Unleashing the climate market

(Eco Business, 16 Mar 2021) Owing to years of grassroots mobilisation and the rise of renewables and low-carbon assets, financial markets are finally shifting gears to account for the inevitable decline of fossil fuels. But policymakers must heed the call for clear standards.

Progress against climate change has long crept at a snail’s pace, and the costs of inaction are increasingly clear to see. Hardly a week goes by without a natural disaster or an extreme weather event that destroys the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations in the developing world.

Among the latest horrors is a devastating flood in India, owing to glacial melt, and the wave of Category 4 hurricanes that struck Honduras in November.

With a per capita carbon footprint that is 4-5 times larger than the average low- or middle-income country, the United States is deeply implicated in these tragedies.

Fortunately, 2021 is shaping up to be a year when meaningful US climate action finally takes off, owing to a groundswell in the global financial industry. That’s right: Big Finance has started to go green as major institutional investors seek out safe, long-run returns in global markets.

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Eco Business, 16 Mar 2021: Unleashing the climate market