Financial industry needs to do more and quickly to address climate change, co-Director of Grantham Institute warns

The financial industry must do more to help in the fight against climate change, Professor Martin Siegert, Professor of Geosciences and co-Director of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, has warned.

Speaking at today’s European Pensions Nordic Climate Change Seminar: Identifying the risks and taking action, held in association with BNP Paribas Asset Management, Professor Siegert told viewers that the financial industry had a critical role to play in supporting the Paris Agreement targets and, while progress had been made, more needs to be done.

“We are not doing enough, and we are not doing it quickly enough. Investment is critical. I have always been a believer that we need to invest money now to deliver the changes we need and, without financial backing, solving these issues might not be possible,” he warned.

Siegert went on to highlight how investment in areas that support the fight against climate change are clearly more attractive than they were in the past, which should act as driver for further investment in the future.

“What we are seeing is that investments in these areas are becoming quite attractive now and will be into the future. Who would have thought a few years ago the levels of the renewable sector would be where they are right now? Who would have thought that electric vehicles ten years ago would have the impact that they are having now and will have into the future? Investments in these areas are going to be very important. If you have investments in the new emerging technologies, the start-ups, into the businesses and products of tomorrow, that has got to be a good thing,” he added.

Finally, he reiterated that, while everyone had a role to play, the financial industry’s role remains crucial. “We have all got a part to play but investment is absolutely critical. If it is done in the right way, investment can unlock the potential for innovation and the deployment of existing technologies. We are in this together, we have only got one planet, we all live in it and we all have to solve this problem collectively,” he concluded.

Siegert was joined at the online seminar by Mark Lewis, Chief Sustainability Strategist at BNP Paribas Asset Management, who presented on the importance of decarbonisation, the direct and indirect implications, how decarbonisation can be approached, and what it means for institutional investors; and Ulrik Fugmann, Co-head of Environmental Strategies Group at BNP Paribas Asset Management, who explored the opportunities for investing in environmental solutions, discussed why energy transition is so important, and how investing in this area can make a positive impact and provide future returns for investors.

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