Even as the Bush Administration has stayed out of the Kyoto Protocol about to take effect, under which nations have agreed to cut emissions of "greenhouse gases" generated by industry and vehicles, a leading U.S. pension fund and socially responsible mutual fund are complying with the treaty.
On Monday, the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) announced that it would ask companies it invests in to publicly disclose the financial risks they face from climate changes in the coming decades, along with the measures they're taking to combat those risks. The fund also invested $700 million in clean technology and environmentally oriented stocks and mutual funds last year, Associated Press reports.
In a conference call organized by California State Treasurer Phil Angelides, a Democrat who is a likely challenger to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's re-election next year, former vice-president Al Gore lauded the pension fund's initiative. "California is providing the kind of leadership that the federal government in Washington has for the time being unfortunately abdicated," Gore told reporters.
Nonetheless, the Bush Administration has said that participating in the international treaty would cost the United States an estimated 4.9 million jobs and $395 billion annually.
Another investment entity, Pax World Management Advisor Corp., advisor to the socially and environmentally responsible Pax World Funds family, announced Monday that it has joined the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCE) as an associate member. As part of its commitment, Pax World will purchase Carbon Financial Instruments (CFI) and said it will offset 360 tons of carbon emissions per year to become a carbon-neutral company. The company bases that figure on employee travel and office energy use.
"Participation in the exchange gives us the means by which to reach our goals by buying CO2 credits and other means if we can't completely reduce our emissions adequately through the power we purchase," said Anita Green, Pax World vice president of social research. "We urge other mutual fund and financial companies to follow our lead and start taking action to address global warming."
The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.