Most investors concerned about the climate

Two thirds of investors quizzed on the factors which would influence their decisions on how to place their cash said climate change would be a consideration.

The Association of Investment Companies asked over 1,000 regular investors whether concerns about global warming would have any impact on their financial planning.

Some 2,300 members of the public were interviewed during the research, along with 1,375 specifically targeted high net worth individuals.

14% of respondents said it would definitely affect their investment decisions and 48% said it might.

Only 34% of active investors said that global warming would not have any impact on their investment choices.

"With 2007 predicted to be the warmest year ever, it's obvious that global warming has become an issue for active investors with nearly two thirds believing that it could affect their future investment decisions," said Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director for AIC.

While the environment does now appear to be showing on the average investor's radar, it is still far from being their primary concern.

The greatest worry for most individual investors was not an environmental meltdown but a stock market collapse, followed by instability in the Middle East and rising interest rates.

As large companies seem to now be doing more to reduce their environmental impacts than the people who work for them, the world of corporate finance seems to be more concerned with the long-term effects of climate change than individual investors.

The insurance industry is increasingly taking the implications of the changing climate into account, as it is likely to be on the sharp end of dealing with the after effects of extreme weather events, while a growing number of funds with a combined assets in the trillions of dollars are now requiring companies which they back to meet certain environmental criteria or at least publish their environmental performance.

Sam Bond



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