combat climate change, according to 259 investors from North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Latin America and Africa. The investors, who have collective assets over $15 trillion (more than a quarter of global capital), issued a statement which called on governments to enact the following policies:
- Short, mid and long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets
- Energy and transportation policies to accelerate deployment of energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, clean vehicles and clean fuels
- Strong and sustained price signals on carbon emissions and well-designed carbon markets
- Phase out fossil-fuel subsidies, as agreed to by G-20 leaders in 2009
- Adaptation measures to reduce unavoidable climate change impacts
- Corporate disclosure of material climate-related risks
The statement points out that present investment levels are not high enough. Global clean tech investments are expected to be over $200 billion this year, up a bit from last year. Bloomberg new Energy Finance and the World Economic Forum say $500 billion a year is needed to restrict warming to less than two degrees. “Private investment will only flow at the scale and pace necessary if it is supported by clear, credible, and long-term policy frameworks that shift the risk-reward balance in favor of less carbon-intensive investment,” the statement said.
“Current investment levels fall well short of what is needed to stem the rise of global temperatures and adapt to a warming world,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk. “Strong government policies that reward clean technologies and discourage dirty technologies are essential for closing the climate investment gap and building a low-carbon global economy.”
“The nation’s leaders should take the cue from California, where strong clean energy policies have spurred American innovation and created thousands of jobs,” 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.