The planet is warming at a dangerous speed. Without taking decisive action, we will be locked into a future of widespread famine and drought, destruction of coastal communities, and the compounding effects this physical destruction will have on poverty, migration and conflict. In an effort to curtail this devastation, global governments signed a historic climate agreement at COP21 in Paris in 2015 that agreed to limit global temperature rises to ‘well below 2°C, with an ambition for 1.5’. This raised the bar for climate action that had previously been set to 2°C: recognising that for small island states and other vulnerable societies, an extra 0.5°C could be the difference between survival and disaster.
To achieve this, a momentous shift in our economic system will be required. It is critical we focus on accelerating the clean energy transition across industries vital for unlocking a low carbon economy: from fossil fuel companies to utilities, financial services and transport sectors.
These companies, like BP and Shell, are ones that our pension savings are heavily invested in. Investors must act to ensure our money is aligned with the low-carbon future that is in all of our interests. As the stewards of these companies, they have an important role to play in signalling the transition we need, as well as monitoring and acting to ensure that commitments are followed through with action.