President Tommy Remengesau Jr. urged investors, businessmen, and fiduciaries to commit to environmentally responsible businesses.

Remengesau is in Manila, Philippines as a keynote speaker in this year’s 18th Pacific Region Investment Conference (PRIC).

The PRIC is a gathering of fiduciaries from the Asia Pacific region run by the Asia Pacific Association for Fiduciary Studies (APAFS), a not-for-profit educational and charitable association which assist fiduciaries to grow and protect assets being managed.

“I want to invite every person in this room – regardless of whether you supervise, manage, or invest; regardless of whether your portfolio consists of trust funds, retirement funds, endowment funds, or general funds – to join us by investing in the future of our islands and communities. In renewable energy technologies, in reef-safe products, and in the financial instruments that make innovation in these technologies and products possible,” Remengesau when he delivered his remarks yesterday.

Remengesau encouraged businesses to work and commit to saving the planet by focusing investments on “sustainable products, technologies, and initiatives, the easier it becomes for countries like Palau to take the action that is required preserve this earth for future generations.”

The president said businesses or the financial community could play a key role in combating the impacts of climate change and a change to low-carbon future.

He said companies can continue to gain profits but can also help save the planet for future generations.

“The more you focus your investments on products, technologies, and initiatives that save this earth for future generations, the harder you make our money work to fight climate change and environmental degradation, the greater the return will be for our children and grandchildren. Indeed, the greater the return will be for the long-term value of your assets themselves,” he stressed.

Palau has long been a pioneer in environmental protection, introducing the world’s first shark sanctuary in 2009, banning commercial fishing from its waters and last year introduced the “Palau Pledge that requires international visitors to sign a promise stamped into their passport that they will respect the environment.

Last month, President Remengesau signed a law that will ban “reef-toxic” sunscreens from 2020 yo stop chemical pollution from killing its corals.

The president the companies commitment are necessary to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

“Your commitment to sustainable investment strategies will unlock greater progress to achieving our sustainable development priorities. And our commitment to leaving no one behind can only be realized with the new business models that you will champion,” he stressed.

The conference theme this year focuses on “Investing in our natural assets.”

The two-day conference brings in around 300 delegates from various Asia Pacific Region countries, but not limited to, such as Palau, FSM, RMI, Kiribati, and CNMI. (Bernadette H. Carreon)