The mega trend is undeniable! There is a real need for products that address the new realities now unfolding with the increasing Climate Crisis. And the implications are enormous for the financial industry.
According to a small article in last week’s Washington Post, “BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, will make sustainability and climate risks key tenets of its investing strategy.”
Larry Fink, BlackRock chairman and chief executive, says he believes “we are now on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.” He notes that climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects. In other words, investors are now going to be looking at the long-term implications of companies’ products and services on the environment and more specifically their potential liability. He also announced that BlackRock will “exit its investments with high environmental risk including thermal coal and launch new investments that screen for fossil fuels.”
According to Bill McKibben, a writer and climate activist, who was incidentally arrested last week protesting Chase Bank in Washington, “This is a major crack in the dam. The financial powers in New York have tried to ignore climate risk, but that’s now impossible; the pressure from activists, and from climate chaos in the real world, is simply too great.” And may we add, the pressure from investors and consumers is at an all-time high!
Weather extremes are now touching everyone’s pocketbook. While governments and the fossil fuel industries tell us not to worry, Australia burns. Here in California, taxes are surging, insurance premiums are doubling, and now there’s talk about a climate bond fund, guaranteed by increased property tax. Whether it’s big utilities, like the Pacific Gas and Electric company going bankrupt and increasing user fees to cover their losses, or huge floods in the Midwest driving up the cost of food, we are all paying the price of the Climate Crisis. The days of “It won’t affect me” are over!
So what does this mean for consumer brand builders and their investors? Well, more of that investors’ money will be financing carbon neutral and carbon negative enterprises. Some of that money will be financing sustainable products and alternative packaging. Outright green solutions will be a desirable investments. Products that address or mitigate the most damaging effects of the Climate Crisis, like survival equipment, fire prevention products, onsite power production and storage, and flood protection will be in big demand.
Why not jump on the band wagon instead of being run over by it? People with money want your ideas now! No more excuses! Get to work. We are here to help. We encourage our clients to develop products and services that address the Climate Crisis now as they are already in expanding demand.
Together we can build an economy that is healthy, sustainable, and profitable! Thank you BlackRock for recognizing what those of us who have been evacuated already know. We need those goods and services now!