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UKSIF calls for government to rethink decision to drop environmental review



The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) has signed a letter, together with other influential NGOs and institutions, calling for a review of resource depletion, climate change and growth, which was  blocked by the Treasury in 2012.

Signatories of the letter also include the Aviva Group, Friends of the Earth, the Co-operative Group, WHEB and Triodos Bank.

They addressed Andrew Tyrie MP, chairman of the treasury select committee, asking to retrieve the review that was requested last year, in order to examine “how developments in the global economy over the next few decades are expected to put a heavy strain globally on renewable and non-renewable resources”.

The Treasury’s chief economist Dave Ramsden dismissed the review as an internal matter, as it was “decoupled from UK growth issues […] The link between the long-term, global analysis and UK policy and strategy is too speculative for an independent review to get into.”

Signatories expressed disappointment of this decision and have asked the committee to reconsider its position.

We are concerned that the Treasury is insufficiently taking into account important long-term trends which are already having material impacts on businesses and investment, and are of great potential significance to the UK’s financial stability and the future of its economy”, they wrote.

Simon Howard, UKSIF chief executive, said, “Investors need long-term clarity to make the decisions that are vital for sustainable growth. There is overwhelming evidence that resource depletion and climate change present significant risks to UK business and growth prospects.

“A clearer picture of the way these trends could impact the British economy is necessary for businesses and investors to plan for the long-term in a way which minimises the effects of climate change on UK economic prosperity.”

Further reading:

There is a disconnect between investment and the real world

We need investment to return to its ‘patient evolutionary path’

Transparency, simplicity and honesty is urgently needed in investment

Ethical investors are not tree huggers, but air breathers (and responsible global citizens)

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2013