Our species doomed? It ain’t necessarily so

Peter Truesdale, OBE

Often when I read an article a song gets into my head.  I can’t help it. It’s the way I am.

A colleague shared with me this account of an SDG-focussed conference in Singapore.  Gloomy stuff. I read it and thought It ain’t necessarily so.

The bit  that caught my eye was:

“Razzouk got the ball rolling by saying that capital markets, collectively worth $250 trillion in investments, are not taking sustainability seriously at all: ‘As long as that amount of capital doesn’t actually care about climate, clean energy, sustainability and science-based emissions targets, then the world as we know it is not going to change at the speed that we need it to change to survive as a species.’”

I say, steady on old chap.

There is an alternative point of view.

Without doubt investor interest in and consideration of environment, social and governance factors is growing. This is not to say that all the boys and girls on Wall Street have traded Harvey Wallbangers for soya milk. It is to say that increasingly investors are taking the long-term into account.

Let’s hear what one has to say. We’ll have a substantial quote: “Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors relevant to a company’s business can provide essential insights into management effectiveness and thus a company’s long-term prospects. We look to see that a company is attuned to the key factors that contribute to long-term growth: sustainability of the business model and its operations, attention to external and environmental factors that could impact the company, and recognition of the company’s role as a member of the communities in which it operates. A global company needs to be local in every single one of its markets.” That’s Larry Fink, Head of BlackRock,  the world’s largest investor.

So are we really hurtling towards extinction as a species?

There are signs that it ain’t necessarily so.

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