Shifting to sustainable investment is not ‘pie-in-the-sky’

(Eco Business, 18 Oct 2019) Banks are still investing too heavily in fossil fuels, but 30 other top investors are making a green shift.

The news this month that the world’s largest banks still heavily finance fossil fuels, failed to respond to climate risks, and have yet to make substantial commitments to sustainable development hit hard. If they’re not going to finance the transition to a sustainable world, it’s not clear who would.

We need them on board, and it’s in their financial interest: firms ignoring the climate crisis will go bankrupt, according to Bank of England’s Governor Mark Carney.

That banks extended $1.9 trillion in financing to the fossil-fuel industry since 2015 shows how much work is required if we’re going to halve emissions by 2030, which is what’s needed to avert climate catastrophe. Even the European Investment Bank, the largest public bank in the world, balked this week at total divestment in fossil fuels.

That is why this week’s announcement at the United Nations, by 30 of the world’s top investors, to invest in sustainable development is heartily welcomed. The Global Investors for Sustainable Development, which includes the biggest players in the financial industry, such as Bank of America, PIMCO, Citigroup, Allianz, UBS and more, are hoping to arrest the trends above.

In their UN announcement, they noted that financial investment in the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by 193 nations in 2015, isn’t happening “at the required scale or speed”.

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Eco Business, 18 Oct 2019: Shifting to sustainable investment is not ‘pie-in-the-sky’