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Even the 1% Are Worried About Climate Change


The COP 17 climate talks to take place in Durban, South Africa are approaching, and 285 of the world’s biggest investors, representing $20 trillion in assets, have signed a letter supporting worldwide policy changes to address CO2 emissions.

This is not a gesture of philanthropy, but of financial self-interest. This year’s record-breaking natural disasters have already cost the world billions, and climate change will almost certainly cost hundreds of billions more, even if we stopped all emissions this second.

Since 2008, the number of investors supporting climate action increased from 150 managing $9 trillion in assets to 285 managing $20 trillion.

Respecting the environment does make good business sense, and not just because doing business requires a civilization that hasn’t collapsed. The video below, made by the US-based Rocky Mountain Institute, outlines the opportunities for profit associated with  developing renewable energy, and encourages American businesses to seize them:

Some companies have already begun to capitalize on this opportunity. For instance, Facebook and Opower are currently working with the Natural Resources Defense Council to create an app that will encourage users to improve their energy efficiency, and let them compare their energy use with with that of their friends.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. John Erickson permalink
    10/19/2011 9:34 PM

    And the disasters keep on coming. Indochina is getting drowned out, the Philippines just got done with a big storm, Japan is just NOW cleaning up from Fukushima. And now summer approaches a rain-deficient Australia – I sincerely hope they don’t get nailed with the wildfires again. And I heard on the German Deutsche Welle News that Moscow and Kiev are in single digit temperatures already! Not to mention my beloved hometown of Chicago is getting slammed by 25-foot waves. And isn’t Phoenix about due for another dust storm brownout?
    I can see why folks like Harold Camping keep predicting Armageddon!
    The growth industry I’m waiting for is taking old military amphibious landing equipment and converting it for civilian uses in coastal and island areas. Shoot, there’s a couple of our Marine Expeditionary Units that have been doing ONLY that kind of work, and one of our two hospital ships has been steaming up and down South America’s coast (albeit on non-disaster humanitarian missions, so I guess that doesn’t really count). The military’s next growth industry – littoral rescue?

    • 10/20/2011 11:00 PM

      Not sure if Armageddon is in the cards, but I know we’re in for a tumultuous century, one way or another.

      It’s going to be a story of either stunning human ingenuity or devastating collapse.

      I’m hoping the former!

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