Canadian investors must ensure every investment contributes to a net zero carbon economy starting now. This was the consensus of speakers at the December 2021 Transition Finance Week hosted by the Responsible Investment Association (RIA).
Hot on the heels of COP26 climate change conference where, for the first time, climate finance played a pivotal role, RIA Transition Week was a call to invest in innovative solutions to reach a net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The systemic risk resulting from not investing now leaves us with no choice.
A consensus among investors was that a successful transition to a net zero economy, where all GHG emissions released by humans are counterbalanced by removing GHGs from the atmosphere, rests on the public and private sectors collaborating. Already, we’re seeing signs of groundbreaking progress, like The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, the group of 450 firms across 45 countries, committing $130 trillion to transform the economy to net zero over the next three decades.
Canadian investors responding to the annual 2021 RIA Investor Survey, released on Dec 8, are in step with the panelists at Transition Finance Week:
86% of respondents expressed concern about climate change and the environment;
85% of respondents agreed that Canadian corporations should set goals for their businesses to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050;
78% of respondents said they would like a portion of their investment portfolio to be invested in companies that are providing solutions to reduce carbon emissions.
As one panelist at Transition Finance week said, climate change has gone from a “tragedy of the horizon issue”, where there was no incentive to do anything about a future catastrophe, to an “act now issue”.