We examine what it will take to get us back on track to achieve net zero; from transforming the financial system and accounting, to decarbonising heavy industries and ensuring polluters pay
Cleaning up: Transforming finance for a net zero-world
To align with net-zero emissions targets, the financial system needs a radical transformation. Can it get there and, if it does, what should it look like in 2050?
A fair COP: Why social justice is vital to climate action
For too long, issues of justice and equality have been left out of the climate conversation. But policymakers, companies and investors are slowly beginning to acknowledge the social dimensions of climate action.
Without a global finance plan, the climate moonshot will fail
If the world is to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the international financial architecture needs far stronger coordination under a re-tooled OECD, writes Steve Waygood.
Pricing carbon: Taxing polluters is the only way forward
Nearly three decades after it first agreed to tackle climate change, the world has failed miserably to curb the growth in CO2 emissions. To succeed, it urgently needs to establish an effective price for carbon.
Crisis or opportunity of a lifetime? Rethinking the future of the planet
Will a world beset with challenges spin into catastrophic breakdown or spur humanity to change and reach new heights? John Elkington, widely regarded as the ‘godfather of sustainability’, contemplates the future with AIQ.
Counting emissions and accounting omissions: The struggle to measure, monitor and manage corporate net-zero efforts
Internalise the climate externality. That is the major task facing policymakers and corporate executives. However, this requires accurate measurement and incorporation into financial accounts and neither are straightforward.
Law and climate: Using the legal stick to accelerate change
Energy majors, cement producers, utilities and financial services providers are among the latest targets of legal action designed to make them move faster towards a lower carbon world. Could this be an inflection point, as the conversation turns to specific responsibilities rather than vague commitments to change?
50 shades of green
With the noise and interest in ESG investing reaching levels that would have been unthinkable a few short years ago, much of the analysis surrounding it is becoming polarised. A more sophisticated conversation and debate is required, argues Mark Versey.
The going gets tough: Can heavy industry decarbonise?
Heavy industry and heavy transport are hard to decarbonise, but this must be done to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Can companies, policymakers and investors join forces to make it happen? The race is on…
Supply-chain ripples: The positive spillovers of decarbonising upstream emissions
Some of the world’s biggest companies are setting ambitious net-zero targets, with significant implications for their supply chains. How impactful could the ripple effect be in helping to meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement?
The age of climate extremes: Crises, cascades and comfort zones
The latest assessments from climate scientists suggest some geographical zones that have been lived in for thousands of years are becoming uncomfortably hot and fire-prone or wet and vulnerable to flooding. How will humanity adapt to new extremes? Rick Stathers assesses the evidence.
We need to talk about waste: Tackling renewable energy’s dirty secret
Renewable energy has a vital role to play if the world is to combat climate change. But its widespread adoption comes with a price. As older installations come to the end of their useful life, countries urgently need to work out what to do with the waste.
Grow the pie: An interview with Alex Edmans
Interest in ESG investing is expanding at a seemingly exponential rate – and with it the risks of greenwashing only grow. However, Alex Edmans explains why he believes it is possible for companies and investors to create win-win situations for all stakeholders.
Related climate and environment views
Hydrogen: Back to the future
The UK is the latest country to accelerate plans to develop hydrogen as part of its push to reach net zero. But it is not the first time hydrogen has attracted attention – it has been trumpeted by the scientific community as a possible wonder fuel for around a century. So, what’s changed now?
Cut it out! The complex quest to decarbonise heating
More countries are contemplating their visions for a lower carbon world. Norway has excluded fossil fuels entirely for heating buildings, while others are taking a more nuanced approach. So, what are the options for those with environment at the heart of their agenda?
Can a shift in UK policy help make the ESG case for nuclear?
The UK government says nuclear energy may have a vital role to play in cutting carbon emissions. However, more detail is needed to help investors assess nuclear technology’s ESG credentials, argue Darryl Murphy and Stanley Kwong.
Carbon credits: Seeing the wood for the trees
As governments and companies strive to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net zero, questions are being asked about the role of natural climate solutions. We analyse differing approaches to offsetting and their impact on forest management.
The climate wars: Why rising temperatures mean rising conflict
With tensions set to rise further as disputes over scarce resources intensify, we look at the geopolitical, economic and investment implications.
Investing for impact in private debt to combat climate change
Impact investment strategies will have an important role to play if the green credentials of the world’s stock of real estate is to be transformed, argue Gregor Bamert and Stanley Kwong.
Lean on me: How can bond investors influence government climate action?
The coronavirus epidemic has further accelerated the rise of ESG into the investment mainstream. As deficits skyrocket, bond investors have an opportunity to engage with governments on climate change, argues Thomas Dillon.
Measuring the mythical: Quantifying the green premium in real estate
The green premium is an elusive concept. Laurence Monnier reviews the academic literature and crunches some numbers to try and quantify the extra pricing power afforded by more sustainable commercial properties.
Related ESG views
Sustainability in credit: Why ESG scores don’t tell the whole story
ESG ratings are a helpful baseline to assess companies, but views on their ESG risks and opportunities can be honed – and sometimes corrected – through deeper research, trend analysis and meetings with company executives.
Everybody wants one: Are sustainable bonds the new smartphones?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and fragility of the natural balance. As governments, companies and investors aim for a just transition, sustainable bonds are being issued at pace in different formats. Is it a fad, and do markets really need so many varieties?
Green is not always clean: Rising tide of greenwash brings risks for investors
Some companies have long sought to mislead the public about their commitments to sustainability, but greenwashing has become more widespread and sophisticated in recent years. Now regulators and investors are fighting back.
Is ‘purpose’ the new green? Pandemic exposes leaders and laggards in stakeholder capitalism
In 2019, some of the world’s biggest companies pledged to look beyond short-term shareholder value and protect the interests of all stakeholders. The coronavirus pandemic has put these commitments to the test, says Mirza Baig.
From social wash to social value
The inequalities highlighted by COVID-19 have led to much soul searching, including among investors on whether they are doing enough to address the issues of the day. Ed Dixon, Aviva Investors’ head of ESG - real assets, contemplates how investors in tangible assets can put capital to work to drive change.
Disclosures, trade-offs and green premia: The future of sustainability in real assets
The path to a sustainable future for private markets is full of opportunity but also complexity, as Laurence Monnier and Ed Dixon explain.
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