Feel the heat

Evidence shows that global warming could spell disaster for many US investors. Without aggressive action to reduce the financial risks that it poses for companies, trillions of dollars of Americans’ investments will be jeopardised. Global warming is a reality that is already putting the financial pinch on weather-dependent businesses. And the financial ramifications will only grow as companies in energy-intensive businesses are subjected to an expanding array of greenhouse gas controls.

Companies have two ways to go on global warming: ignore the growing need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and get away from fossil fuels or view it as a market signal to innovate and invest in competitive new technologies. Those who stand to suffer the most from those decisions are the investors owning stock in these companies. Some of the nation’s top pension fund managers are pressuring corporate leaders to attack the global warming.

Despite mounting scientific evidence, most of the world’s largest companies have been operating as if global warming is fiction. A recent report by the Carbon Disclosure Project found that only 35-40 per cent of the world’s 500 largest companies were taking steps to reduce the financial risks of glo-bal warming. Corporate leaders have a fiduciary duty to make sure that climate risk doesn’t become another Enron. — The Boston Globe