Investors Voice Opposition to High-Carbon Fuel Policy
December 8, 2009 - Washington, DC- A group of financial services organizations and shareholder advocacy groups representing approximately $127.5 billion in assets under management announces today its opposition to financially risky carbon-intensive fuels, such as tar sands, coal-to-liquid, and oil shale, in a letter to U.S. Senators debating the climate bill.
According to the group, organized in part by environmentally-responsible investment advisor Green Century Capital Managment (Green Century), tar sands, coal-to-liquid and oil shale are expensive, technologically-challenging and energy-intensive fuel sources that require considerable upfront capital expenditure and have long pay-back horizons. These fuels are also all significantly more carbon-intensive than conventional oil.
In the letter, the group asks Congress to reject measures that promote investment in high carbon fuels. Specifically, the letter refers to the Senate energy bill's (S. 1462) weakening of Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Section 526 prevents federal agencies from procuring fuels that emit more greenhouse gases than conventional fuels.
Additionally, the group calls for a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) that accounts for indirect land use change emissions. According to the financial groups, a well-designed LCFS will send a clear market signal that discourages high carbon fuels and encourages clean and sustainable ones.
"As investors, we believe it is imperative for upcoming regulations to not only effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also provide consistent signals as we transition to a low-carbon future. For that reason, we urge the Senate to uphold the integrity of Section 526 as it debates climate legislation this winter and we urge legislators around the country to push for low carbon fuel standards on the state, regional and national levels," says Emily Stone, Shareholder Advocate for Green Century and an organizer of the letter.
According to the group, long-term and capital-intensive investments in unconventional heavy fuels are more vulnerable to oil market volatility. The letter includes a reference from the International Energy Agency noting that between the peak of oil prices in July 2008 and June 2009, 85% of all deferred or cancelled non-OPEC production capacity was located in tar sands.
The risks associated with oil sands development were recently highlighted by a report from a Canadian investment company benchmarking oil sands companies on their disclosure practices. The report, titled Lines in the Sands, found that U.S. and other companies operating in the oil sands are not sufficiently disclosing to investors the environmental, social and other related risks that could threaten the companies' long-term financial performance.
Green Century has been engaging major international oil companies with projects in the Canadian oil sands for several years, urging these companies to improve disclosure and management of the environmental impacts and risks associated with oil sands development.
A copy of the group's letter can be found here.
Letter signatories include the New York City Comptroller, Green Century Capital Management Inc, Calvert Asset Management Company Inc., Portfolio 21 Investments, First Affirmative Financial Network LLC, Trillium Asset Management Inc, As You Sow, Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ and the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment.
Green Century Capital Management is an investment advisory firm focused on environmentally responsible investing. Founded by a partnership of non-profit environmental advocacy organizations in 1991, Green Century's mission is to provide people who care about a clean, healthy planet the opportunity to use the clout of their investment dollars to encourage environmentally responsible corporate behavior. Green Century believes that shareholder advocacy is a critical component of responsible investing and actively advocates for greater corporate environmental accountability.
You should consider the Green Century Funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. For a prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds, call 1-800-93-GREEN, visit www.greencentury.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.
The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC 12/09
> Back To News Listings