Make Our Planet Green Again

Update: Julian Vincent from Market forces has written a really good piece about the viability of insurers, given climate risk in The Age on the 9th of February, 2018. You can view this here.

I was very happy this morning to hear French President Emmanuel Macron calling for more investment in green energy, to support the fight against rising temperatures from greenhouse-gases.

But not really happy….

...because Macron was actually demanding that political and business leaders:

  • Step up, and
  • Take urgent action on global warming. The climate change stats are proof that:

  … “We are losing the battle. (and) We must all fight because we will all be held to account.”

 

You can’t breathe in Beijing…..

It just doesn’t make sense to continue to invest in polluting industry when the effects of climate change are literally being felt across the world:

  • China is massively increasing the manufacture and promoting the use of electric vehicle to reduce the obvious imoact of heavy air pollution in its’ cities.
  • In Australia this will disadvantage miners like Fortescue with lower grade iron ore, and not BHP and Rio which mine a higher grade ore and is a “greener” commodity.
  • In India, players had to leave the field to vomit during the third Test Match (India and Sri Lanka) because of Dehli’s high level of pollution – it was 5 times higher than normal!
  • And the previous month, schools were actually shut in New Dehli due to extreme pollution readings in the city.

But, what does make sense is:

  1. Smart policy and
  2. Investment to target and limit the damage of the risks we already know about, and
  3. To do it FAST!

So what happened at the Paris One Planet Summit* on 12 Dec 2017?

It seems that some companies, organisations and states are moving in the right direction:

  • Washington and California state are adopting carbon pricing to slow climate change.
  • After 2019, the World Bank won’t finance big oil, gas and extraction processes.
  • By 2025 (Dutch bank) ING should have close to zero exposure to coal power generation.
  • AXA is phasing out insurance for new coal and oil sands projects – these projects would actually be be “bad for business”… because a + 4 0C world is not Insurable!
  • And despite the USA decision to quit the 2015 Paris climate accord, Macron’s Planet project has awarded research grants to 18 climate scientists – 13 of them from USA – to research :
  • how global warming impacts natural catastrophes like hurricanes
  • the health implications of climate change and
  • how a warmer planet can affect the circular economy.

Getting companies to green up their act

Investors are in a great position to force companies to:

  • Reduce their emissions,
  • Be transparent about how they manage the financial risk of climate change, and
  • Act responsibly in balancing the interests of their investors and their stakeholders

You can make a difference…

Check out the Viva Guide for a step by step guide to choosing a “green” investment option that works for you .

And have a read of the Viva blogs for more details about ethical and sustainable investing .

*The One Planet Summit in Paris was the second anniversary of the adoption of the Paris agreement on climate change.