George W. Bush is reportedly getting an earful on climate change from some the heaviest hitters in the business world.
Jeffrey Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric runs the biggest company in America, and for that reason some environmental groups hailed his speech last week on climate change as a tipping point in the global warming debate. Immelt did not directly criticize Bush. But he left no doubt that he believes mandatory controls on emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, are necessary and inevitable. And he said he would double General Electric's investments in energy and environmental technologies to prepare it for what he sees as a huge global market for products that help other companies - and countries like China and India - reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
Mr. Immelt's speech is not the only sign of impatience among Mr. Bush's business allies. In New York, two dozen leading institutional investors managing more than $3 trillion in assets recently urged American companies to address the risks of climate change and to invest more heavily in strategies to reduce those risks.
Meanwhile, in another cranny of the Anglosphere, a group called Article 13 publishes a report in the run up to the G8 Summit titled Climate Change and Poverty: A Business Opportunity? (interesting report, but do they have tin ears?)
And, in a letter in the 18 May Financial Times, Paul Moxey, Head of Corporate Governance and Risk Management at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, writes:
Businesses will find that climate change presents opportunities as well as risks. Those companies that respond early to the risks posed by global warming will gain first mover advantage. It may be that more far sighted investors will gain a higher return for protecting the environment.
See also earlier posts in this blog Climate Business (1) and Climate Business (2)