President Biden signed an executive order at the White House just hours after being sworn in, to reverse the previous administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 accord, which seeks to limit global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Rich nations and institutions have been routinely over-reporting funding to protect developing countries from the climate crisis, which is expected to have left climate adaptation funds short by over $20 billion, a report from CARE has found.
The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner – but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats. Our evolution has selected the “fight or flight” instinct to deal with environmental change, so rather like the metaphor of the frog in boiling water, we tend to react too little and too late to gradual change.
The Jesuits in Britain are one of 15 institutional investors with a combined US$2.4 trillion in assets under management that have filed a climate change resolution at HSBC, alongside 117 individual shareholders.
As we look to a new year, socially responsible investments that track factors like environmental, social, and governance principles could see greater adoption among financial advisors and investors.
“Interest has gone up tremendously in 2020,” Jeffrey Gitterman, head of Gitterman Wealth Management, an RIA that specializes in sustainable investing and provides model portfolios to other wealth management firms, told Think Advisor. “Our climate strategies are the most popular. The transition (to zero emissions) is here and not going away.”
UN Climate Change News, 11 January 2021 – In a virtual address at the ‘One Planet Summit’ for biodiversity hosted by the French government in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank, UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared 2021 as “the year to reconcile humanity with nature.”
He highlighted both the need to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and to provide adequate finance to adapt to the impacts of climate change, which include more frequent and more severe incidents of drought, flooding and fires.