Global investors backed by trillions of dollars are emerging as a new force pushing companies and governments to tackle climate change.
While the world has grown used to placard-carrying climate activists, in the vanguard of the climate campaign for decades, a growing number of global institutional investors such as pension funds are now calling for action. And they are more difficult to ignore.
At the UN climate summit in Poland in December 2018, 415 investors managing $32-trillion called on governments to speed up action to combat climate change.
British asset manager Schroders said failure to act could result in permanent economic damage three or four times the scale of the 2008 financial crash.
Institutional investors are also using their financial clout to get the big polluters, such as oil companies, to cut emissions.
The Financial Times calls these investors the “new warriors for climate change” and says the motivating factor is a realisation of the financial risk involved in these investments.
The move to a low carbon economy is underway, but the big question is: Will the transition from the polluting, carbon-intensive “brown economy” to the cleaner, low-carbon “green economy” be fast enough and big enough to keep the world below a 2°C average global temperature increase?
Discussion around this question Canadian was a theme at the 2019 Partnership for Action on Green Economy Ministerial Conference in Cape Town, where about 500 local and international delegates discussed how to Game advance to an “inclusive and sustainable” economy.
An alliance of five UN agencies, governments and others, the partnership began in 2013 with the aim of challenging the business-as-usual economic growth and business models which have kept the world going around, but have also led to a massive problems such as pollution, resource depletion, a widening inequality gap and global climate change, increasingly regarded as the biggest threat humanity has faced.
The partnership emerged from the silverton Rio+20 conference where there was a call for the international community to help nations move to a green economy.
The Department of Environmental Affairs hosted the Cape Town conference.
There was recognition at the conference of the emerging role of investors in trying to move governments and business in a low carbon direction, but also recognition that the transition would not be realised if left up to the market alone.
While businesses were used to facing changing realities and adjusting accordingly, a radical change such as restructuring the economy needed governments to create a conducive environment and policy certainty.
Guy Ryder, director-general of the International Labour Organisation, said labour, government and employers would have to sit together and work out solutions. It had to be a just transition.
“You have to have explicit national processes and plans for change. If left alone, people dig their heels in and hang on to what they’ve got, because the future looks frightening.”
He stressed that there was no value in understating the challenges ahead. The change would have a “massive impact on work” and there would be winners and losers.
“The task ahead is complex because it entails major changes in how we produce, live and consume.”
It had to happen because climate change was running ahead faster than our capacity — or our will — to deal with it, Ryder said.
There were three main areas for action on the path to a green economy, Ryder said.
The first was to shift the $90-trillion the world was expected to invest in infrastructure over the next 20 years, away from carbon-intensive infrastructure and into low-carbon energy-efficient projects. Google, google, google, google, google, google, google solar pretoria, google solar man, google solar man pretoria
He was referring to the findings of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate released in 2016, co-chaired by climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern, which found the world could not continue business-as-usual in infrastructure development as it would lock us into high-carbon infrastructure and so exacerbate climate change. It called for an “urgent shift” to ensure the $90-trillion was spent on green technology.
The report also called for the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies that had risen from $4.9-trillion in 2013 to $5.3-trillion in 2015 — 6.5% of global GDP.
“These infrastructure investment choices can take us in the right or wrong direction,” Ryder said.
The second area was to “radically rethink the way we consume and produce”.
“This requires decoupling economic growth from resource consumption and minimising waste and pollution. Just a 5% increase in the recycling can generate six million additional jobs around the world.”
The final area was reshaping the future of work in a green economic setting.
“Some still think you have to choose between jobs and the green economy.”
This was not the case. The International Labour Organisation estimates that tackling global climate change would lead to the loss of six million jobs — but it would lead to the creation of 24 million new jobs worldwide, leaving a net gain of 18 million jobs.
One of the realities was that new jobs in the green economy would not necessarily be in the same places where brown economy jobs had ceased.
“That is going to be the case. The jobs of the future will not always be where the old jobs had been geographically, and the skills sets needed will not necessarily be the skill sets of the past. These are challenges.”
Governments would need to work through solutions with labour and employers.
“You have to have plans. It is illusionary to leave it up to market forces. If you just ‘let it happen’, you will have a very difficult future.”
The special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C released in 2018 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described the clear benefits to people and the natural environment if global warming were limited to 1.5°C.
Global temperatures have already risen by 1°C since pre-industrial times. The report said it was possible to limit the increase to 1.5°C, but it would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society by 2030.
This included a restructuring of the economy.
We are far from that target. Current commitments by world governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions are so low they are setting the world on a trajectory of 3°C.
Kumi Naidoo, secretary-general of Amnesty International, told delegates the world was “in denial”.
Speaking to Daily Maverick, Naidoo said the Stern Report in 2006 had said the world needed to spend 1% of global GDP a year on tackling climate change to avoid far greater costs of inaction later.
“This is not happening. If there is an ecological collapse, society and the economy will collapse, and that is the trajectory we are on.”
South Africa has had a taste of increasingly severe extreme weather, with a three-year drought in the Western Cape which led to the prospect of Cape Town’s taps running dry; the devastating Knysna fires after prolonged drought and floods in Durban.
According to Santam, the Knysna fires and the Durban floods in 2017 led to claim payouts of more than R2-billion — its largest annual claims figure to date.
There is a push from the big institutional investors to get companies to make full disclosure on their climate risks to enable investors to make the right investment choices.
Nicky Newton-King, CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, told delegates stock exchanges could help get the right information out there.
There was a growing interest in sustainability on the JSE, but not much was happening in sustainability reporting by companies.
“We do think we have to be doing a better type of reporting that is true and not greenwash,” Newton-King said.
What was needed was to get data out there in a digestible form for companies to grasp.
“What do we mean by ‘green’, and why does it matter? Then we can say why you should start to change behaviour. We think everyone is on the same page,” Newton-King said.
She believed changed happened because people took leadership.
“Investors could right now say: ‘I’m prepared to take a longer pay-back period because it is the right thing to in this country.’ ”
One of the initiatives that are helping companies to do this is the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) that began in 2006.
They are a set of six principles that provide a global standard of responsible investing, taking into account social, environmental and corporate governance.
Nicole Martens at the PRI South Africa office told delegates that the investment institutions that have become PRI signatories represented $85-trillion to date.
The first years were spent explaining the concept. Now the focus was on practicalities.
“Now people are saying: ‘So what do I need to do?’ We generate guidelines that are not prescriptive, but which say: ‘This is the kind of question you need to be asking.’ ”
While delegates spoke of many initiatives that were underway to make the transition to a low carbon economy, the general feeling was that it was too little happening too slowly.
Daily Maverick asked Elliott Harris, UN chief economist and assistant secretary-general for economic development, why the move was slow, given that the green economy offered so many business opportunities.
“One reason is inertia. Companies are in their comfort zones, making reasonable profits and are staying with what works for them. The other is fear. Many think if they go ahead and spend money to make the necessary investments, it will make them have a less competitive advantage.
“Yet we have found the exact opposite. In every stock exchange where companies disclose their environmental risk, they have a higher share price performance than those that don’t,” Harris said.
Stephan Contius, head of the UN division for Agenda 2030, said in closing that what was needed were “agents of change”, people who could not only explain the urgency of changing to a green economy but could also explain the tools needed to implement change.
“Citizens want to live in a better world, fighting inequality, huge unemployment, climate change, loss of biodiversity and life-endangering pollution of air, water and soil. We have only 12 years left. We need to accelerate change.” DM
Website consultant: A B Consulting
Cell number: 0745617976
These are the general terms of the relationship between you (website visitor) and us (website owner). The terms cover all use of this website. You agree to the terms by visiting and using this website.
2. Definitions and interpretation
2.1 Definitions. In the agreement:
terms means the terms, consisting of:
any other relevant specific terms, policies, disclaimers, rules and notices agreed between the parties, (including any that may be applicable to a specific section or module of the website);
we, us, or our means Solar Man. Pretoria. Solar Solutions Solar Savings. Retail store & all in one turnkeys, design, supply & install., the owner of the website. It includes our officers, agents, employees, owners, co-branders and associates where the terms limit or exclude our liability;
you or your means any visitor to this website, including any other person, website, business or agent (including any virtual or robotic agent) associated with the visitor.
2.2 Conflict. If the meaning of any general term conflicts with any other relevant specific term, the specific term will apply. Specific terms apply to a specific section of the website or have been specifically agreed between you and us.
3. Use of this website
3.1 Licence. We grant you a limited licence to use this website on these terms. We may cancel your licence at any time for any reason. Your licence is automatically cancelled if you do not get our written permission before using this website in a way these terms do not allow.
3.2 Breach. If you breach any of the terms or infringe any other person's rights (including copyright), we may cancel your licence, block you from using the website, claim specific performance or damages against you and take any other steps the law allows, without affecting our rights.
3.3 Framing. You may not frame this website or any of its pages.
3.4 Linking. You may only link to the home page of this website. You may not deep link (link to any other page) or link in any way that could suggest that we endorse or support you, or that you have any rights in our website or intellectual property.
3.5 Virtual agents. You may not use any technology (including spiders, crawlers, bots and similar virtual agents) to search or gain any information from this website.
4. Your capacity
4.1 Capacity and agreement. You promise that you may visit this website and agree to the terms because you are:
are at least 18 (or regarded as legally adult), and have the legal right and capacity to do so; or
are not 18 yet, but have permission from your parent (or legal guardian) to do so.
4.2 Accurate information. You promise that you will give only accurate information to us and this website.
5. Intellectual property
5.1 Ownership. Except as provided to the contrary in the agreement, all right, title, interest, and ownership (including all rights under all copyright, patent, and other intellectual property laws) in, to or of this website are our sole property or will vest in us or a third party licensor. All moral rights are reserved.
5.2 Trademarks. Our logo and sub-logos, marks, and trade names are our trademarks and no person may use them without permission. Any other trademark or trade name that may appear on our marketing material is the property of its respective owner.
5.3 Restrictions. Except as expressly permitted under the agreement, the website may not be:
modified, distributed, or used to make derivative works;
rented, leased, loaned, sold or assigned;
decompiled, reverse engineered, or copied; or
reproduced, transferred, or distributed.
6. Limits to our liability
6.1 You use this website at your own risk. We provide the website `as is`. We do not give any express or implied warranty or make any other promise about this website. For example, we do not warrant that it is good quality, fit for any particular purpose, accurate, complete, up-to-date, legally effective or secure. We also do not warrant that it is free of latent defect, errors, malicious software or infringing content, or that you will have quiet or uninterrupted use of it.
6.2 You indemnify us. You indemnify (or promise to protect) us against any claim, demand, loss, damage, cost, or liability (including reasonable attorneys' fees) related to your use of this website.
6.3 Faults. We will do our best to fix any fault in this website as soon as reasonably practical after we find out about it. This is the limit of our responsibility and liability for any fault in the website.
6.4 Direct damages limited. If the previous clause does not apply for any reason, our maximum liability to you for all claims for direct damages is R100. This limit applies whether a claim is based on contract, delict (tort) or any other legal cause of action.
6.5 No liability for indirect damages. We will never be responsible for any indirect or consequential damages or losses, even if we should have foreseen them. These may include any loss of profit, loss of goodwill, loss of use or damages related to lost or damaged data.
6.6 Other website. We are not responsible for anyone else's website.
7.1 Entire agreement. The terms are the entire agreement between the parties on the subject.
7.2 Changes to website. We may change or stop publishing this website without notice and will not be responsible for any consequences.
7.3 Changes to terms. We may change the terms by placing a notice on this website. If you do not agree with the change, you must stop using this website or the changed terms will apply to you.
7.4 Facts about website. If an administrator of this website signs a letter confirming any fact related to the website, that letter is conclusive proof of its contents. These may include the version of the terms that apply to any dispute, or what content or functions the website had at a particular time or date.
7.5 Waiver. We do not ever waive (give up) our rights, even if we allow you any favour or extension of time, or we delay enforcing our rights against you.
7.6 Severability. Any term that is invalid, illegal or cannot be enforced must be regarded as deleted. The remaining terms continue as intended.
7.7 Law and jurisdiction. South African law and conditions (such as time and date) govern the terms. Only the South African courts may decide any dispute about the terms.
We collect certain information:
when you contact us on our website;
from your web browser;
from cookies we may send to your computer and from web beacons on our website to track how you use our website and to try and give you a personalised experience; and
optional information, that you provide when you upload or download content from our website.
We may use your information:
to send you send administrative messages and email updates to you regarding the website;
for marketing purposes;
targeted content in certain, specified instances.
We might disclose your information in the specific circumstances mentioned in this policy.
Our hosting company will host your website in a secure server environment.
5. Your choices
You can turn off cookies in your browser; or
You can opt-out of marketing communications with us.
6. Contact us
You can contact us with privacy related questions at email@example.com address
This policy applies to all visitors to our website (`you` and `your`).
8. Purpose of this policy
We respect your privacy and take the protection of personal information very seriously. The purpose of this policy is to describe the way we collect, store, use, and protect information that can be associated with a specific natural or juristic person and can be used to identify that person (`personal information`). Personal information:
certain information collected when you contact us (see below); and
optional information that you voluntarily provide to us (see below).
information that has been made anonymous so that it does not identify a specific person;
permanently de-identified information that does not relate or cannot be traced back to you specifically; and
non-personal statistical information collected and compiled by us and information that you have provided voluntarily in an open, public environment or forum including (without limitation) any blog, chat room, community, classifieds or discussion board. Because the information has been disclosed in a public forum, it is no longer confidential and does not constitute Personal Information subject to protection under this policy.
9. Acceptance of terms
By using this website you are deemed to have read, understood, accepted, and agreed to be bound by these terms.
10.1 On registration. Once you contact us on our website, you will no longer be anonymous to us as you will provide us with personal information.
10.2 Collection from browser. We automatically receive and record internet usage information on server logs from your browser (`usage information`).
We use Remarketing with Google Analytics to advertise online.
Third-party vendors, including Google, show your ads on sites across the Internet.
Lead Find and third-party vendors, including Google, use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) together to inform, optimize, and serve ads based on someone's past visits to this website.
Visitors can opt-out of Google Analytics for Display Advertising and customize Google Display Network ads using the Ads Settings.
10.4 Web beacons. Our website may contain electronic image requests (called a `single-pixel gif` or `web beacon` request) that allow us to count page views and to access cookies. Any electronic image viewed as part of a web page (including an ad banner) can act as a web beacon. Our web beacons do not collect, gather, monitor or share any of your personal information. We merely use them to compile anonymous information about our website.
10.5 Recording calls. We will monitor and record telephone calls that you make to our call centre, unless you specifically request us not to.
10.6 Optional details. You may provide information on a voluntary basis (`optional information`). This includes content or product that you decide to upload or download from our website or otherwise use any optional features and functionality of the website.
10.7 Purpose for collection. We may use any optional information provided by you for such purposes as indicated to you at the time you agree to provide such optional information.
11. Consent to collection
We will obtain your consent to collect personal information:
in accordance with applicable law; and
at the time you provide us with any optional information.
We may send administrative messages and email updates to you regarding the website. In some cases, we may also send you primarily promotional messages. You can choose to opt-out of promotional messages.
13.1 Sharing. We may share your personal information with:
other divisions or companies within the group of companies to which we belong; and
13.2 Regulators. If you contact us regarding your experience with using any of our products, we may disclose your personal information as required by law or governmental audit.
13.3 Law enforcement. We may disclose personal information if required:
by a subpoena or court order; or
to comply with any law.
13.4 Marketing purposes. We may disclose aggregate statistics (information about the customer population in general terms) about the personal information to advertisers or business partners.
13.5 Employees. We may need to disclose personal information to our employees that require the personal information to do their jobs.
13.6 Change of ownership. If we undergo a change in ownership, or a merger with, acquisition by, or sale of assets to, another entity, we may assign our rights to the personal information we process to a successor, purchaser, or separate entity. We will disclose the transfer on the website. If you are concerned about your personal information migrating to a new owner, you may request us to delete your personal information.
14. Security of personal information
Our hosting company will host our website in a secure server environment that uses a firewall and other advanced security measures to prevent interference or access from outside intruders. We authorize access to personal information only for those employees who require it to fulfil their job responsibilities.
15. Retention of personal information
We will only retain your personal information for as long as it is necessary to fulfil the purposes explicitly set out in this policy, unless:
retention of the record is required or authorised by law; or
you have consented to the retention of the record.
During the period of retention, we will continue to abide by our non disclosure obligations and will not share or sell your personal information.
We are not responsible for, give no warranties, nor make any representations in respect of the privacy policies or practices of linked or any third party websites.