Good News From the Financial World

By Drew Monkman

More and more corporations are becoming leaders on climate policy. It doesn’t really matter that they are doing so because of concerns about the impacts of climate change on their bottom line or because consumers and employees are demanding action. What matters is keeping carbon out of the atmosphere.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager which oversees 7 trillion dollars in funds, has announced plans to make climate change central in its investment decisions. C.E.O. Laurence Fink believes we are “on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance” because of a warming planet. Allianz Insurance is phasing out both its investments in coal-based business and its insurance coverage of such risks.

IKEA has announced plans for the company to become “climate positive” by 2030. This means going beyond achieving net zero carbon emissions to actually create an environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. IKEA wants to vastly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the entire value chainfrom raw material extraction to products’ end-of-life. It may even start renting and buying back furniture. Unilever has also committed to being carbon positive by the same date. Amazon has announced it will use 100% renewable energy companywide by 2030 and has already ordered 100,000 electric-powered delivery trucks.

When corporations lead the way, it is easier for governments to take bold action.