Climate talks ‘send important signals’ to investors – Deutsche Bank

Climate talks ‘send important signals’ to investors – Deutsche Bank

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Institutional investors should continue to track the progress of international climate talks, despite limited progress since Copenhagen in 2009, according to a leading analyst.


Mark Fulton, the global head of climate change research at Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors in New York, said that outcome of the ‘Conference of the Parties’ (COP) in Durban last month “sends a message to long-term investors that [the climate talks] are something that governments are still focused on”.

“Institutional investors should definitely pay attention – it’s in their long-term interest,” he told Environmental Finance.

Mark Fulton, DBCCA: “There is a global deal to be had.”

He conceded that, despite what most observers described as a successful outcome from Durban – including an agreement to work towards a new global climate change agreement by 2015, and the extension of the Kyoto Protocol – the immediate implications for investors are limited.

“But both the establishment of the Green Climate Fund [GCF] and a potential global deal could be important for investment markets,” he said. The GCF is intended to channel part of the promised $100 billion/year by 2020 in climate finance to developing countries. “That’s something investors can look forward to.”

“The COP process has at least a subtle, and at times quite direct impact on investors and on their perceptions,” he said. “Copenhagen, for example, had a very negative impact. It took a lot of steam out of the topic.”

However, more successful meetings since then – at Cancun in 2010, and Durban – show that “governments are still taking [climate change] seriously, and the process is alive.”

Fulton said he believes that, after Durban, “there is a global deal to be had”, noting that China and India both shifted their positions in favour of such an agreement. “The US has to be able to deliver such a deal though the US Senate, and that’s a huge barrier”, he said, but he argues that the context may well have shifted by 2015, not least as the scientific evidence for man-made climate change continues to build.

“At some point, if the climate really goes in the direction of where scientists say it is going, the impacts on governments will be very severe.

“In 2015, the debate could well be, ‘do you want runaway climate change?’”

Mark Nicholls 


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