Nation's Largest Investors Weigh in on Economic Stimulus Bill

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A group of the nation’s largest investors called on Congressional leaders yesterday to support energy efficiency and clean energy in the upcoming Economic Stimulus Bill, being debated this week in Congress. The group, comprising 44 investors managing over $1.7 trillion in assets, called for longer-term green economic incentives in a letter delivered to House and Senate leaders.

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Money doesn't really grow on trees, though the INCR is banking on energy efficiency helping the economy long-term.

In a dual effort to tackle the creation of green jobs and curb global warming pollution, the letter calls for green economic incentives, including:

  • Extending the renewable energy Production Tax Credit five years or more.
  • Modernizing and improving the nation’s electric power grid.
  • Providing substantial funding for energy efficiency programs, such as retrofitting buildings.

“An energy economic stimulus package would not only be good for the environment, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also good for the economy, leading to the creation of jobs,” said New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., whose office oversees more than $100 billion in pension fund assets.

The letter was coordinated by Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of investors that promotes better understanding of the financial risks and opportunities posed by climate change and was signed by large investors including:

  • Florida State Treasury
  • New York State Comptroller’s Office
  • Deutsche Asset Management
  • California Public Employees’ Retirement System

“The economic downturn provides a historic opportunity for government to take charge of the fight against climate change rather than being a reason to put off action,” said Kevin Parker, global head of Deutsche Asset Management. “A ‘green’ stimulus will also have a wider effect by providing leadership for additional investment from the private sector.”

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