Without "truly drastic and urgent action," there will be no person, nation or company that will not be affected by climate change, warned Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, during his welcome address at the CFA Institute's 72nd annual conference.
Prince Charles kicked off the conference, which took place in London May 12-15, by joking he was "disruptive" by appearing in the video rather than in person at the event dubbed "Disruption: The New Reality in Investment Management."
But turning serious seconds later, he called for capital to be allocated away from activities that have negative effects and toward those that will make a positive impact on one or more of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
"We are faced by a number of terrifying and interconnected threats such as a dramatic increase in extreme weather events and the mass migration of people from the areas worst affected (by climate change)," Prince Charles said. He added that: "A great deal more is necessary, I fear, if we are to have any hope at all of moving to the long-term, resilient and durable economy we so desperately need."
Citing estimates by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission that achieving sustainable development goals could open up a $12 trillion market by 2030, Prince Charles welcomed rapid growth in demand by institutional and retail investors for environmental, social and governance investments.
Prince Charles said finance and investments are a "crucial part of the solution" to keeping temperature increases limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, within the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Pleading with investment managers to engage with their investee companies, he said: "A simple and necessary starting point is to demand better data, for example, by asking the companies in which you invest to implement the recommendations of the (Financial Stability Board's) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures."
He continued: "Of course, better reporting is pointless unless it has some impact on decisions. And so I very much hope you might consider what steps you can take to incorporate insights gained into your investment analysis and decision-making."