A United Nations-backed panel of climate scientists warned in its latest report that the world may be on track to warm by more than three degrees centigrade, twice the Paris Agreement target, with implications for how that would dramatically remake societies and life on planet Earth. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change comes after years of net zero pledges by national governments, cities, businesses, and investors. And this latest installment delivers the loudest warning cry yet on the impact of greenhouse gas emissions hitting record levels. The focus of this report, the third released since August of 2021, is on humanity’s vast arsenal of technology, knowhow, and wealth that remain insufficiently deployed in efforts to ensure a livable climate in the future.
Speaking of the UN, it also released its latest Financing for Sustainable Development Report, put together by its Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development. The report says that ESG investment criteria—that stands, of course, for environmental, social and governance—are missing the true calling of ESG funds, which is environmental impact. It calls for more of these funds to direct investments into emerging markets who need it most and not back into top ESG holdings like Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet—three of the most widely held ESG stocks in ESG funds. The report raises the age-old investor quandary of whether the purpose of ESG investing is to reduce risk and pursue profit or to help do good in the fight against global warming. And if both, in what order? The UN Task Force pointed out the sustainable funds may have even less exposure to emerging markets. The non-sustainable funds, which it says correlates to the rise in greenwashing accusations against funds who may just be using the ESG label to improve their marketing.
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