International investors issue global warming warning

A group of international investors responsible for more than $15 trillion in assets called Tuesday for the world's nations, particularly the United States, to move decisively to combat climate change or face economic disruptions worse than the global recession of the last two years.

The statement, signed by 259 asset managers and asset owners whose holdings account for one-quarter of global capitalization, was aimed at world leaders who will meet in two weeks in Cancun, Mexico, for a United Nations conference on climate change.

The financiers were also sending a warning to Washington that the economy is losing the chance to attract new investment capital because of the gridlock on climate change policy — a stalemate likely to intensify in the months ahead as the new Republican majority in the House moves forward with plans to investigate climate science and the Obama administration's policies.

"Let's get back to the table and do what must be done to fight climate change and catalyze private investment into low-carbon technologies," said Jack Ehnes, chief executive of the California State Teachers' Retirement System, a $142-billion public pension fund. "The economic opportunities are enormous for nations with the foresight to seize them while the risks of inaction are potentially catastrophic."

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