The environmental impact we are having on the planet is highlighted in 2018’s Global Risks Report by the World Economic Forum. Three of the top five risks are environmental, and all have a higher-than-average likelihood of occurrence. It is time for governments and businesses to seize the initiative and pave the way for new opportunities.
The finance sector has the potential to champion a more holistic approach to investing that keeps both financial and environmental returns top of mind.
When the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed in 2015, 195 countries agreed to attempt to keep global temperatures “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to “endeavor to limit” them to 1.5°C. Most signatories focused on the 2°C figure, which was a significant strengthening of previous ambitions.
Fast-forward to Oct. 2018, and The Special Report on Global Warning by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is approved by governments ahead of the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December. The report cites more than 6,000 scientific references and the dedicated contribution of thou- sands of expert and government reviewers worldwide.
Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will have huge benefits, the report concludes, as warming of 2°C will significantly increase the risks of climate change – floods, sea level rise, extreme heat, drought and poverty – for hundreds of millions of people.
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