Until recently it would have seemed far-fetched that a climate scientist would be the opening keynote speaker at a conference of central banks and financial sector  regulators. But earlier this year Dr. Emily Shuckburgh of the British Antarctic Survey found herself doing exactly that at a landmark event in Holland.

Equally, eyebrows would have risen at the idea of a major law firm publishing a report on climate change, or that the UK association of actuaries might issue a professional ‘risk alert’ on climate change to its members.

These, as well as other developments, inspired DWS – the new name of Deutsche Asset Management – to bring together experts from the UK’s scientific, legal, actuarial, accounting, and investment consultant communities to produce this new paper. 

Our aim is to present expert perspectives on the actions that institutional investors can and should take to manage climate risk while using their influence to accelerate the shift to a sustainable, resilient, and just society.

Climate is front of mind. With 2018 another year for recordbreaking extreme weather, the risks and impacts of climate change are becoming starker. At the same time, more financial institutions, companies, governments, central banks, and regulators are stepping up their action in response. But more is required as the IPCC warned recently that carbon emissions still pose an existential risk to society.

Over the next two years, the UN and many heads of state and prominent individuals will lead an international effort to encourage all institutions to take stronger action to address climate change. The aim of this collective effort is to put humanity onto a path to meet the Paris Agreement goals to limit climate change by dramatically cutting carbon emissions and making financial flows consistent with a sustainable and resilient future.

Contributors to this report include:

Pinsent Masons – has one of the UK’s largest pension legal teams twinned with a cross-border team of investment specialists, ideally placing this law firm to advise trustees and fund managers on the duties (and opportunities) associated with climate risk management. They are the leading law firm advising in this area, with particular specialisms in renewable energy and infrastructure, and a strong track record of advising on sustainability issues for the UK’s largest schemes and investors.

Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms, and has been involved in numerous responsible investment initiatives. Grant Thornton participates in the UK Impact Investing National Advisory Board, it was the first professional services firm to join the World Benchmarking Alliance, and remains the only professional services firm on the Future Fit Business Benchmark development council.

Redington is an independent, London based, investment advisor to 90-plus long-term global investors, including pension funds, insurance companies and wealth managers.
The company’s vision is to help improve more than 100m people’s financial security via clear and differentiated outcome-based advice. Redington was founded in 2006 and has 150 staff advising on £430bn of assets.

DWS published its first climate report for clients in 2007, has the strongest track-record voting in favour of US climate shareholder resolutions, and is developing the first passive strategy incorporating physical and transition risk. DWS has UN Green Climate Fund accreditation and was recognised as the 2017 Responsible Investor of the Year1 for its crossasset class actions. DWS has been present in the UK for several decades, employs 500+ staff in the UK (~4,000 globally) and manages €687bn of assets.

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