The consequences of global warming are becoming an increasingly important variable for institutional investors when assessing a company’s economic viability.
In a recent statement, Calpers (the California Employees’ Retirement System) said that voluntary disclosures from companies citing general “climate risk” in reports is not enough.
The Securities and Exchange Commission was petitioned in September by Calpers and others to mandate disclosure of specific climate–related risks to facilitate a consistent and effective approach in analyzing a company’s true exposure to risk.
I am not an MBA or expert in business analysis. As a layman, what strikes me is the apparent disconnect between the insistence on the Bush administration that aggressive action on global warming endangers economic growth, while many in the private sector begin to acknowledge the dangers of inaction or, at best, ineffective action.
Business may not always welcome government intrusion into their activities. But it seems that many businesses and investors are beginning to understand that choosing between economics and environmental concerns is most often a false choice and that leadership in effectively addressing global warming, from both business and government, is required to maintain true economic viability in the marketplace.