Over 400 investors call on world’s leaders to address climate change

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In the latest Global Investor Statement to Government’s on Climate Change 414 investors, including giants like Alliance SE, HSBC and Zurich Insurance Group, have reiterated their support of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

They “strongly urge all governments to implement the actions that are needed to achieve the goals of the Agreement, with the utmost urgency.”

Schroders, one of the signatories, states that long-run temperature rises of around 4°C, would result in $23 trillion of associated global economic losses over the next 80 years. “This is permanent economic damage three or four times the scale of the impacts of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, while continuing to escalate,” it said.

The signatories further highlight the “ambition gap” the United Nations (UN) has identified between governments’ current commitments and what is needed to limit global warming to under 2°C. (In the report, the UN also found that countries must triple their efforts to meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement.)

Overall, the investors have identified three areas where more needs to be done: (i) achieving the goals set out under the Paris Agreement; (ii) accelerating private sector investment into the low carbon transition; and (iii) committing to improve climate-related financial reporting.

Specifics within these areas include the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies and thermal coal power, and placing a “meaningful” price on carbon.

The investor statement will be handed to the various world leaders who are gathered at COP 24, which has just entered its second week in Katowice, Poland.

Luckily for them, there are plenty of concrete suggestions for reducing and/or eliminating carbon, reversing global warming, creating jobs and even promoting equality. If they will just stay away from the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook and instead pick up one of the more useful tomes, like the Drawdown or Cradle to Cradle, then we will be ok.

Watch out for more updates from COP 24 in our new live blog feature.