Climate business (1)

14 May 2005
Some events this week show the temperature of the times.

Yesterday General Electric, the world's largest company by market value, it would double its research budget on environmentally friendly technologies to $1.5bn ($800m) in an initiative called "ecomagination". GE is betting that tighter environmental regulations and the rising cost of energy will create a lucrative market. The company says it aims to cut its own greenhouse gas emissions by 1% by 2012 and improve energy efficiency by 30% by 2012.

Today in New York, pension fund leaders, CEOs, Wall Street investment managers meet to discuss climate risks and opportunities at the United Nations (see here).

Tomorrow in Cologne, Germany, Carbon Expo aims to put its participants at the centre of the creation of "market-based mechanisms and a global market in greenhouse gas reductions".

The New York event is evidence that you don't have to be "left wing" or a hippy to be concerned about climate change. Participants include Paul O'Neil, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary and former CEO of Alcoa. Members of the Investor Network on Climate Risk say they collectively manage more than $2.7 trillion ($2,700,000,000,000) in assets.

openDemocracy's debate on the politics of climate change plans scrutiny and analysis soon.

Caspar Henderson

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