The deadlock at COP27 underscores why political leaders cannot be trusted to tackle the climate crisis and why private money must be urgently mobilised.
This is the stark warning from Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.
It comes as the EU offered a plan late on Thursday to find a solution to deadlocked climate talks at COP27 in Egypt, suggesting a loss and damage finance facility for the most vulnerable countries in return for a vow to phase down oil, gas and coal.
The deVere CEO says: “The official draft of the decision text put forward by the Egyptian presidency on Friday morning goes nowhere near hard enough on the phasing out of fossil fuels – a major condition for the European Union.
“This is unlikely to break the deadlock.
“As such, talks are now likely to go on into the weekend.”
He continues: “This deadlock shows how politicians, especially those in developed countries, are often all talk, less action.
“But what is required is major action – and now – if we are to reverse the worst impact of human-created climate change.
“To date, there have been decades of inaction from political leaders. Governments around the world are either unwilling or unable to funnel the resources necessary to try and tackle the problem head-on.
“Therefore, it is critical that the private money is mobilised and harnessed to usher in an era of real action before it’s too late.”
Nigel Green has long been issuing a ‘call to arms’ in this regard. Ahead of COP27, he noted: “Trillions of dollars are needed. This is why it is now critical that private money is unlocked and mobilised in the battle to mitigate the worst effects of human-created climate change.
“For this to happen, all sectors within the financial industry need to step up, including financial advisories, insurance firms, banks, wealth and asset managers, investment companies, fintech groups, banks and auditors.
“If we fail on this, the level of finance will not be available, nor at the pace necessary, to halt the catastrophic effects of global warming.”
The deVere Group CEO’s calls come after he has publicly criticised some within the financial advisory industry who fail to urge clients to invest in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) orientated investments.
“I would say to those in our industry who are looking to weaponise or politicise ESG investing by branding it as ‘woke virtue-signalling’, amongst other things, that they are placing themselves and their companies on the wrong side of history.”
He went on to add that clients’ investment strategies would also benefit.
“Funds investing in entities with robust ESG credentials have outperformed their benchmarks over recent years. From a risk management point of view, including these companies in your portfolio is, clearly, a sensible decision to take.”
Last year ahead of COP26, deVere Group became one of 18 founding signatories of the UN-backed Net Zero initiative, the international alliance of powerhouse global finance companies that will help accelerate the transition to a net zero financial system.
The deVere CEO concludes: “The leaders at COP27 need to step up urgently, or the summit becomes little more than a ‘talking shop.’ I hope they do.
“But there is no doubt that huge amounts of private money will also be needed.”