Optimising the Risk and Return of Climate Change

By Parker Fitzgerald

Mitigating climate change is not just an environmental responsibility – it is also an economic necessity. Rising sea levels and greater storm surges are expected to cost coastal urban areas over US$1 trillion each year by 2050.1 The longer we delay meaningful mitigation, the greater the disruption of climate change will be.

Governments globally are making concerted efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change. The 2015 Paris Agreement provides the overarching international framework towards limiting future warming to no more than two degrees above the pre-industrial average. Delivering this commitment will be a significant undertaking. The OECD estimates that US$6.9 trillion of investment would be required each year to 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement goals.2 Government purses alone will fall short: their development budgets to finance infrastructural shifts will not be enough to transition economies to the new low-carbon standards. Private finance must be mobilised – and banks will be called on to enable and safeguard this transition.

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