Dec 11, 2018, 11:49am
A global group of 415 investors managing $32 trillion in assets just released a combined statement urging governments to accelerate their actions to mitigate climate change.
The 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change reiterated their support of the ongoing Paris Agreement discussions taking place during COP24 in Katowice, Poland.
The group of global investors manages the funds of millions of beneficiaries around the world and urges governments to support and quickly adopt measures outlined in the Paris Agreement.
The group warns that ignoring action against climate change could cause permanent economic damage up to four times the size of the 2008 financial crisis. To mitigate these economic damages, the group of investors calls on global leaders to commit to three priorities.
- Quickly adopt and achieve the measures outlined within the Paris Agreement
- Increase the rate of investment in renewable energies and speed up the transition to low-carbon economies. This would include adopting a price for carbon emissions.
- Improve financial reporting on the impacts of climate change on businesses.
In order to limit global warming below 2°C compared to preindustrial levels, global economies must significantly and quickly curtail their emissions. Schroders, a member of the global investor’s group, warns that a temperature rise of 4°C could cause $23 trillion in global economic losses over the remainder of the century.
While it is increasingly difficult, the benchmark of holding global warming below 2°C is realistically possible. However, global carbon dioxide emissions have again begun to increase after emissions stabilized for three years. The United Nations Environment Programme adds that the gap between real-world emissions and levels required to keep warming below 2°C must be closed by 2030 to meet the goal.
While countries, private companies, investors, and NGOs all call for serious and urgent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, three nations have recently stalled the Paris Agreement talks. The United States, in concert with Saudi Arabia and Russia, oppose the Paris Agreement and deny humans are responsible for climate change. These three countries represent the top three oil and gas producing countries in the world, accounting for over 40% of global hydrocarbon production.
While many countries fully adopt the measures outlined in the Paris Agreement, countries reliant on oil and gas production remain concerned over its impact on their long-term economies.