The economic cost of climate change will only worsen if we make no changes to our current carbon emissions trajectory and do not plan for long-term resilience accordingly.
In early April, global investment firm BlackRock released a seminal report on assessing climate risks. It focused on U.S. municipal bonds, commercial mortgage-backed securities and electric utilities. The report got me thinking about where we might look for funds and finance for climate resilience. Here’s what we found: On balance, if we make strategic decisions for resilience starting now, the numbers suggest we can find such necessary financing now.
By the numbers:
These numbers demonstrate that a changing climate is having a significant impact on the economy, and the economic cost of climate change will only worsen if we make no changes to our current carbon emissions trajectory. While the amount invested in climate change doesn’t match the global investment needs to update infrastructure, the $79.2 trillion in assets under management globally suggest we still have the means to reduce climate risks through both mitigation and resilience.
Important work is already being done. From the Climate Bonds Initiative to the Global Adaptation and Resilience Investment WorkGroup, financial sector experts are working to create mechanisms in the financial markets that make it more likely that assets under management will include more climate change resilience projects. That’s important as the gap in resilience finance, which the Climate Policy Initiative doggedly tracks annually, grows wider. But the longer we wait to fund such projects, the far more expensive they will be in the long term.
Image credit: David Mark/Pixabay
Joyce Coffee, LEED AP, is founder and President of Climate Resilience Consulting. She is an accomplished organizational strategist and visionary leader with over 25 years of domestic and international experience in the corporate, government and non-profit sectors implementing resilience and sustainability strategies, management systems, performance measurement, partnerships, benchmarking and reporting.