Wildfires burned nearly 10.4 million acres across the US last year. The most costly thunderstorm in US history caused $7.5 billion in damage across Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. As the climate crisis swept the globe on a biblical scale it left in its wake a record number of billion-dollar disasters.
And yet out of these ashes has emerged an unlikely savior: Wall Street. After decades of backing polluters and opposing legislation to rein them in, finance says it’s going green.
But, make no mistake, this is about money. Sustainability is “a new source of return across all asset classes” according to Jean Boivin, the head of the BlackRock Investment Institute. BlackRock’s green new deal isn’t so much about excluding bad actors or managing the risk of climate change as it is about “riding a wave that should be a source of return in itself.”
With Joe Biden in power after ousting Donald Trump, the climate denier in chief, trillions of dollars of investment could soon be earmarked for sustainable solutions.
But even environmentalists and longtime activists are—cautiously—optimistic about the direction the investment community is taking. After years of campaigning against corporate damage they see significant signs of progress, albeit with caveats.
Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.
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