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May 05, 2008

Can Wall Street Help Your Street?

What does Wall Street have to do with women's green groups? Let's connect some dots, but first let's hear from someone who makes a living managing funds, Mindy Lubber. She is the President of Ceres an organization of investment fund managers.

Mindylubber"Climate change is the mother of all sustainability issues and will have an impact on every economic sector, whether from new regulations, physical impacts of growing demand for climate-friendly technologies. Thus, climate risk is embedded in every business and investment portfolio, which is why more Wall Street analysts are beginning to factor corporate response to climate risk into their evaluations of the companies they cover."

Ceres collectively oversees over $4 Trillion (that's with a T) in investments, Mindy flagged the issue that is quickly becoming THE issue. How do you measure and react to climate risk when it comes to investvestments?

At the same time, women's groups are gathering to manage the effects of their own climate change risk. My thanks to Diane for making me wish I lived in Washington DC. for Creating a Climate of Change: Women, Nuclear Energy and Justice in a Warming World an event on May 6.

"Women often lead the way in their communities in conserving precious natural resources, adapting their food crops to changing soil and climatic conditions, and rebuilding following floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters...Women's experiences, creativity and leadership must be part of the solution if we, whether from North or South, are serious about addressing global warming."

Creating a Climate of Change is hosted by the Nobel Women's Initiative , in partnership with the Green Belt Movement, Friends of the Earth, Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Oil Change International , Action Aid , Feminist Majority Foundation , The International Forum on Globalization , U.S. Climate Action Network / and Heinrick Böll Foundation. I'll be the first to admit that I hadn't heard of many of these groups until Diane's email and yet they are all firmly entrenched and helping women around the world deal with their lack of natural resources.

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On the home front we have womens' groups forming to pro-actively change the world before they have to react to a world without water or food like those do in the above groups need to - Big Green Purse, Eco Mom Alliance, HolisticMoms, eco-chick... thankfully everyday more pop up.

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Can Wall Street fix your street? No, it can't, not by itself. In a twist of irony, it's the women on your street supporting the right kind of big business that will help turn things around. Wall Street depends on the the confidence and attitudes of the general public to keep their portfolios growing.

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Smart_101Investors need guidelines, consumers need guidelines and that starts with education on both sides. If we don't have guidelines, we will get more websites selling more unsustainable stuff to women and furthering the problem that out of control consumerism has given the world. Begin here Download smart_sustainable_standards_101_5208.pdf. Learn what can keep consumerism in line with our eco concerns.

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Under bloggy disclosure, I'm the editor for www.sustainbleproductsblog.com. (a non-profit in DC)  Along with that I do a lot of volunteer work on bringing Sustainable Standards to women. If your group would like a free webinar, please contact me at Mary@inwomenwetrust.com.

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