Ethical Performance
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US investors fight back on behalf of EPA

May 2011

A group of international investors managing more than $500billion (£306bn, €349bn) has demanded in a letter that the US Senate support the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on greenhouse gas regulations.

While political backing for restraining the EPA’s power grows, mainly from Republican quarters, the 44 investors have urged senators to allow the organization to take the lead as ‘the only foreseeable method’ for tackling climate change through regulation.

The letter, whose signatories include Calvert, Domini and Trillium, concedes that Congress should pass ‘comprehensive climate and energy legislation’, but says that until then the EPA must be allowed to use its existing authority.

As opposition to climate change regulation and even climate science itself increases on the US political right, the investors say they are ‘concerned about the potential adverse impacts of climate change on economic growth and in turn the prospects of the companies held in our investment portfolios’.

The letter, also signed by non-US investors such as the UK-based Henderson and Canada’s British Columbia Investment Management, says: ‘As investors we prefer long-term certainty on energy and climate policy to be able to predict investment risks and opportunities.

‘While we realize that complete certainty is not feasible, inconsistent and volatile clean energy and climate policies have already resulted in capital moving overseas and job losses in the United States.’

US Environmental Protection Agency | North America | Climate change

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