Viewpoints

Beyond the Paris Agreement: Corporate Investing and Climate Change

Scott Mather and PIMCO advisor Mark Carney, give an overview of United Nations climate change agreements, plus expectations for the upcoming 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November.

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Text on screen: PIMCO provides services only to qualified institutions and investors. This is not an offer to any person in any jurisdiction where unlawful or unauthorized.

Text on screen: Scott A. Mather, CIO U.S. Core Strategies, ESG Investing

Scott Mather: Now, you mentioned COP. Maybe just take a step back and explain what these are. I think many people are maybe more familiar with the Paris Agreement. But can you speak to that, and then talk about how important this next COP meeting is, and some of the most important things you think that may or…well, hopefully will happen there.

Text on screen: Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance

Mark Carney : So in terms of COP this is a meeting of 195 countries, under the auspices of the UN, and the objective is, effectively to address climate change. They happen every year. But every five years, they really matter.

Image of international leadership smiling in unity at 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris

So five years ago, there was a big meeting in Paris, which led to the Paris accord. And it was a breakthrough, a success. Five years prior to that there was a big meeting in Copenhagen, it was a disaster.  So Paris was critical. And because it came up with a new way to address these things, instead of having, you know, seeking binding treaties, across 195 countries, that in the end were binding in name but not in fact. What Paris did was make clear what the world wanted to achieve, which was to limit the increase in temperatures to less than two degrees with a stretch target of one and a half degrees.

And what people will hear is, there's more and more focus on that stretch target, even though we're getting closer and closer to it. Obviously, the lower the temperature rise, the more we have to decarbonize and the more rapidly we have to do it. So Paris establishes this objective. And it does two other things, I think that are important. One is it tells countries: countries show up with your best effort. So everyone shows up with their best efforts. They're called, these are country plans to decarbonize. They're called NDCs nationally determined contributions. Paris then adds those all up and says, Oh,

Images of windmills farm and industrial smoketacks

well, you said you wanted to get to less than two degrees. But if you do everything you say you're going to do, the world will end up at 2.6 degrees.

Not everybody did what they said they were going to do because we're on a trajectory for north of three degrees.

So that's why Glasgow is so important. Which is this is a do over if you will of Paris. It's got some pretty good tailwinds in terms of technologies. I think we all know that there's been a huge shift in the competitiveness of solar wind technology, storage technology, electric vehicles, and prospectively other technologies. So there's some tailwinds there,

Images of flooding in residential neightborhood and wildfires

there's more and more evidence of the impact of climate change. There's more and more public demand for action on it. And the objective for Glasgow is for countries to show up with these plans, their own NDCs, such that we still have a shot at hitting that one and a half degree target. It's still quote within reach.

Images of solar panel installations

But there's also, companies aren't waiting for all the policies to be put in place, the best companies are starting to get out in front of this, who can you get behind, who's going to make huge, huge capital investments that are going to decarbonize consistent with the path that the world wants to be on?  

These are trillions of dollars of additional investments at the sovereign and corporate level, year in year out for decades, and spotting where those are going to be and getting behind those is a tremendous value opportunity.

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All investments contain risk and may lose value.

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This material contains the opinions of the manager and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This material has been distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.

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