ESG Matters

Physical Risk, Fiscal Risk?

As Australia reckons with a devastating series of bushfires, the consequences of the disaster are still unfolding. Tragically, at least 28 people have lost their lives along with more than 1 billion animals. At least 17.9 million acres have burned, which, astoundingly, is almost the same size as South Korea. The economic impacts, meanwhile, are[]

Something is Right in the State of Denmark

Something is right in the state of Denmark – at least when it comes to climate policy. In this interview with Columbia University’s Bill Loveless, Dan Jorgenson, Denmark’s Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, describes the country’s wildly ambitious plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030. Some of their plans may seem fanciful. One idea,[]

Rising Sea Levels

This Economist article illustrates the consequences of rising sea levels. The science is simple enough: oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface but this number is rising because of global warming. Millions of people are vulnerable, and it is estimated the damage to coastal cities alone could be $1tn per annum by 2050. If the[]

Can a Responsible Investor Own Fossil Fuel Equities?

Here’s a surprising fact: while the spot price of crude oil has rallied more than 70% from the lows of February 2016, fossil fuel equities have barely budged. The XOP ETF, for example, which provides exposure to the oil & gas production and refining industries, is down roughly 12% over the same period. Investors’ reluctance[]

“The risk for climate change is exploding.”

“The risk for climate change is exploding.” So says Robert Litterman in this interview. Litterman, most notably associated with global asset allocation modelling also served as an economist at the Fed in the 1980’s. His crucial insight: “We’re not pricing climate risk because of the expected outcome…There is tremendous uncertainty about the future.” Thus carbon[]

Climate Change and Diets

Here’s a rare moment of levity with the latest IPCC report on Climate Change and Land. Via Vox, “There are certain types of diets that have a lower carbon footprint and put less pressure on land,” said Jim Skea, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III, during a press conference. However, he noted the report was[]

Solutions to the Food Gap

Feeding the planet will present a series of inter-related problems and opportunities. A Report published by the WRI points out that today hundreds of millions are underfed yet the population is projected to rise to 9.8 billion in 2050 and overall food demand will increase by more than 50 percent. Compounding the problem, agriculture currently[]

Privacy and Facial Recognition Technology

“The fact that he’s walked past clearly masking his face from recognition. It gives us grounds to stop him.” Must have taken place in China, right? Well, no, turns out it’s east London. London in fact has lots of cameras already in place, in part the reaction to awful random terrorist acts and the desire[]

Adverse Consequences of Growing Food Demand

I worked on a farm during my holidays from university and while agricultural methods to improve yields were constantly being enhanced back then, they don’t bear much resemblance to practices today. There are consequences, however, as illustrated in this insightful commentary published in the Journal on the impact on the Mississippi river. The river[]

Climate Change and the Jet Stream

It’s hot outside; it is summer after all isn’t it? Well, turns out July was the hottest month (along with the same month in 2016) recorded in the modern era. The article below focuses on a couple of possible causes, including the impact of the North Atlantic Jet Stream. Its resulted in the heatwaves and[]