Edition for 20 January 2020

Top Stories

Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts

  • After more than 10,000 years of relative stability—the full span of human civilization—the Earth’s climate is changing.
  • As average temperatures rise, climate science finds that acute hazards such as heat waves and floods grow in frequency and severity, and chronic hazards, such as drought and rising sea levels, intensify (Exhibit 1).
  • In this report, we focus on understanding the nature and extent of physical risk from a changing climate over the next one to three decades, exploring physical risk as it is the basis of both transition and liability risks.

Climate change pushes investors to take their temperature

  • Policymakers are pushing investors to do more to ensure their portfolio choices help to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change by limiting planetary warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably to 1.5C.
  • A vanguard of insurers and pension funds, many of whom will be in Davos this week for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, say part of the answer is a new “temperature score” that gives a snapshot of how their investments are contributing to climate change.
  • So far, the temperature metric has been adopted by only a handful of the thousands of financial institutions worldwide but the buzz it has generated shows how investors’ concerns about climate risk are finally moving into the mainstream.

Climate Change Takes Center Stage in Davos

  • Even before catastrophic fires broke out in Australia in late fall, climate change was at the top of the list of priorities at the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week.
  • In a nod to a younger generation most at risk and demanding action on climate change, Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who has become a prominent environmental activist, is scheduled to appear.
  • “We demand that leaders play their part in putting an end to this madness.” Daniel Yergin, the oil historian and a regular attendee at the Davos forum, agreed that “climate is going to loom larger than ever before.”
  • Ian Bremmer, founder and president of the political risk firm Eurasia Group, said: “These issues are becoming more real, more salient every day, whether you are talking about Venice or California or Australia or Jakarta.

New BP ad campaign calls on Washington Legislature to put a price on carbon pollution from fossil fuels

  • Declaring that the “findings of climate scientists are real, and the world is on an unsustainable path,” energy giant BP is launching a public relations campaign this weekend to promote putting a price on carbon pollution in Washington state.
  • BP sent a statement Tuesday to legislators calling for passage of Senate Bill 5981, which would place an overall cap on state carbon emissions.
  • BP’s decision to publicly campaign this year for carbon pricing represents a significant change in the corporation’s strategy in Washington, which has emerged — through legislative efforts and two ballot initiatives — as a kind of political testing ground for U.S. climate policy.

Drought in southern Africa: EU releases over €22 million in humanitarian aid

  • The bulk of this funding went for emergency relief assistance in the wake of natural disasters (cyclones Idai and Kenneth), food assistance, and helping at-risk communities equip themselves better to face climate-related disasters.
  • In Zimbabwe alone, a 7.7 million people, half of the country’s population, are at the risk of facing severe hunger, placing Zimbabwe among the states facing one of the worst food crises in the world.

'You Need To Act Now': Meet 4 Girls Working To Save The Warming World

  • NPR talked to four teenage climate activists, all girls, from the U.S. and Australia, alongside their mothers.
  • In Castlemaine, Australia, Milou Albrecht, 15, co-founded School Strike for Climate Australia, which organizes student walkouts.

The Climate Sentinel is an AI-powered news assistant for ESG investors and those concerned about climate change, corporate social responsibility, and related topics. Learn more.

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