Com­pa­nies need to dis­close more on cli­mate risks: Panel

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

LON­DON: In­vestors need more in­for­ma­tion about the risks com­pa­nies face from global warm­ing so they can fund de­vel­op­ment of the new tech­nolo­gies that are needed to con­trol cli­mate change and mit­i­gate its ef­fects, a task force said.

An in­ter­na­tional panel, chaired by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, de­vel­oped rec­om­men­da­tions over the last year based on the idea that mar­kets need more and bet­ter data to re­spond to the chal­lenge of cli­mate change. The task force was ap­pointed by the Fi­nan­cial Sta­bil­ity Board, an arm of the Group of 20 in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions and led by Bank of Eng­land Gover­nor Mark Car­ney. “The chal­lenge is that in­vestors cur­rently don’t have the in­for­ma­tion they need to re­spond to these de­vel­op­ments,” Car­ney and Bloomberg wrote Wed­nes­day in the Guardian news­pa­per. “This must change if fi­nan­cial mar­kets are go­ing to do what they do best: al­lo­cate cap­i­tal to man­age risks and seize new op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

The rec­om­men­da­tions come a year af­ter 195 coun­tries agreed to work to­gether to limit the rise in av­er­age global tem­per­a­tures to less than 2 de­grees Cel­sius. U.S. Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, who has called global warm­ing a “hoax,” has said he plans to aban­don the U.S. com­mit­ment to re­duce car­bon emis­sions as part of that agree­ment.

The task force is com­posed of ex­ec­u­tives from ma­jor com­pa­nies, banks and in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing J.P. Mor­gan Chase, BHP Bil­li­ton and Swiss Re. The com­pa­nies rep­re­sented have a com­bined mar­ket value of $1.5 tril­lion, while the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions over­see $20 tril­lion in as­sets.

The panel de­vel­oped its rec­om­men­da­tions af­ter the G-20 asked it to ex­am­ine the fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity risks posed by cli­mate change. The ad­vice fo­cuses on “prac­ti­cal, ma­te­rial dis­clo­sures” that can be used by all fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and com­pa­nies that raise money from in­vestors, Car­ney and Bloomberg said. “Of course, given the un­cer­tain­ties around cli­mate, not every­one will agree on the tim­ing or scale of ad­just­ments re­quired to achieve this goal,” Car­ney said at the re­port’s launch. “But the right in­for­ma­tion will al­low op­ti­mists and pes­simists, skep­tics and evan­ge­lists, to back their con­vic­tions with their cap­i­tal.”

He also dipped into his­tory to ex­plain his view. “Early dis­clo­sure rules al­lowed 20th-cen­tury fi­nan­cial mar­kets to grow our economies by pric­ing risks more ac­cu­rately,” he said. “The spread of such stan­dards in­ter­na­tion­ally has helped lift more than a bil­lion peo­ple out of poverty. Cli­mate-re­lated dis­clo­sures could be as trans­for­ma­tive for 21st-cen­tury mar­kets.” — AP

AL-QAYYARAH, Iraq: This file photo taken on Novem­ber 25, 2016 shows smoke bil­low­ing from a burn­ing oil well, set ablaze by re­treat­ing Is­lamic State (IS) group’s ji­hadists, in Qayyarah, some 60 kilo­me­tres (35 miles) south of Mo­sul. The bat­tle to re­take Mo­sul from the Is­lamic State group is leav­ing a legacy of en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age and health risks that will pose dan­gers to peo­ple for years to come. — AFP

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