“It is huge that financial institutions managing $130 trillion in assets are now leading the charge to a net-zero future,” said Helen Mountford, a senior climate expert at the World Resources Institute think tank.
Governments and big investors announced fresh plans Wednesday to pour trillions of dollars into curbing global warming, reflecting the financial world’s growing embrace of efforts to fight climate change as both a business necessity and opportunity, AP reports.
But some social justice activists called for scrutiny of investors’ motives, warning that the same financial institutions that profited from funding fossil fuel firms were now being presented as green champions.
There is a growing consensus that the private sector must be involved if the world is to avoid catastrophic global warming. Speaking at the U.N. climate summit in the Scottish city of Glasgow, Britain’s Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said that while countries such as his are stumping up more cash to fund the shift to low carbon economies around the world, “public investment alone isn’t enough.”
He praised a pledge Wednesday by a group of over 450 major financial institutions to align their investments with the 2015 Paris climate accord — which calls for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and other efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
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