Written by By Julia Wong, CNN
Two decades ago, to save the planet from impending climate catastrophe, the U.S. State Department and NASA concluded that draconian measures should be taken to reduce consumption and create incentives for people to reduce wasteful practices.
The controversial decision sent shockwaves through the international community and has had lasting repercussions in terms of preservation of wildlife and the environmental footprint.
In an earlier era, achieving the dream of a more sustainable economy often relied on strict regulations and tough sanctions against a particularly destructive form of human activity: pollution.
This is why the global financial sector is the ideal place to get started today in the fight against climate change, according to experts from the World Economic Forum.
Check out the interactive below to discover what these financial services firms have in store for you, as well as the reasons why now might be a good time to capitalize on their strategies and the tools available to fight climate change.
1 / 15 “Investment in low-carbon assets could help avert climate change,” according to People and Planet. Credit: People & Planet
The super-rich and climate change
Today, average high net worth individuals (HNWIs) have a total assets of over $5.6 trillion. Their wealth is believed to rise to over $22 trillion by 2025.
HNWIs are the highest wealthy group, and in the past 15 years they have been diversifying their investments across a range of sectors. The upper portion of this group has also been steadily investing more in low-carbon assets, according to the WEF study.
The group has supported the rise of sustainable industries such as clean tech, wind, solar and battery.
Stock market shares of fossil fuel companies have shrunk by over 50% over the past five years, while the share of renewable energy companies increased by 35% this same period.
These sectors continue to offer greater promise for HNWIs. Five years ago, less than 5% of the total assets under management of the stock market were invested in wind, solar and battery. Today, these sectors comprise over 20% of stock market assets.
Green innovations such as the switch to alternative fuels in the automobile sector will also aid in spurring the HNWI market. This is primarily due to a shift towards electromobility, which can spur growth for the green industries.
According to Richard Sugg, CEO of envirospace: “Linking high-income individuals to renewable investment leads to greater access to capital, and high-net worth individuals are among the most discerning investors around.”