Money Talks: The $15-trillion Investors Taking on Climate Change COP16 Climate Change Policy Demanded by Investor Group Worth $15 Trillion

A group of investors-collectively worth as much as the U.S. GDP-have signed a United Nations call for a coordinated climate policy.

A group of investors—collectively worth as much as the GDP of the United States—have signed a United Nations statement calling for a coordinated international policy on climate change. Their message, as you'd expect from the stewards of $15 trillion, isn't moral so much as it is economic. Specifically, the investors argue that a damaged planet will hurt business, and they estimate as much as a 20 percent drop in GDP by 2050 if action isn't taken to shift investments to low-carbon technologies.

Signatories of the statement come from 259 organizations on every continent except Antarctica. Major international banks, like HSBC and Alianz, joined with the U.N. Environment Program, a dozen U.S. pension funds, and developing world investment firms and banks.

U.S. investors also added in some domestic demands. Citing that the U.S. lags behind Europe and Asia both in clean energy investing, at less than half what those continents spend. "Climate change may be out of vogue in Washington today, but it poses serious financial risks that are not going away and will only increase the longer we delay enacting sensible policies to transition to a low-carbon economy," 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 and one of the signatories.

Globally, low-carbon global investment is increasing, especially in Asia. Still, substantially more money would flow to clean-tech if better government policies were in place, according to a statement from Calvert Investments. They say global clean energy investment will top $200 billion in 2010, up a tad from 2009, but substantially less than the $500 billion that Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the World Economic Forum say is needed, per year, by 2020 to restrict global warming to below 2 degrees. Complicated and clunky on the numbers there, but the point is, not nearly enough money is going to renewable energy, and these investors feel that they can't do it alone; the governments of the world need to help.

This is what they call for:

Prudent investors around the world have therefore joined to endorse this statement. We welcome a dialogue with governments and international institutions on the policies and finance tools needed to catalyze private investment in the low-carbon economy. In particular, investors are calling for:

• Domestic policy frameworks to catalyze renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other low-carbon infrastructure, so as to provide investors with the certainty needed to invest with confidence in receiving long-term risk-adjusted returns.

• International agreement on climate financial architecture, delivery of climate funding, reducing deforestation, robust measurement, reporting, and verification, and other areas necessary to set the global rules of the road, bolster investor confidence, and allow financing to flow.

• International finance tools that help mitigate the high levels of risk private investors face in making climate-related investments in developing countries, enabling dramatic increases in private investment.


Today's statement comes in advance of the next round of climate negotiations known as COP16 in Cancún, beginning November 29. Global governments will try to negotiate a new international climate policy to substitute the Kyoto Protocol. No agreement or consensus is expected out of that summit, so the more pressure, from the more corners, the better.

This statement, after all, is just a words on paper directed at the leaders meeting in Cancún. Action is what is needed. There's plenty each of these money managers can do without a climate policy in place, and as GOOD pointed out in March, the business community needs to take some responsibility for the climate talks as well. Do you think this statement does it? What else should this investor group do, with one quarter of the world's assets in their charge?

Read the full statement in PDF and the press release from UNEP.

Image: (CC) by Flickr user Señor Codo.

via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

Keep Reading Show less
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.


Four black women, Engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan, worked as "human computers" at NASA during the Space Race, making space travel possible through their complex calculations. Jackson, Johnson, and Vaughn all played a vital role in helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.

They worked behind the scenes, but now they're getting the credit they deserve as their accomplishments are brought to the forefront. Their amazing stories were detailed in the book "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race" by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later turned into a movie. (Darden was not featured in the movie, but was in the book). Johnson has a building at NASA named after her, and a street in front of NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters was renamed "Hidden Figures Way."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News
Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

They found that kids who had more than one hour of screen time a day without parental supervision had lower levels of development in their brain's white matter, which is important when it comes to developing cognitive skills, language, and literacy.

Keep Reading Show less