As we are approaching the end of 2021, we invite you to look back at these almost 12 months and draw the attention to what you consider as the most significant weak signal, event, decision or new trend for the economic and financial future, whether in your region or globally.
Observatoire de la Finance wishes you a Happy New Year 2022.
The Virtuous Circle of Ethics and Sustainability – Ethics & Trust in Finance for a Sustainable Futur, Global Prize, 8th Edition 2020 / 2021, Nominated Essays
The Emissions Gap Report 2021 (UNEP) shows that pre-COP 26 national climate pledges combined with other mitigation measures put the world on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7°C by the end of the century, which is well above the goals of the Paris climate agreement and would lead to catastrophic changes. To what extent can the financial system as such, or its main players, be held – morally or/and legally – responsible for insufficient progress in containing climate warming? What should, and what should not be done to rapidly change this state of affairs? By whom?
The Observatoire de la Finance is a Partner of Building Bridges, taking place in Geneva from November 29 to December 2 2021. For this occasion, we organize a Round Table on Can sustainable finance break the tragedy of horizons?, Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 10h-1130 (CET), Forum Genève – Akashi Room.
Inequalities seem to accelerate in every part of the world due to Covid and otherwise. Unlike in the climate debate, in social issues we do not have a proper threshold for catastrophe. This leads to a possible overestimation of social resilience and leaves the issue as such largely untackled. Drawing on the particularities of your region or on your area of expertise, what should/can be done in priority?
“Insurance companies play a key role in pricing, transferring and managing damage-related risks. Yet, in 2015, just before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21), the then CEO and Chairman of global insurance company AXA – Henri de Castries – warned that “a four degrees’ rise in global average temperature is not insurable.” According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we are today aiming at four degrees. In fact, De Castries poses the question of how uncertainty will be priced and mitigated in our world which is off track of net-zero greenhouse gas emission target. Would public authorities become by default the only available shelter against some risks, and what would this imply for financial markets, insurance companies and public finances?”
“Half a century ago, on Sunday evening of 15h August 1971, president Nixon, “fighting the currency speculators”, has “suspended” the convertibility of the USD into gold (Nixon speech is available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye4uRvkAPhA). The 1971 decision has opened a new – still unfinished – chapter in world economic, monetary and financial history. Please share with us your thoughts – memories, lessons, dreams – related to this 50th anniversary. Are floating exchange rates the solution or are they the problem for the world of today?”
“The G7 meetings took place on 11-13 June 2021. What are the key takeaways and blind spots that the G7 should put on its agenda for its next meeting?”
Sustainable finance is very much in fashion nowadays as it is seen as one for the tools for slowing down climate change. But “sustainable finance” is more a catchword than a definition of a precise financial product or technique. What needs to be put in place in order to leverage the present enthusiasm around sustainable finance?