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CEOs and Investors Call for Climate and Energy Legislation
By Steve Schueth

 In January 2010, some of the world’s largest investors released a state­ment calling on the U.S. and other governments to move quickly to adopt strong national climate policies. Less than a week later, 83 chief executives from U.S. businesses sent a letter to President Obama and members of Congress calling on them to quickly move to enact compre­hensive climate and energy legislation to create jobs and enhance U.S. competitiveness.

 Saying that the U.S. is “falling behind” in the global clean energy race, the CEOs called for forceful leadership to unleash innovation, drive economic growth, and boost energy independence. The CEO letter was signed by the leaders of some of the nation’s largest electric power, manufacturing, clean tech, technology, and consumer finance companies.

The letter states: “We need strong policies and clear market signals that support the transition to a low-carbon economy and reward compa­nies that innovate.”

Saying “we cannot wait for a global treaty,” U.S., European, and Aus­tralian investor groups representing $13 trillion in assets also called on the U.S. Congress and other global decision-makers “to take rapid ac­tion” on carbon emission limits, energy efficiency, renewable energy, fi­nancing mechanisms, and other policies that will accelerate clean energy investment and job creation. These investors made it clear that there are competitive advantages for countries with comprehensive climate and energy policies.

“Investors are poised and ready to scale up investments in building the low carbon economy, but without policies that create a stable in­vestment environment our hands are tied,” said Anne Stausboll, Chief Executive Officer of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), the nation’s largest public pension fund with more than $205 billion in assets.

Noting that the comprehensive climate change policies in Germany have led to “eight times more renewable energy jobs per capita than the United States,” the investor statement said, “Governments must provide clear and ambitious policy signals to attract international invest­ment and be competitive in the global race to develop and tran­sition to clean energy and other low-carbon technologies.”

Steven J. Schueth
President
steveschueth@firstaffirmative.com

Posted: April 15, 2010