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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ceres President Supports Institutional Investors’ Call for Financial Market Reforms by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

In response to today’s release by 14 institutional investors representing $1.6 trillion in assets of An Investor’s Framework for the Future: Financial Market Reform Priorities for the SEC, the following statement was issued by Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR).
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BOSTON, MA Feb 13, 2012

In response to today’s release by 14 institutional investors representing $1.6 trillion in assets of An Investor’s Framework for the Future: Financial Market Reform Priorities for the SEC, the following statement was issued by Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors across North America managing more than $10 trillion in assets.

The framework outlines six initiatives that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should complete, including: 1) appointing the Investor Advisory Committee, 2) renewing rulemaking for universal proxy access, 3) adopting final rules on executive compensation under the Dodd-Frank law, 4) advancing International Financial Reporting Standards, 5) developing a transparent and independent rating system and 6) advancing sustainability disclosure and board diversity, including by clarifying and enforcing climate change disclosure guidance for companies and by ensuring integrated reporting on diversity and sustainability.

“Ceres strongly supports the investors’ call for the SEC to implement urgent financial market reforms that will bolster investor confidence in the wake of the financial crisis that Americans are still recovering from.  We especially support the investors’ call for greater clarity and compliance with its interpretive guidance on climate risk disclosure by companies.

Climate change presents huge risks on a scale comparable or worse than the banking crisis. Extreme weather events are increasing, triggering unprecedented losses in 2011, including $10 billion in drought and wildfire losses in Texas and the Southwest. US insurers paid out an extraordinary $44 billion for hurricane, flooding and other weather-related losses, more than double what they paid in 2010.

Further clarity from the SEC would benefit not only insurers grappling with reporting on climate risks and how to manage them—but many other sectors of the economy from agriculture to electric power to apparel.

Ensuring disclosure compliance would especially benefit investors who are awakening to the urgent need to hedge against growing climate risks in many parts of the world. Investors need full disclosure from companies about how they are managing climate change risks—as well as responding to its opportunities for innovating clean technologies and products.”

Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $10 trillion. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and www.incr.com.

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