Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Figueres: A Cool Green Trillion, subtle call for divestment

The UN's climate boss has called for a massive retooling of the planet's human energy system, essentially a divestment program.

"The biggest investors – pension funds, insurance companies, foundations and investment managers – control about $76tn in assets, according to OECD figures.

But by Figueres's estimate, those institutional investors were committing less than 2% of the funds under their control to clean energy infrastructure – compared to 10% or 15% that was still going into coal and oil.

"Last year, we had $300bn, and in the same year we had double that amount invested in exploration and mining in fossil fuels. So you can see that the ratio is not where it needs to be. We need to be at the opposite ratio."
Now, we sit back and wait for the anti-UN, anti-science fireworks from the dirty energy lobby.

Unfortunately for said lobby, and fortunately for our small planet, institutional investors, especially the big public employee pension funds, are relatively immune to right-wing fuming. It's the one area of high finance where public opinion and the public trust really counts.

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