Sustainable investors need to move faster, says Swiss investment management firm

South Pole, a Swiss investment management firm, is calling on sustainable investors to do more – and sooner – if they are serious about combatting climate change.

In a blog on the lessons of the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, South Pole Communications Head Nadia Kahkonen argued: “The transition to low-carbon is the only real growth story we have – a growth fuelled by anything else apart from clean technologies would disrupt lives and business.”

She wrote: “To get there, the entire global community needs to urgently bend the emissions curve in order to stay below 1.5℃ warming, in line with what science demands.”

Noting that worldwide emissions hit a record high last year, Kahkonen said more actors must embrace cleantech, renewable energy and other measures before climate change creates catastrophic weather events and other changes.

“We cannot transform economies in silos – we need both countries and non-state actors, such as companies and cities, to reach ambitious targets,” she argued.

In Poland, negotiators agreed on a ‘rule book’ on how countries would adopt the Paris climate agreement that goes into effect in 2020. That was a crucial step forward in advancing sustainable investing, said Kahkonen.

But she noted that Article 6, or rules on how to manage a global carbon market, failed to reach consensus due to “interventions from Brazil”. As a result, diplomats will discuss the issue in Chile later this year.

The delay was unfortunate but at least affords stakeholders more time to reach agreement, including launching pilot projects for carbon markets, she argued.

Image credit: Ian Britton via Flickr

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