In the run up to the COP21 UN Climate Convention in Paris later this year in which nations intend to finalize a global deal on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, six huge US banking institutions (https://www.ceres.org/files/bank-statement-on-climate-policy) and six major oil companies (http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/major-oil-companies-letter-to-un/) called for both a strong global climate agreement and policies that recognize the cost of carbon.
JP Morgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley, the 4 largest lending institutions and two largest investment banks with over $7.6 trillion in managed assets also committed to provide “significant resources” to finance climate solutions.
Officers from these banks issued an open letter for the UN’s General Assembly session for which climate change and sustainable development is strongly covered and as a prelude to the COP21 convention. The letter from the banks openly stated that climate change is real and is already threatening world prosperity. It also described efforts from their point of view – financing the changes for the world to become a low-carbon economy – as a “business opportunity” for them and the whole banking industry.
The statement indicated that while they believe fossil fuels will remain part of the global economy, it is important for an accelerated transition to clean power to begin soon with sound governmental policies.
The statement also called for policies to establish a future cost of carbon. While they did not advocate a specific policy, such as a carbon tax, governments need to recognize the need for carbon to have a cost as part of future economic policy. According to CERES, while many large corporations currently price carbon as part of their internal operations, these standards are disparate and national policies are needed, important to provide guidelines to value the emissions and reduction of GHG emissions.
The six major oil companies (BG Group, BP, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Total) wrote their open letter to governments and the UN saying that they can take appropriate actions if governments provide clear, stable, and long-term rules and carbon pricing that puts a proper price on the environmental and economic costs of GHG emissions.
This is critical as the oil and gas industry, producers of fossil fuels that have contributed to climate change, has been the last to be “on board” with addressing the issue.
The letter recognizes that climate change is becoming one of the biggest risks of their and many other industries. Many companies want to implement positive solutions, such as renewable and efficient energy, reduced pollution and resilient economies, but need robust government policies to allow them to plan and invest in such projects properly.
These unequivocal open letters from bastions of industry and capitalism are particularly strong against the backdrop of the current US presidential campaign in which candidates of one party openly deny and mock climate change and state that reducing GHG emissions would hurt the economy. And in Congress, leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell openly vow to prevent the US from implementing any agreement to reduce GHG emissions and price carbon coming out of the COP21 UN Climate Convention.
CCES can help your company prepare for the coming clean energy revolution, helping you reduce GHG emissions by reducing your energy demand and usage and by assessing how you can create your own energy from renewable sources, in both cases, increasing your economic benefits. Contact us today to discuss this more at karell@CCESworld.com or at 914-584-6720.