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The Eco-industrial Revolution Begins.

The Climate Change Agreement negotiated in Kyoto, Japan, in late 1997 to limit greenhouse gas emissions is more than a last-minute triumph of multilateral diplomacy. It's also the tip of a financial iceberg and a harbinger of worldwide industrial restructuring, according to Matthew J. Kiernan and James S. Martin of New York-based Innovest Strategic Value Advisors.

"In the future, the ability to manage environmentally driven risks and investment opportunities effectively and strategically will differentiate companies that outperform their competitors financially and those that lag behind - or even fail altogether," they say. Furthermore, Kiernan and Martin note, "Leading edge industrial companies such as British Petroleum and Enron aren't waiting for the public sector to take the lead. They've already launched major strategic investments in the solar and wind energy fields, respectively, and have positioned themselves superbly for the competitive environment five to 10 years out."

On the downside, they add, "Even a modest $25 per ton post-Kyoto tax on carbon emissions would create a $60-billion hit for the electric utility industry alone. Given the range of more than 2,500 percent in the relative carbon-efficiency of the top 100 U.S. utilities, and that the EPS impact would vary from $0.38 to $14, CFOs have a rapidly growing self-interest in understanding and improving their companies' eco-efficiency."
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Publication:Financial Executive
Geographic Code:0JINT
Date:Sep 1, 1999
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