UN climate change head in region to meet investors

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INVESTORS from around the world met in Peeblesshire last weekend at the invitation of environmental financier Tessa Tennant.

The longtime eco-backer pulled together leading investor-climate groups from Australia, Asia, the USA and Europe for a meeting with the Head of the UN Committee on Climate Change Affairs, Christiana Figueres.

Ms Tennant explained: “Anyone who follows the UN negotiating process on climate change knows that Christiana Figueres, the brilliant woman in charge, has a Herculean task on her hands.

“On the one hand, markets don’t reflect the true cost of burning carbon and this undermines the global negotiations. On the other hand, very few people know the scale of investment activity in the clean-tech, clean energy, low carbon space.

“Around US$1trillion is already invested, and this needs to grow at least 100 times if we want to avert catastrophic climate change.

Therefore, I invited leading investor-climate groups to come to The Glen as my guests, to meet with Christiana to discuss how they could assist in bringing about necessary reforms and a step-change in investment activity.”

She continued: “We are delighted with the results of the conversation which involved people from Australia, Asia, America and Europe, and indirectly colleagues in Africa. We’ve identified what needs to be done to increase investment activity and to derisk investment portfolios and hopefully support from the investment community will snowball in the coming months.”

Ms Tennant co-founded the UK’s first equity investment fund for sustainable development in 1988. In 2001 she co-founded the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA) and she is a founder partner of the ICE Organisation Ltd, a loyalty rewards programme for environmentally friendly purchases and service provider to the credit card industry.

Ms Figueres also met local campaigners Tweedgreen’s Fi Martynoga and Lorna Slade over the weekend to hear about their work encouraging people in Peeblesshire to reduce their own carbon footprints

Ms Martynoga said: “We had an opportunity to talk to her, tell her what we were up to, and listen to her encouragement. She stressed the importance of awareness raising that groups like Tweedgreen can bring about.”

The group which aims for a self-sustaining Tweeddale by promoting local food, encouraging local energy generation, and reducing energy use and waste is holding a ‘grow your own food’ course this and next Saturday.

The free four-hour course will be run by Peter Upton of Growing Success and cover soil, compost, sowing seeds, planting out, weeding, pests and diseases and harvesting with the theory work taking place at Tweedgreen’s office, The Bridge (Volunteer Resource Centre), School Brae, Peebles and the practical work on a working allotment.

For more information, visit http://tweedgreen.org/