21 May $25 Trillion group reveal a plan to tackle climate change
A group of investors that have assets totalling $25 Trillion has revealed their roadmap for tackling climate change. The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change in Europe, the Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk in the US, the Investors Group on Climate Change in Australia and New Zealand and the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change combined represent many of the world’s largest institutional investors and have launched an online platform which demonstrates how investor groups are measuring greenhouse gases and decarbonising their respective portfolios. This is the latest move to increase pressure on world leaders to sign a global deal to dramatically reduce carbon emissions later this year.
The platform shows where investors have taken climate change action (including measuring their portfolio’s carbon footprint, collaborating with fossil fuel and energy intensive companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shifting investments in high carbon assets to low carbon assets. The launch of this platform coincides with a major Business and Climate Summit in Paris this week which is charged with showing politicians that the vast majority of the corporate sector wants ambitious climate change action.
Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate change Christiana Figueres, who will attend the Business and Climate Summit in Paris, said she was encouraged by the investor group’s initiative. Figueres stated that cities, regions, companies and investors must continually step up their participation in global efforts towards a low emission, highly resilient world. She estimated that $90 trillion will be invested in worldwide infrastructure by 2030, and said that de-risked and green investments will be critical in ensuring that we don’t cement a high emission future, but rather precipitate a healthy and prosperous future that addresses climate stability and reliable development for the poor and needy.
Developed countries have ageing infrastructure that needs to be replaced, and developing countries will have to continue their investments in rapidly expanding infrastructure, both of which will be within the context of a growing global population and increasing urbanisation. In a low carbon scenario, increased energy efficiency and low carbon power generation will be featured. These increases could be offset to some degree by savings in other contexts including lower investment in fossil fuel power plants and savings all along the fossil fuel supply chain from exploration to transport due to lower fossil fuel demand.
Reduced investment in electricity transmission and distribution is also possible as the expenditure savings from lower demand from higher efficiency outweigh the incremental investment in the electricity grid in order to integrate the renewable sources into it. The development of more compact and connected cities can potentially lower infrastructure requirements for roads, telecommunications, water and waste treatment as a result of greater efficiency in infrastructure delivery.
It is becoming clear almost week by week that renewable/clean energy/technology is going to play an increasingly significant part in the short to medium (let alone longer term) future globally. It is also clear that whether or not Governments put in place concrete goals/actions, corporate leaders are stepping up and acting, and telling the world that they are doing so, which is creating a ground swell. They have clearly done their due diligence and decided that it is in the best interest of their corporations to do so, for the long term good of their companies, staff and investors but ultimately for the good of the planet, for without the earth, no one has a corporation to work in or for.