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New Ceres Report Outlines Strategies for Harnessing Foundation Investments to Solve Climate Crisis

A new Ceres report issued today identifies the steps foundations and individual investors can take to address climate change-related risks and opportunities that may be embedded in their investment portfolios.
BOSTON Nov 20, 2008

A new Ceres report issued today identifies the steps foundations and individual investors can take to address climate change-related risks and opportunities that may be embedded in their investment portfolios.

Ceres’ new Toolkit for Foundations and Individual Investors: Harnessing Your Investments to Help Solve the Climate Crisis (co-sponsored by the Environmental Grantmakers Association) was released today at a mission related investing event in New York City.

The toolkit outlines five immediate steps foundations and other investors can take to advance tangible climate solutions, including:

1)  Pressing companies to improve their climate change strategies
2)  Engaging with Wall Street investment managers to incorporate climate change into investment research and decision making
3)  Joining other institutional investors in supporting policy solutions and SEC regulatory actions
4)  Investing in clean technologies and energy efficiency
5)  Coordinating with other investors to address climate-related risks

Foundations collectively control $600 billion in assets – financial leverage that companies and Wall Street cannot easily ignore. And foundations have an opportunity by joining groups like the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR)—with 73 institutional investor members representing $7 trillion in collective assets—to address their concerns about the financial impacts of global warming on their portfolios.

In a recent opinion piece published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Lance Lindblom, president of the Nathan Cummings Foundation and an active INCR member, outlined his rationale for why foundations should engage their assets to address climate change.

“Through actions such as investing in companies working to address climate change, or filing shareholder resolutions asking companies to set goals for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, or providing more information on their climate-change strategies, foundations have the ability to help steer corporate behavior toward a more sustainable course for both the environment and long-term shareholder value,” Lindblom wrote.

Climate change presents enormous risks for investors. Companies in various sectors face far-reaching impacts from emerging climate regulations, threats of litigation from climate inaction and physical hazards from extreme weather events, rising sea levels, wildfires and potential water shortages. But there are also significant opportunities waiting savvy investors. The next 50 years will require a massive shift to cleaner energy sources and technologies to avoid unmanageable climate disruption. Investing in these low-carbon sectors is likely to bring enormous rewards.

Click on the following link download a copy of Ceres’ Foundation Toolkit:www.ceres.org/foundationtoolkit.

About Ceres
Ceres is a leading coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org.

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