Businesses and investors pressing for green policy

Hundreds of corporations, insurance companies and pension funds are calling on world leaders gathering for a U.N. summit on climate change this week to attack the problem by making it more costly for businesses and ordinary people to pollute.

The idea, long advocated by policymakers, economists and environmental activists, is that the world can't hope to slow the heating of the planet until its cost is incorporated into the everyday activities that contribute to it, such as using gas- or coal-generated electricity, driving a car, shipping a package or flying around the globe.

Business leaders representing trillions of dollars in revenue and retirement savings say they worry that global warming threatens the long-term value of their investments, and they want world leaders to adopt policies that would provide a financial incentive to people to clean up their act.

That could include a tax on carbon emissions, a cap or some other mechanism.

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