With the increasing pace of natural disasters worldwide, the time is ripe for investors to act on climate change, according to Georgie Benardete, co-founder and CEO of Align17.
Align17, a marketplace connecting private wealth with impact investment opportunities, launched in Davos last year with a goal of helping large institutions like UBS Global Wealth Management help their high-net-worth clients invest with a purpose.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals report published last month found that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, the levels of carbon dioxide concentrations continued to increase, and “ocean acidity was 26% higher than in pre-industrial times.”
When we start to slip behind pre-industrial times as a planet, it’s time for radical action.
“Specifically with private equity, if you’re putting your money into the opposite of climate solutions, you’re locking the world into a future that is not going to thrive,” Benardete said in an interview with Karma. “Because we’re already experiencing climate change, we don’t have the luxury of time anymore, it’s out of control. The one thing we can control is where we’re putting our money.”
Not everyone is convinced. Some investors and endowments like Yale University have resisted divesting from fossil fuels.
When it comes to tackling climate change, investing in renewables is “one of the top” tools, Bernadete said.
“If those investments in fossil fuels are to come through and then we’re also not investing in renewables, it will be very hard to maintain below-very-dangerous weather thresholds. Then it’s game over,” she said. “You’re locking in the future for the next 10, 20, 30 years.”