Good news from the One Planet Summit

Climate Smart Soils

Photo: Georgina Smith/CIAT

There were plenty of positive commitments from Emmanuel Macron’s One Planet Summit in Paris on Tuesday – a very welcome counter to some markedly less rosy news over the last month on the rise in 2017 emissions, and a frankly terrifying piece from Eric Holthaus on Antarctic ice. Of particular interest for me were commitments from investors representing $26tn in assets to push for compliance with the recommendations from the Task-Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) as well as a slew of promising announcements on initiatives such as research to support smallholder farmers, and a project incubator for climate and water projects for Africa.

Taken as a whole I think there are two important points highlighted by the summit. First, this is high-level political leadership on climate change: to borrow from James Murray at Business Green, our political leaders (with some ignoble exceptions) now ‘get’ climate change and see it as an increasingly important political priority. Second, follow the money! The financial sector is starting to throw its considerable weight behind action on decarbonisation, climate risk management, and climate finance. More and more firms are signed up to the recommendations from the TCFD, the announcements on Tuesday highlighted the investor community is ready to push companies hard on climate risks and emissions reductions, and players like Blackrock are prepared to very publically use their influence for climate action.

From a GCAP perspective one of the pieces currently missing in all of this is an appreciation of opportunities to invest in what I might describe as the ‘Resilience Economy’. Our work in the Private Markets project highlights dozens of products and services which contribute to resilience among smallholders and SMEs in developing countries, and which would be of interest for investors looking for social or environmental ‘impact’. We are working through models to allow poorer farmers to reach the finance they need to access these services, with interesting opportunities for responsible investment, so watch this space or get in touch for more information!

2017 feels like a turning point on corporate and financial commitment to the Green Economy - here’s looking forward to 2018 as a year to really catalyse private sector action on climate resilience.

If you’re interested in how to manage climate risks, and alignment with the TCFD, we provide comprehensive climate risk management solutions

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