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Pension Fund Leaders, CEOs and Wall Street Investment Managers to Discuss Climate Risks and Opportunities at UN Summit May 10

Hundreds of institutional investors from around the world, Wall Street leaders, and state treasurers will be meeting Tuesday, May 10, at the United Nations in New York City to discuss how to address the financial risks and realize the opportunities from global climate change.
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Apr 29, 2005

Hundreds of institutional investors from around the world, Wall Street leaders, and state treasurers will be meeting Tuesday, May 10, at the United Nations in New York City to discuss how to address the financial risks and realize the opportunities from global climate change.

"The trillions of dollars in assets of investors assembling at this U.N. meeting is a powerful message that global climate change is both an environmental threat and a financial threat, and that actions to mitigate these risks are needed now," said Mindy S. Lubber, president of the Ceres investor coalition and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk whose members collectively manage more than $2.7 trillion in assets.

"The necessary transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy systems presents enormous opportunities for innovation and change that will benefit our global economy," said Timothy E. Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation and summit co-chair. "To manage the risks and achieve the business breakthroughs, creative, innovative uses of capital are critical."

The second Institutional Investor Summit on Climate Risk is being organized by the UN Foundation and the Investor Network on Climate Risk. The network, which includes state treasurers, controllers, pension fund managers, foundation presidents and state pension funds, was launched in November 2003 during a first investor climate risk summit at the United Nations.

During the day-long meeting, business, investor and scientific leaders will discuss the far-reaching economic impact of climate change, the responses of a growing number of U.S. and overseas investors, and the risks and opportunities that the Kyoto Protocol and other greenhouse gas regulations pose for U.S. and foreign businesses.

The speakers include:

Dr. John Holdren, climate change expert and professor at Harvard University 
Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary and former CEO at Alcoa 
Ted Turner, chairman of the United Nations Foundation 
James Rogers, CEO of Cinergy Corp., one of the nation's largest power companies 
Abby Joseph Cohen, managing director at Goldman Sachs 
Michael Johnston, executive vice president at the Capital Groups Companies

Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier is a summit co-chair. Treasurers from more than a dozen states and New York City will also be attending, including Nappier, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, New York City Comptroller William Thompson and California State Controller Steve Westly, who serves on the boards of the nation's largest and third largest public pension funds.

The May 10 summit comes as a growing number of U.S. and overseas investors are pressing companies, regulators and securities firms to address the long-term financial implications of global climate change. Citing the physical impacts, regulatory changes and lawsuits that are becoming more widespread, more than $2.7 trillion of investors have joined the Investor Network on Climate Risk -- a quadrupling from INCR's initial membership when it was launched in November 2003.

Ceres is a Boston-based coalition of investors and environmentalists that has been spearheading efforts in the U.S. and overseas to broaden understanding about the financial risks and opportunities from global climate change. Ceres directs the newly created Investor Network on Climate Risk and helped organize the November 2003 and upcoming investor summits.

The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist Ted Turner's historic $1 billion gift to support United Nations' causes. The UN Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous and just world through the support of the UN. Through its grant making and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the UN Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century. (www.unfoundation.org)

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