The Materiality of Climate Change: How Finance Copes with the Ticking Clock

United Nations Environment Programme (2009)

The third iteration of the AMWG’s Materiality Series focuses on climate change. The report mainly takes the form of a review of key financial analyst research on climate change, supplemented with AMWG commentary and other research in areas where these papers are lacking. The flow of the report follows the logic of examining the principal factors involved in climate change, before displaying a wide spectrum of analyses by leading investment brokers in Section 11. Section 5 looks at the most recent science, the financial implications of climate change policies, and key messages for asset management, while Section 6 discusses developments in two influential political blocs—the US and EU. Section 7 investigates the prospects for high-carbon industries, the potential for carbon capture and storage, and the barriers to more efficient use of energy. Next, Section 8 discusses the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) since they are increasingly important in the global economy and are key players in the climate change negotiations. Sections 9 and 10 briefly review the issues of adaptation and supply chain in the context of climate change—it is often wrongly assumed that in the corporate sector, climate change is just about reducing carbon in one’s own firm. Climatic impacts and the question of carbon intensity in one’s supply chain and product deployment are also vital.

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