Thursday, September 21, 2006

Investors track global warming strategies on Wall Street

A number of institutional investors - 225 to be exact, with $31 trillion in assets - are analyzing the way the world's largest companies deal with global warming.

The Carbon Disclosure Project collects information about which companies are preparing for the impacts of global warming and how they are doing it. Investors like Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs are seeking the information, and companies like GE and Apple Computers are providing it. Read their responses here.

But it doesn't seem to be changing much, or at least not fast enough to seriously combat global warming. The CDP report itself estimates that less than 0.1 percent of investment managers integrate global warming risk, so are the big-wig companies like Merrill lynch even using this information?

Awareness has exploded with Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth," Tom Brokaw's
special and the covers of national news magazines, but action is lagging by investors and companies alike. As Al Gore said, the market by itself isn't going to solve global warming. "Governments must enact new policies to speed up the responses to the climate change crisis."

Indeed, the CDP report found that much of corporate America's investment in alternative energy is based on the assumption that the federal government will regulate carbon dioxide emission in the near future.

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