Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

At this point, the President stepped in and put the debate out of its misery, where Zimmerman was presumably still confident of being preceded by “functional reality” and Frimberger still apparently more concerned about, well, reality.

Functional reality has delayed climate action in Australia – longer than in comparable nations – largely because we create our wealth not only through the use of fossil fuels, but through its exports. But around the world, functional reality is rapidly being overwhelmed by climate reality.

Scott Morrison tapped the Labor Party with a lump of coal in Parliament in 2017.

Scott Morrison tapped the Labor Party with a lump of coal in Parliament in 2017.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Capital markets are abandoning fossil fuels and switching to green technology. Governments in Europe, Asia and now the United States are leaving the shift with net-zero targets.

Last week, the world’s largest investor, BlackRock, with more than $ 10 trillion in assets under management, confirmed that climate change and associated risk management will remain at the core of its investment strategy.

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Since then, the London-based asset management group Aviva has announced that it would not only divest carbon-heavy companies, it would no longer give credit to them. It set a three-year timetable for companies to announce zero-zero goals and strategies.

In a statement published in Financial Times on weekends justified Wall Street new mantra: green is good, writes financial journalist and author Gillian Tett that she has identified a significant shift in attitudes towards so-called environmental, social and management criteria (ESG) standards that companies set for their activities, which can be tested and measured by the market.

Not long ago, the ESG was shielded from general operations, used as a tool to signal good intentions to investor activists who wanted to change the world.

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Capital markets are abandoning fossil fuels and switching to green technology. Governments leave the shift with net-zero targets.

Today, Tett argues, it is the core of operations used by companies seeking to “avoid reputation risks, retain customers and employees, and avoid losses.”

Tett quotes Anne Finucane, vice president of Bank of America, as estimating that for about US $ 110 trillion in assets under professional management today, about 40 percent have some form of ESG consideration.

If green is now good according to global financial markets, how long will both parties back brown industries at the expense of rapid emission reductions?

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Support for Steggall’s bill suggests that the desire for rapid reductions outside Parliament is widespread. It has been supported not only by groups such as the Clean Energy Council – which represents Australia’s renewable energy industry – but by the Australian Industry Group, the Business Council of Australia, the Planning Institute of Australia and the Property Council of Australia.

This attitude is reflected in opinion polls, such as the one conducted by the Lowy Institute in 2019, which found that six out of 10 Australians believed that global warming is “a serious and urgent problem”, as “we should start taking steps now, even if it involves significant costs ”.

Despite this, both major parties remain home to supporters of old industries that scientists – and markets – believe must be abandoned.

With the announcement of a new climate spokesman in Chris Bowen, Labor plans to focus on the message that tackling climate change will prove to be a blessing rather than a burden on the economy. It is hoped that this message will also be repeated in the markets.

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It hopes that the functional reality – that is, the political reality – and the scientific reality have finally converged.

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