A set of two panels that focus on the Paris Agreement’s goal of making finance flows consistent with a pathway toward low emissions and climate-resilient development. Finance, specifically the policies and investment decisions of large institutional investors such as pension funds, banks, and insurance companies, underlies every decision to expand—or reduce—fossil fuel extraction and use, and the viability of sustainable alternatives.
Keynote Address: Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist at the United Nations
Panel 1: Divest Invest for a livable future
Banks, insurance companies, asset managers, pension funds and other institutional investors hold the key to the energy transition. Lending by banks and underwriting decisions by insurance companies immediately affect the viability of current and future development, clean or dirty: Without financing or insurance, projects hit a wall. Investment decisions by sovereign wealth funds, public and private pension funds, insurers and asset managers further shape the market, either delaying or accelerating climate progress.
Panel 2: Fiduciary duty in the climate context
Climate change poses material financial risks to investment portfolios, and asset owners have a fiduciary duty to manage that risk. Physical risk, litigation risk, and transition risk are real, present, and growing. Divestment from fossil fuels—previously cast as a violation of fiduciary duty —is becoming a recognized investment strategy for managing climate risk. Companies, pension funds, and large asset managers are facing increasing requirements and expectations for climate-related financial risk disclosure. A California law and legislation before the U.S. Congress are raising the stakes for companies and investors that fail to adopt climate-wise policies.
Host organizations are NGOs focused on rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel companies' dominance of the global economy.
This event is part of the Climate Finance, Investment and Carbon Pricing program of Climate Week NYC.