Investors With Over $34 Trillion Demand Climate Crisis Action
Money talks. And today it had something to say about the impending global climate crisis.
Investors managing nearly half the world's capital, more than $34 trillion in assets, demanded governments around the world take action to stop the impending global climate crisis, as Reuters reported in an exclusive.
In an open letter to the leaders of the G20 countries, groups representing 477 investors stressed urgent action to reach the Paris climate agreement targets of limiting global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. Yet, current policies put the world on track for at least a 3 degrees Celsius rise by the end of the century.
To limit global temperature rises, the group of investors demanded that nations accelerate their carbon reduction targets, gradually eliminate coal as an energy source, stop subsidizing fossil fuels, and set a global price on carbon by the end of 2020, according to Reuters.
The statement from the group of investors also asked firms to improve their climate-related financial reporting, which will help them assess which companies are ready for a low-carbon transition and which companies are prepared for the climate crisis.
They also want to see governments push companies to improve their climate-related financial disclosures, to help investors better assess which firms are well prepared for a low-carbon transition and the impacts of climate change.
"It is vital for our long-term planning and asset allocation decisions that governments work closely with investors to incorporate Paris-aligned climate scenarios into their policy frameworks and energy transition pathways," the statement said, as Reuters reported.
The letter comes just before the G20 summit in Japan on Friday and Saturday and as United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges countries to commit to more ambitious climate goals.
"There is an ambition gap... This ambition gap is of great concern to investors and needs to be addressed, with urgency," the investors warned in a statement alongside the letter, as Reuters reported.
That lack of ambition is evident in the host country Japan, which has been criticized for its plans to continue using coal power. In a draft statement ahead of this weekend's summit, Japan has weakened the G20's commitment to the Paris climate agreement in order to keep the US on board, according to Climate Home News.
Japan is far from the only country that argues for the continued use of fossil fuels to sustain economic growth. A report by researchers which tracks countries' progress toward limiting global warming showed that only five out of 32 nations studied have targets in line with a 2 degrees Celsius limit, according to Reuters.
Furthermore, the G20 countries have continued to back coal power, boosting their backing for coal-fired power plants, particularly in poorer nations, from $17 billion to $47 billion a year from 2014 to 2017, according to a report by the Overseas Development think tank, as Reuters reported.
The latest statement by investors comes as large institutional investors have started to move away from fossil fuels, both driven by ethics and by economic — as the price of renewables falls, fossil fuels will be less profitable.
"The big story in energy economics over the next decade will be the storming of the bastions of fossil fuels by renewable energy sources that are cheaper to build and run, orders of magnitude cleaner and also much easier and quicker to deploy," said Mark Lewis, the head of sustainability research at BNP Paribas, as the Guardian reported.
This latest statement from some of the world's largest investors comes after Norway's Wealth Fund, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund divested itself earlier this month of all its investments in fossil fuels, including oil exploration and coal-related stocks, according to the Guardian.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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