Investors call for climate policy certainty Media Release

Jun 09, 2009 - 9:38am

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) and The Climate Institute warned of the delay and disruption in investment decisions caused by the uncertainty around the government’s emissions trading scheme, ahead of next week’s crucial Senate debate.

Fiona Reynolds, CEO of the AIST – the peak body for not-for-profit superfunds - said the uncertainty around implementation of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and related climate policy was delaying important investment decisions in the industry.

“The passage of legislation is a threshold step in the introduction of a carbon pricing mechanism into economic activity. It will provide a clear signal and measure of certainty around which long term institutional investors like superfunds can begin to base investment planning and decision,” said AIST CEO Fiona Reynolds.

“The national political and economic debate needs to move to transition and implementation issues surrounding climate change, not be bogged down by a Senate where petty point scoring continually overshadows the urgent need for action,” she said.

Nathan Fabian, CEO of the IGCC said: “As investors for the long term we consider climate change to present clear investment risks that must be addressed in our investment decision-making.

“Investors know that long-term returns will best be protected by our transformation to a competitive low-carbon economy.

“We need the companies we part own to begin their low carbon transformation so they can succeed and provide investment returns over the long-term.

“A price on carbon, economy-wide targets for renewable energy and public investment in alternative energy sources are all needed to support the transition of our economy and our investments.”

The Climate Institute CEO John Connor urged all parties in the Senate to stop the political arguments and get on with action to reduce pollution and promote investment and jobs in the low-carbon economy.

“We urge all parties to strengthen and pass the CPRS that will help reduce our carbon pollution and drive jobs, industries and the investment that is needed to fuel Australia’s new clean-energy, low-carbon economy,” Mr Connor said.

"The CPRS could be strengthened directing future carbon permit revenues to additional investments into clean energy solutions here and in neighbouring developing economies whose prosperity is critical to our own.”

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