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December 04, 2008

Principles for Climate Change Developed for Financial Sector
    by Robert Kropp

Major financial institutions join with The Climate Group to promote principles of business for a low-carbon economy. -- Taking a proactive approach to climate change can be an effective business strategy for the financial sector in a low-carbon economy, according to a new set of principles developed by The Climate Group and endorsed by several major financial institutions.

Please support
our sponsorsThe Climate Principles: A Framework for the Finance Sector is the first comprehensive industry framework for the financial sector's response to climate change and has been adopted by Credit Agricole, HSBC, Munich Re, Standard Chartered and Swiss Re.

According to the Principles, "the finance sector can play a unique 'enabling' role in unlocking a low carbon economy." Financial companies can minimize their operational carbon footprint, make business decisions that reduce climate change risks and allow the development of climate change related opportunities, and develop products and services that enable customers to manage their climate change related risks and business opportunities.

In addition to reducing their own operational carbon footprints, financial companies adopting the Principles agree to engage significant suppliers on climate change issues and work with them to reduce GHG emissions throughout their supply chains.

In addition to incorporating climate change related risks and opportunities in the development of investment products, asset managers agree to engage with the companies in which their clients invest to understand how they are minimizing the risks and maximizing the opportunities presented by climate change and climate policy.

Corporate banks will develop and implement a methodology for assessing the climate related risks in their lending and investment practices, and financing solutions to facilitate investment in low carbon technologies and GHG reduction projects.

The Climate Group will act as secretariat for The Climate Principles and will review, benchmark, and develop The Principles to ensure they remain effective in accelerating and advancing robust disclosure and global best practice.

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