Heads of more than 20 leading financial service companies that are members of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative have told (PR PDF) the G8 to back deep emission reduction targets, saying 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 statement (statement PDF), signed by 23 Chief Executive Officers, Presidents, Chairmen and Managing Directors of banks, insurance and re-insurance companies’ calls on Head of State to formally adopt emission reduction targets no later than 2009.
They suggest that proposals by the UK and the European Union, setting out mandatory emission reductions of between 20 percent and 30 percent by 2020 and 60 percent to 80 percent by 2050, should be central to all industrialized country goals.
“Munich Reinsurance Company has signed the declaration on climate change by the financial services sector because climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time,” said Dr. Torsten Jeworrek, Member of the Board of Management Munich Re. “The latest studies show that it is cheaper to invest in climate protection than to pay for
the losses that result from inactivity. It is thus prudent to act now from an economic perspective as well.”