New report on the links between environmental tipping points and global investors such as banks and pension funds.

Major financial players have a previously unrealized role to play in efforts to avoid dangerous climate change. And it is not only about redirecting investments to renewable energy and low-carbon businesses, but also to bolster the resilience and stability of the Amazon rainforest and other key ‘tipping elements’ in the Earth System.

This is the essence of a collaboration developed GEDB, Future Earth and the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University.

Central elements of the work was presented in a report launched and discussed at the event “Global Systemic Risks and Earth System Tipping Points” hosted by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in New York, 24 September 2018.

The launch in New York featured centre researcher and executive director of the GEDB programme Beatrice Crona together with Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and former Deputy Vice Minister of Finance of Japan.

Forests and finance

The report has two primary aims. The first is to introduce to the financial sector the notion of tipping elements and to provide a state-of-the-art review of the scientific knowledge surrounding this rapidly evolving field of inquiry.

Second, the report makes explicit the links between banks, pension funds and other institutional investors and such tipping elements, and outlines a preliminary approach for how to examine such links using two cases; the Amazon rainforest and the boreal forests of Russia and Canada.

“The report’s focus on these forested areas is motivated by the fact that they represent tipping elements that lie at the intersection between high vulnerability to tipping in the next few decades and increasing human pressures, and where the financial sector is playing a crucial role in supporting these pressures”, explains co-author Victor Galaz.

The report is available to download here