Climate Strike Spans Continents: Financial Times

Millions of students and their supporters are protesting to demand immediate action from political leaders on climate change, ending the reliance on coal and other fossil fuels. Protests are scheduled in about 3,000 cities and more than 160 nations. Many businesses lend their support, with one group ringing fire alarms, responding to an early call of activist Greta Thunberg’s: “I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” The 16-year-old, unassuming, factual and passionate, is a formidable opponent, warning that climate change is an environmental, economic, security and moral crisis – that our future is bleak if societies do not take climate change seriously. Thunberg began protesting outside the Swedish Parliament, asking why she should bother studying if political leaders refuse to learn. Other students paid notice, and more organizations support her efforts. The OECD has warned that major economies must end subsidies on fossil fuels and increase carbon taxes to prompt a faster shift to alternative energies. The Red Cross points to the high costs of disasters, predicting that millions will require aid and new homes by 2050. Bank, insurers and investment companies are keenly aware of the concerns for this future customer base. Studies suggest even small steps on climate change by businesses boost stock performance. Young protesters are energetic and blunt: Political leaders bear responsibility and the cost of doing nothing is too high. – YaleGlobal

Climate Strike Spans Continents: Financial Times

Students, listening to the science on climate change and observing more violent weather patterns, ask political leaders to do the same
Sarah Provan, Philip Georgiadis, Camilla Hodgson, Myles McCormick, Adam Samson
Friday, September 20, 2019

Read the series of reports from the Financial Times about the global climate protests.

Philip Georgiadis is FASTFT reporter. Adam Samson leads fastFT, the Financial Times’ global breaking news desk with journalists in London, New York and Hong Kong. He also reports extensively on capital markets, focusing on bonds and currencies. 

Tipping Point for Business

Read the report from Deutsch Bank on “Climate change and corporates: Past the tipping point with customers and stockmarkets”:

“Companies know customers don’t put their money where their mouth is on climate change. For instance, one report early last year found that although 60 per cent of Millennials said they are interested in sustainable clothing, only 30 per cent had actually purchased any. Around the same time, the more comprehensive Ethical Consumer Markets Report pointed out that, in 2017, green spending in the UK actually slowed.

“This is why many companies are dragging their heels on addressing climate change and other environmental issues. Quite simply, ‘doing more’ can be unprofitable and many believe the customer demand is just not there. Of course, plenty of studies show that over years or decades, the future benefits outweigh today’s costs. But that doesn’t help managers under pressure to hit next quarter’s earnings target.

“Yet while the ‘gap’ between customer attitudes and actions towards green purchases has persisted for several decades, there has been a startling shift over the last 12 months….”

“…the evidence is clear. Customers have finally begun to purchase more climate-friendly products just as societal prompts have made individuals more likely to take personal ownership for climate change issues. Meanwhile, investors are seeing the benefits – the 1.3 percentage point per annum outperformance of stocks that benefit from improved climate news speaks for itself.”

stock prices rise for companies that can offer good climate news

(Source: Deutsche Bank)

customers buy more from companies seen acting on climate change

(Source: Deutsche Bank)

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.

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