united kingdomen
Moving from red to amber in tackling climate change

Moving from red to amber in tackling climate change

12-04-2021 | Insight
Decarbonization pledges have helped the world get back on track to combat global warming. But we’re still not there yet.
  • Lucian Peppelenbos
    Lucian
    Peppelenbos
    Climate Strategist

Speed read

  • Net zero pledges move world closer to Paris Agreement goals 
  • Countries responsible for 63% of emissions commit to net zero 
  • Investor initiatives can help with decarbonization efforts 
Climate investing: from urgency to solutions
Climate investing: from urgency to solutions
Read more

Much more urgent action needs to be taken to meet the Paris Agreement, and that is where investor initiatives can help, says Robeco’s climate change specialist Lucian Peppelenbos.   Currently the world has moved from a red traffic light – with previously no chance of hitting the temperature control ambitions – to amber, but is still far from green, he says.  

The Paris Agreement remains the mother of all initiatives to tackle climate change, as it is the only truly global accord that all nations have committed to. Its core aim is to limit the rise in global average temperatures to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. This means the world must become carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. 

The agreement was ratified on 22 April 2016, which the UN designated as Earth Day, and signed by 196 countries. Since then, many have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Some have made more ambitious plans – Austria and Uruguay have pledged to do so by 2040. China, which has the world’s largest carbon footprint, has set a longer-term target of 2060. 

Climate Series – don’t miss a thing
Climate Series – don’t miss a thing
Subscribe

Amber alert

So, are we on track to meet the Paris Agreement? “No, we’re not,” says Lucian Peppelenbos, climate change strategist at Robeco. “If we use the traffic light system of red, amber, and green, I would now give it an amber light, although a year ago, I would have given it a red.” 

“The step-up to amber is due to the recent policy commitments in Asia, China, Japan and South Korea, but also because everybody knows now what the US will do, now that it has rejoined the Paris Agreement. With all this in place, the countries responsible for 63% of global emissions will be in line with the net zero ambition.” 

“If we can actually deliver on our promises by 2050, the world will be on track to limit global warming to 2.1 degrees Celsius; previously we were heading for 3 degrees. This recent wave of commitments is now more ambitious than ever.” 

Distributed leadership

Moving from amber to green is going to take much more collaboration, Peppelenbos says. “I like the term ‘distributed leadership’ that was coined by the architect of the Paris Agreement, Christiana Figueres,” he says 

“In the real economy, you need policy frameworks, and you need the consumers and technology to be onside. All of these pieces need to come together. As investors, we can redirect capital towards the green, circular, low-carbon economy… and that's vital. But we critically depend on other pieces of the puzzle to move as well.” 

Some of these pieces are embodied in various initiatives that investors including Robeco have joined to try to move the world from amber to green. The top 10 of these initiatives regarding their importance for investors are listed below. 

This article is taken from our climate investing platform

Climate investing: from urgency to solutions
Logo

Disclaimer

Please read this important information before proceeding further. It contains legal and regulatory notices relevant to the information contained on this website.

The information contained in the Website is NOT FOR RETAIL CLIENTS - The information contained in the Website is solely intended for professional investors, defined as investors which (1) qualify as professional clients within the meaning of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), (2) have requested to be treated as professional clients within the meaning of the MiFID or (3) are authorized to receive such information under any other applicable laws. The value of the investments may fluctuate. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested. Neither Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. nor any of its affiliates guarantees the performance or the future returns of any investments. If the currency in which the past performance is displayed differs from the currency of the country in which you reside, then you should be aware that due to exchange rate fluctuations the performance shown may increase or decrease if converted into your local currency.

In the UK, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (“ROBECO”) only markets its funds to institutional clients and professional investors. Private investors seeking information about ROBECO should visit our corporate website www.robeco.com or contact their financial adviser. ROBECO will not be liable for any damages or losses suffered by private investors accessing these areas.

In the UK, ROBECO Funds has marketing approval for the funds listed on this website, all of which are UCITS funds. ROBECO is authorized by the AFM and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.

Many of the protections provided by the United Kingdom regulatory framework may not apply to investments in ROBECO Funds, including access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service. No representation, warranty or undertaking is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information on this website.

If you are not an institutional client or professional investor you should therefore not proceed. By proceeding please note that we will be treating you as a professional client for regulatory purposes and you agree to be bound by our terms and conditions.

If you do not accept these terms and conditions, as well as the terms of use of the website, please do not continue to use or access any pages on this website.

I Disagree