GLOBAL - The economic downturn is no excuse to delay urgent negotiations over climate change agreements, some of the world's leading investors and pension funds have said.
Stephanie Pfeifer, programme director with the European Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), one of the bodies behind the statement, said: "A strong global agreement will provide companies, governments and investors with the incentives to act quickly and efficiently in tackling climate change."
The statement detailed the steps investors wanted to see in order to allocate capital in a way which would support climate change action and the transformation to a low carbon economy, including both long and medium-term emission reduction targets for developed nations, backed up by effective national plans.
The plan also called on emerging countries to cut emissions and increase energy efficiency, expand carbon-trading markets, reverse deforestation and commit to planning for the physical impact of climate change.
Jack Ehnes, CEO of the US$147bn California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), said: "The interdependency of the world's economies is now painfully clear in this crisis driven in part by those reaching for short-term, quick profits.
"CalSTRS takes the long view and understands the danger of climate change to our members retirement security. The path to global financial recovery must include a coordinated effort to assess climate risk and take steps to mitigate that risk."
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