Carbon-Pricing Mechanism Key To Clean Energy's Future

Jan 26 2009 | 12:04am ET

Deutsche Bank's Kevin Parker says fossil fuels have “had a free ride for generations” because there has been no penalty for polluting and this must change if clean energy is to have a future.

Speaking last week at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Parker, the bank's global head of asset management, says this situation has “been a massive restraint on investment in clean energy.

“We urgently need a mechanism for pricing carbon – such as a carbon tax or, better, a cap-and-trade system – that will make fossil fuel users pay for their emissions,” says Parker. “To be fully effective, such a system must eventually be implemented globally. This is the most effective long-term solution for placing traditional and clean energy on an equal cost basis.”

Parker says Deutsche Asset Management identified climate change as a global, investment-driving trend four years ago.
“We launched several innovative investment products to take advantage of this insight and we are now, with more than $5 billion under management, one of the largest climate change investment managers in the world,” he said.

Parker admits alternative energy is not immune to the current financial crisis, noting that alternative energy stocks have already lost value, but he believes this setback is temporary.

“The inescapable long-term truth is that climate change is a fact, and the world must act. To do so will undoubtedly require a great deal of capital: the International Energy Agency estimates $45 trillion will have to be invested in clean energy alone over several decades. This is certain to create vibrant new energy-related industries and generate tens of thousands of jobs. It will also create great investment opportunities delivering substantial returns over the long term.”

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