AIQ examines the challenges posed by climate change and explores potential solutions

Climate change: The journey from denial to crisis

More than 40 years since a senior NASA scientist told US Congress of concerns about human activities disrupting the climate, experts are warning of an impending climate catastrophe and the financial sector is wrestling with the implications.

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Why asset managers cannot be passive on climate change

As active investors step up their engagement efforts on the climate crisis, discussions need to be at the CEO rather than board level, argues David Cumming.

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Apathy, anger, action: The psychology of climate change

Psychological barriers can prevent people from acting to avert the climate threat, even when they recognise the problem. So how can we best engage individuals, companies and communities in the quest for solutions?

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Stranded! When assets become liabilities

Until recently, many investors made light of dire warnings of the risks posed by assets becoming “stranded” by climate change. However, as the threat becomes reality, fears are mounting that whole industries could be wiped out.

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‘Sticking’ it to carbon: The pros and cons of taxing emissions

With governments urged to do more to tackle climate change, carbon taxes are being touted as a politically expedient solution.

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Slash and burn: The link between land use and climate change

Poor land management contributes to rising global temperatures. But solutions are emerging as new technologies improve farming efficiency and consumers shift towards climate-friendly diets.

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Hot water: The threat of warming oceans

As the challenges posed by climate change continue to loom large, due attention should be given to oceans, not just the solid ground under our feet and the air we breathe.

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An inconvenient transition

Despite deafening calls for countries and companies to step up to fight the climate crisis, research suggests individuals – especially in the developed world – could also make a massive difference if they committed to getting by with less. But will they?

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Climate data: Seeing through the fog

Big data is heralded as the answer to almost every problem, so why not the climate crisis?

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Nuclear: From pariah to saviour?

As the old saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Despite lingering public anxiety around safety, there are growing calls for the world to look again at nuclear power as part of the solution to the climate crisis.

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How capitalism can help solve the climate crisis

Despite the increasing clamour for a global ‘Green New Deal’, Steve Waygood explains why a complementary International Panel on Climate Finance (IPCF) is also needed if we are to rise to the challenges ahead.

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Biological annihilation: The facts behind the threats to biodiversity and ecosystems

Over 100 billion people have walked the planet, making a gigantic stamp on the Earth. Around three quarters of the land and around two-thirds of the marine environment have been significantly altered by humans, impacting the carbon cycle and changing the prospects for many species.

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Perspectives on the climate crisis

The Economist: The pros and cons of carbon taxes

Professor Dieter Helm has written extensively on climate change, most recently in Green and Prosperous Land: A Blueprint for Rescuing the British Countryside (2019), and assisted the European Commission in preparing its Energy Roadmap 2050 initiative. Here, he discusses the links between energy, infrastructure, regulation and the environment.

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The Insurer: Maurice Tulloch on climate risk, insurance and closing the protection gap

The former Aviva CEO talks to AIQ about how the insurance industry is working to assess and manage the catastrophic risks of climate change.

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The Nuclear Energy Enthusiast: A potential solution to climate change

With governments under mounting pressure to decarbonise their electricity networks, US author and activist Michael Shellenberger argues nuclear energy has a vital role to play.

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The Asset Owner: How climate change affects investment decisions

Anne Simpson leads the environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration programme at CalPERS, the largest US public pension fund, with total assets of $401 billion. Here, Simpson discusses the responsibility of companies in fostering sustainable growth.

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The Psychologist: Climate change denial factors

Professor Geoffrey Beattie is an academic psychologist, writer and broadcaster. He coauthored The Psychology of Climate Change (2019) with Laura McGuire. Here, he discusses the psychological barriers to climate action and how they might be overcome.

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The Scientist: Measuring the Human impact on the climate

Dr Friederike Otto’s work – which considers whether human activities are increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events – has wide-ranging implications, from environmental damage claims to post-disaster reconstruction.

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The Responsible Investment Expert: How asset management should respond to the climate threat

As CEO of the United Nations-backed PRI, Fiona Reynolds heads the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. She discusses how capital markets can contribute to the green-energy transition; the relative responsibilities of developed and emerging economies; and the PRI’s priorities for 2020 and beyond.

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The Policymaker: The US response, green technology and climate regulation

Ken Alex, former adviser to Californian governor Jerry Brown, discusses US policy, carbon capture and storage and the need for regulation to combat the effects of climate change.

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The Activist: Extinction Rebellion

Andrew Medhurst, a member of Extinction Rebellion (XR), outlines the group’s three demands of policymakers and argues the private sector should be doing more to respond to the climate crisis.

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The Fund Manager: Companies and climate change adaption

The climate crisis will create winners and losers. As portfolio manager Françoise Cespedes explains, companies will have to adjust to changing physical conditions and new consumer expectations in a lower-carbon world.

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The Behavioural Expert: Bestselling author Cass R. Sunstein on nudging and climate change

The Harvard academic and bestselling author talks to AIQ about the power of social conformity and what behavioural economics can teach us about tackling climate change.

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AIQ: Beyond Climate

In this edition of AIQ, we look at the risks and opportunities associated with natural and social capital.

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