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Monday, 19 August 2019

Some of the world’s biggest investors could be the key to saving the planet from irreparable harm

Some of the world’s biggest investors could be the key to saving the planet from irreparable harm — not because they’re tree-hugging earth lovers, but because their investments could lose significant value or be wiped out altogether if the environment is damaged beyond repair, Tom Espiner writes for the BBC. “‘The economic and financial risks associated with climate change are very real,’ says Steve Waygood, chief responsible officer at Aviva Investors. ‘We only have the next five to 10 years to [cope] with the risks associated with climate change and make sure they don’t become real.”

A group of 360 investors with over USD 34 tn in assets under management have come together to form Climate Action 100+, a group that works to “put pressure on companies to do the right thing” when it comes to the environment. The group targets significant emitters of greenhouse gases and companies with large carbon footprints, such as BP, Shell, and coal producer Glencore. And since they’re shareholders, Espiner points out, they can exert considerable pressure, but that’s not to say they’ve found success with every attempt. Several large companies, such as ExxonMobil, are all but refusing to cooperate, and even those who do meet the group halfway are still not putting the brakes on their harmful activities altogether.

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