[Thank you for taking the survey! 87% of you said that WIR was always or mostly useful. So here I am again. Will move to bi-weekly. And increase the font.]
Nature tops the global agenda for this second half of 2021. It started with the IUCN Congress – the biggest global gathering of environmental experts – early September. Commitments are captured in the 6-page Marseille Manifesto. The highlight, for me, was IUCN’s first CEO summit. Companies showing up at tree-huggers’ events is a trend. But multi-nationals defining targets to restore biodiversity through their operations and supply chains and committing to report on progress is rather new. The space to watch now is how this will build up at the biodiversity COP15 next month and the climate change COP26 right after.
“A “silent spring” for the financial system? Exploring biodiversity-related financial risks in France” evaluates the dependencies and impacts of the French financial system on biodiversity. Unusually combining the expertise of environmentalists and central bankers, it estimates that 42% of national financial assets are highly dependent on ecosystem services. The methodology builds on last year’s similar effort conducted by the Dutch Central Bank as well as on risk models developed for climate change. But biodiversity is more complex than climate change. So much research is still needed to develop a comprehensive financial risk assessment system.
Generation Investment Management’s “Sustainability Trends Report 2021” shows that European sustainability flows have increased tenfold since 2015. The Al Gore-founded investment firm also estimates that 78% of global GDP is now covered by net zero commitments.
My quote this week is from George Saunders’ interview “What it means to be kind in a cruel world”: “Moral transformation when it happens, happens not through the total remaking of the center or the replacement of its habitual energy with some pure new energy but by a redirection of its same old energy.” [23’41”]