The extreme heatwave crisis scorching parts of the UK, Europe, the U.S. and Asia underscores that private finance must be urgently unlocked and mobilised by the financial sector, as politicians continue to skirt the issue.
This is the call-to-arms cry from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.
He says: “The consequences of years and years of outrageous inaction from politicians on the climate crisis are now being laid bare.
“The UK’s Met Office has issued its first-ever ‘Red Extreme’ heat alert; the worst heat wave in Europe is causing an avalanche of devastating wildfires across Spain, Portugal, Croatia and France; a heat dome has formed over the southwest and central U.S, smashing temperature records; and almost 90 cities in China are living under heat alerts.
“Data shows heatwaves have been on the rise in recent years, yet governments around the world are either unwilling or unable to funnel the resources necessary to try and tackle the problem head-on.”
He continues: “Trillions of dollars are needed. This is why it is now critical that private money is unlocked and mobilised in the battle to mitigate the worst effects of human-created climate change.
“For this to happen, all sectors within the financial industry need to step-up, including financial advisories, insurance firms, banks, wealth and asset managers, investment companies, fintech groups, banks and auditors.
“If we fail on this, the level of finance will not be available, nor at the pace necessary, to halt the catastrophic effects of global warming.”
The deVere Group CEO’s calls come after he has publicly criticised some within the financial advisory industry who fail to urge clients to invest in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) orientated investments.
“I would say to that those in our industry who are looking to weaponize or politicise ESG investing by branding it as ‘woke virtue-signalling’, amongst other things, that they are placing themselves and their companies on the wrong side of history,” he wrote in a column in FT Adviser.
“The so-called ESG backlash is misguided and shallow.”
He goes on to add that clients’ investment strategies would also benefit.
“Funds investing in entities with robust ESG credentials have outperformed their benchmarks over recent years. From a risk management point of view, including these companies in your portfolio is, clearly, a sensible decision to take.”
It’s an issue on which Nigel Green’s been increasingly vocal in recent years. Last year ahead of COP26, deVere Group became one of 18 founding signatories of the UN-backed Net Zero initiative, the international alliance of powerhouse global finance companies that will help accelerate the transition to a net zero financial system.
The deVere CEO concludes: “If mega amounts of private money are not urgently put towards battling climate change – the defining issue of our time – we are doomed to fail.”