Tangible action – not promises about climate change effects

tangible action

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand would like to see tangible action instead of promises to help offset climate change effects.

Caritas Director Mena Antonio says she “is deeply concerned that carbon-cutting commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change still leave the world facing a 2.5C temperature rise.

“And that’s if countries deliver on their promises,” she says.

“It seems the ‘1.5 to stay alive’ call from the Pacific has still not been taken on board.”

The COP27 UN climate change conference in Egypt didn’t create any tangible action as far as Antonio can see.

“There is no timeline for countries to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and fossil fuel subsidies that are causing damage to our common home, and no increased ambition to cut emissions – only a repetition of promises to ‘accelerate efforts’.”

Antonio says the COP27’s agreement to establish a special loss and damage fund must be carefully drawn up, to benefit those who are already suffering loss of land, livelihoods and cultures.

“Affected local communities need to be empowered to deliver, monitor and evaluate climate-related projects. The needs of the poorest and the most vulnerable – such as women, girls and people with disabilities, need to be prioritised for access,” she says.

New Zealand’s lack of tangible action is highlighted in the results of a just-released survey on climate action by the investment industry.

Survey authors say wealth managers face particular challenges in implementing climate targets, given potentially decentralised portfolio management across many financial advisers.

Fifty respondents including asset owners, fund managers and wealth managers covering $331 billion in assets under management took part in the second annual survey by the Aotearoa New Zealand Investor Coalition for Net Zero.

This is very different from Australia.

In comparison with a parallel Australian survey by the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), the data showed New Zealand is behind on virtually every measure.

These include net zero targets, engagement, governance, scenario analysis, climate measurement and reporting.

The sample size for wealth managers and advisers was small (six respondents) but covered $65 billion.

It included several of New Zealand’s largest wealth managers.

By sector, none of the wealth managers has set net zero emissions targets. By comparison, 58 percent of fund managers and 42 percent of asset owners have done so.

Overall the survey found: most asset owners are not proactively setting mandates for fund managers to incorporate climate risk and opportunities; investors lack climate governance; investment in climate solutions and associated targets is low.

On the plus side, the survey also found investors of all sizes are progressing with annual climate reporting. Some are doing this voluntarily.

Over 50 percent of investors now have a climate policy in place.


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News category: New Zealand.

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