06/05/2005
Press Release
Note No. 5938


Note to Correspondents


SENIOR UN OFFICIALS, PENSION FUND HEADS, CEOS, WALL STREET LEADERS

 

TO DISCUSS CLIMATE RISKS, OPPORTUNITIES AT SUMMIT, 10 MAY


Hundreds of institutional investors from around the world, Wall Street leaders, and State treasurers will be among those meeting Tuesday, 10 May, in the United Nations Economic and Social Council Chamber to discuss how to address the financial risks and realize the opportunities from global climate change.


A press conference will take place at 1 p.m. in room S-226 in the UN Secretariat Building, and the event will be webcast live at:  www.un.org/webcast


“This is a perfect example of the public and private sectors coming together on a critical issue.  Investment in minimizing the impact of climate change can pay dividends for generations to come, and the United Nations is proud to be the host of this event”, said Amir A. Dossal, Executive Director of the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP).


“The trillions of dollars in assets of investors assembling at this U.N. meeting is a powerful message that global climate change is both an environmental threat and a financial threat, and that actions to mitigate these risks are needed now”, said Mindy S. Lubber, President of the Ceres investor coalition and Director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) whose members collectively manage more than $2.7 trillion in assets.


“The necessary transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy systems presents enormous opportunities for innovation and change that will benefit our global economy”, said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation and Summit Co-Chair.  “To manage the risks and achieve the business breakthroughs, creative, innovative uses of capital are critical.” 


The second Institutional Investor Summit on Climate Risk is being organized by the United Nations Foundation and the Investor Network on Climate Risk, with the support of UNFIP.  The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the Global Compact Office are co-conveners.  The Network, which includes State treasurers, controllers, pension fund managers, foundation presidents and State pension funds, was launched in November 2003 during a first investor climate-risk summit at the United Nations.


During the day-long meeting, business, investor and scientific leaders will discuss the far-reaching economic impact of climate change, the responses of a growing number of United States and overseas investors, and the risks and opportunities that the Kyoto Protocol and other greenhouse gas regulations pose for United States and foreign businesses.


The speakers include:


-- Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director, UNEP


-- Dr. John Holdren, climate change expert and professor at HarvardUniversity


-- Paul O’Neill, former United States Treasury Secretary and former CEO at Alcoa


-- Ted Turner, Chairman of the United Nations Foundation


-- James Rogers, CEO of Cinergy Corp., one of the United States largest power companies


-- Abby Joseph Cohen, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs


-- Michael Johnston, Executive Vice President at the Capital Groups Companies


Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier is a summit co-chair.  Treasurers from more than a dozen States and New York City will also be attending, including Ms. Nappier, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, New York City Comptroller William Thompson, and California State Controller Steve Westly who serves on the boards of the nation’s largest and third largest public pension funds.


The 10 May summit comes as a growing number of United States and overseas investors are pressing companies, regulators and securities firms to address the long-term financial implications of global climate change.  Citing the physical impacts, regulatory changes and lawsuits that are becoming more widespread, more than $2.7 trillion of investors have joined the Investor Network on Climate Risk  -- a quadrupling from INCR’s initial membership when it was launched in November 2003.


Organizers


Ceres is a Boston-based coalition of investors and environmentalists that has been spearheading efforts in the United States and overseas to broaden understanding about the financial risks and opportunities from global climate change.  Ceres directs the newly created Investor Network on Climate Risk and helped organize the November 2003 and upcoming investor summits.


The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support United Nations’ causes.  The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous and just world through the support of the United Nations.  Through its grant-making and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socio-economic, and environmental challenges of the twenty-first century. (www.unfoundation.org)


The UNFIP promotes new United Nations partnerships and alliances worldwide.  Established by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in March 1998, UNFIP is an autonomous trust fund set up to serve as the interface between the United Nations system and the United Nations Foundation, the public charity responsible for administering, over a period of 15 years, Ted Turner’s $1 billion contribution in support of United Nations causes.  Over the years, UNFIP has expanded its functions to provide a “one-stop” service for partnership opportunities with the UN family.


For more information on the Summit, contact, Camilla Schippa, Outreach Officer, UNFIP, tel: 212-963-3441, e-mail: Schippa@un.org; Peyton Fleming, Ceres/INCR, tel: 617-247-0700, extn. 20, cell: 617-733-6660, e-mail: fleming@ceres.org; or James Spellman, UN Foundation, tel: 202-887-9040, e-mail: jspellman@unfoundation.org


For information about media accreditation, please visit www.un.org/media/accreditation.  Address requests for accreditation to Gary Fowlie, Chief, Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, United Nations, fax: 1-212-963-4642.  For further inquiries, call 212-963-6934.


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