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Ethical investment can change the world

February 12, 2007 9:18 AM

David Howarth, MP for Cambridge, has said that 'ethical investment can change the world'.

Mr. Howarth was speaking during a rally against investment in the arms trade on Saturday.

"Britain's present involvement in the arms trade, as the BAE case has shown, threatens to undermine our credibility worldwide.

"Ethical investment and consumption has the potential to be hugely powerful. It has the potential to change the world. A recent survey found that one third of UK consumers are concerned about ethical consumption yet only 3% of the UK market for goods is ethical. Ethical investment is already a growing market worth over £1 billion last year but both markets need the support and encouragement of the UK government in order to develop further.

"We need to improve information provided to potential investors and consumers to help them to make informed choices about how to spend their ethical pounds.

David Howarth at Senate House

David Howarth at the rally

"The Government missed a crucial opportunity to provide the information and security that investors crave when they rejected calls to introduce an auditing requirement into the Business Review of the Companies Act. This would have provided independent auditing of a company's claims to act ethically. Potential investors could then feel secure in their ethical investment and consumption choices which would support and encourage this growing and important market."

The rally was organised by Cambridge Students against the Arms Trade and CUSU Ethical Investment Campaign.