Financial Firms Urge G8 to Combat Global Warming

Oslo (June 5, 2007)- More than 20 banks and insurers urged leading industrial nations meeting at the G8 summit to back deep cuts in greenhouse gases, warning that unchecked global warming could cost the world up to $1 trillion a year by 2040. A statement signed by 23 chief executives and chairmen of banks, insurance and re-insurance companies participating in the U.N. Environment Program’s (UNEP) finance initiative called on the G8 to adopt emissions reduction targets no later than 2009.

“There has been a seismic shift in how climate change is perceived and it is widely considered to be the greatest market failure ever,” the companies, which included Munich Re, Allianz and Daiwa Securities, said in a statement distributed by the UNEP. The companies suggested that proposals by Britain and the European Union, setting out mandatory emission cuts of 20-30 percent by 2020 and 60-80 percent by 2050, should be central to all industrialized country goals, the UNEP said.
“They fear that unchecked climate change is likely to lead to an increase in climate-related disasters, with ‘grave social and environmental harm’ including annual economic losses that could rise as high as $1 trillion by 2040,” the UNEP said.
Torsten Jeworrek, member of the board of management of Munich Re, said “the latest studies show that it is cheaper to invest in climate protection than to pay for the losses that result from inactivity.”
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