One of the salient themes that emerged at the 2015 edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is that investors are very interested in climate action. There have been a number of important developments during the course of the WEF but few are more important than the emerging trend of integrating climate risks into financial assessments. The risks and the opportunities posed by climate change are bottom-line issues.
Low carbon energy investments are providing considerable returns. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, clean energy investment increased by 16 percent in 2014. The We Mean Business Coalition reports that companies are achieving 20+ percent internal rates of return on their own clean energy projects.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon noted that investing in climate protection could make a significant impact. “Infrastructure and sustainability are treated as separate issues. We see this at the meetings of the G20, at other international gatherings, and even here at the World Economic Forum. We need to address this troubling disconnect,” Ban said.
According to Paul Polman, Chief Executive of Anglo-Dutch food company Unilever, the size of global infrastructure investment will reach $90 trillion over the next 15 years. “That needs to be done anyway. Do it in the right way, and you can solve your climate change issues and stimulate economic growth,” he said.
WEF Summaries: Climate Change
Towards a Global Climate Agreement at COP21 (WEF Summaries)
Business Leadership on Climate Change (WEF Summaries)
Curbing Fossil Fuels – Carbon Pricing and an End to Subsidies (WEF Summaries)
Global Economies Feeling the Heat from Climate Change (WEF Summaries)
Collaboration and Cooperation are Imperative (WEF Summaries)
What is The World Economic Forum (WEF)
Risks Associated with Environment, Climate, Water Crisis and Extreme Weather in the WEF Report