ImpactAlpha, Sept, 20 – ImpactAlpha ‘Agents of Impacts’ are deploying bottom-up and top-down strategies to force action on climate.
On Friday, teenage activist Greta Thunberg (a January Agent of Impact) is leading young people from more than 150 countries in a global climate strike ahead of next week’s Climate Action Summit. Joining her is Vic Barrett (September ‘18) and other members of Our Children’s Trust, the young leaders suing the U.S. government for the right to a secure climate. On Wednesday, Thunberg urged the U.S. Congress to “listen to the scientists” and take action. Barrett, who also testified, called on Congress to focus on the disproportionate impact of climate on marginalized communities, a topic that is center stage at this weekend’s Climate Justice Youth Summit in Brooklyn.
Fueling the growing youth movement and urgency around climate change are the climate scientists, like Sandra Díaz, Josef Settele, and Eduardo Brondízio (May), whose May report compiled evidence of an ecosystem deterioration “unprecedented in human history.”
“Climate shareholders” (May) are pressing companies on climate action from the top. More than 200 institutional investors are calling on companies to combat the deforestation that helped fuel the devastating fires in the Amazon. Hiro Mizuno (April), chief investment officer of the world’s biggest shareholder, the $1.6 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan, is pressuring big asset managers to put up or shut up on sustainability. “If you do not satisfy us then you are out,” he told the London Stock Exchange last year.
Climate-smart fund managers, like former World Banker Bertrand Badré (February) of Blue Like an Orange Sustainable Capital, are seizing ‘climate alpha’ by investing in businesses moving early to create sustainable growth. Rabble rousers inside companies, like longtime GE executive turned Distributed Solar Development founder Erik Schiemann (July), are scoring climate wins by forcing the case for sustainable disruption.
Christiana Figueres (October ‘18), the former U.N. climate chief who architected the Paris climate deal, now believes it’s possible to peak carbon emissions by 2020 and halve them every decade thereafter. Says Figueres, “We are already on an exponential trajectory to a clean economy future but it’s going to take all of us to ensure it.”