AMP Capital – Top take-aways from a climate change action summit
2nd Dec 2019 – Adam Kirkman – Head of ESG Sydney, Australia
A summit representing the interests of institutional investors was held in Sydney recently to understand and act on the risks and opportunities associated with climate change and their portfolios.
The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) recently held its biannual summit in Sydney with the two-day program centred around the theme of Catalysing Action on Climate Change. The IGCC is a coalition of Australian and New Zealand investors focused on the impact of climate change on investments. The coalition represents institutional investors with total funds under management of over A$2 trillion and seeks to encourage government policies and investment practices that address the risks and opportunities of climate change.
So, what were the key takeaways from the summit?
1. Climate change is happening now
Climatologist Dr Michael E. Mann – Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State – gave a timely and thought-provoking reminder of the science of climate change. I highly recommend you watch his keynote speech here. Climate change has often been framed as a future problem but it is clear that we are seeing the effects of climate change now and there is more to come. Although the Paris Agreement seeks to limit temperature increases to 1.5⁰C, the actual emissions reduction pledges made by countries currently have the world on track for a 3⁰C temperature rise before the end of the century. The projected impacts of this increase in temperature on food security, resources, biodiversity, ecosystems, tourism and people are extreme (you can read more about them here) and underscore the urgent need to drastically reduce carbon emissions, globally.
2. Divestment versus engagement …