Economist, Groups: Make Global Warming High On Agenda

The United States must move swiftly toward addressing global warming on a variety of fronts, according to a major bank’s leading economist.

Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist with Deutsche Bank, emphasized growing evidence that global warming may quickly regain its prominence on the agenda of the Obama administration.

“The idea that [Obama] might somehow tie climate change into the economic stimulus plan would be very attractive to both parties in Congress,” Sieminski said in an energy outlook report delivered at Deutsche Bank's Houston energy trading office. “If you listen to statements by his picks for cabinet positions like [Energy Secretary] Steven Chu, they want to move on this.”

Siemenski said that if the economy turns up in late 2009 as predicted and global energy demand begins to return to pre-recession levels, it could mean a quick return to triple-digit prices for a barrel of crude oil.

“We could be setting ourselves up for a bad situation in three or four years,” Sieminski said.

In addition, a group of 44 investors managing more than $1.7 trillion in assets called on Congressional leaders this week to include significant funding for energy efficiency, clean energy and clean transportation in the economic stimulus bill being debated in Congress.

In a letter coordinated by Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk, U.S. and European investors called on Congress for longer-term green economic incentives, including extending the renewable energy Production Tax Credit; providing substantial funding for energy efficiency programs, such as retrofitting buildings; and modernizing the aging and inefficient electric power grid.

Published: January 27, 2009