Sustainable Finance News from the Grantham Research Institute, LSE

“Ethical Markets highly recommends this Sustainable Finance News from the Grantham Research Institute at LSE, particularly the article by Prof. Nick Robins  and his “Five Actions” to  secure both sustainable finance and help prevent another financial meltdown.

As our Ethical Markets – GlobeScan  “BEYOND GDP” Surveys in 2007, 2009 and 2013 in twelve countries discovered, huge majorities of the publics in all these countries, even after the 2008 crises, still favored expanding cash-flow GDP indicators by adding readily-available indicators of health, education, poverty gaps and environmental quality (see www.ethicalmarkets.com on our Beyond GDP page).

Hazel Henderson, Editor “

January 2019

In this update French Secretary of State Brune Poirson explains why the Paris Agreement on climate change is not just an environmental treaty but offers the basis for a new and inclusive model of development while Nick Robins outlines how to keep sustainable finance on track during what may be a year of market turmoil and economic uncertainty. We also look forward to the publication of our new report: “Investing in a just transition in the UK” – due out at the end of this month.

Why the Paris Agreement is the 21st century’s social contract

By Brune Poirson, Secretary of State, Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, France

The Paris Agreement on climate change is not just an environmental treaty but offers the basis for a new and inclusive model of development. France is committed to making finance a driving force behind this transition, explains Brune Poirson in this post for the Sustainable Finance Leadership Series.

Today, the struggle for environmental sustainability and social justice go hand in hand. In France, the gilets jaunes [yellow jackets] protests are symptomatic of this fundamental connection. And at the core of this linkage is not simply the pursuit of healthy ecology but rather imagining a better future for humanity. Efforts to combat climate change, transform agriculture, preserve biodiversity, eliminate plastics in the ocean and build a more inclusive globalisation should all be considered as intrinsically linked. Acknowledging this reality is the starting point for triggering shifts in the whole system. This is what we need to see in 2019 and beyond.

This is why France has taken on a great ambition: to view the Paris Agreement on climate change as the foundation for a new social contract – a social project that can provide people with a decent standard of living through the ‘ecological transition’ towards sustainable development.

Already this new social contract is coming to life. It has led, for example, to the new French Roadmap for the Circular Economy, a guide for transforming the way we produce, consume and respond to the excessive resource use in our current model of capitalism. Let’s take another priority: land. We know from the European Commission’s World Atlas of Desertification that 75 per cent of the Earth’s soil is degraded because of the pressure we are putting on natural resources; 90 per cent could be degraded by 2050. Worldwide, this is equivalent to the degradation of half the territory of the European Union. And, of course, global warming is also damaging agriculture, biodiversity and land. It is clear that this toll of damages is not simply about the decline of ‘nature’: humanity’s future is at stake. Implementing sustainable solutions at a system-wide level is fundamental, therefore, to ensuring access to the agricultural and water resources required to meet our essential needs.

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Sustainable finance in troubling times

Sustainable finance ended 2018 on a high. Never before has so much capital been committed to integrating environmental, social and governance factors. But financial markets also entered an unnerving cycle. If we are not careful, growing financial turbulence could divert attention away from the urgent need to scale up investment in climate action and sustainable development, writes Nick Robins.

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Coming soon…
Investing in a just transition in the UK

On 31 January we will be launching a new report, Investing in a just transition in the UK: How investors can integrate social impact and place-based financing into climate strategies. There is a strategic opportunity for investors to contribute to the just transition and this is the first report from a project that is working to identify those opportunities within the UK, exploring the extent of the just transition challenge, current efforts to address it, and how investors can take action within this geographical context. The report is written by Nick Robins, Andy Gouldson, William Irwin and Andrew Sudmant and produced jointly with the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds. It will be available at www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/publications/<