Managing Partner Tom Rand will address the invite-only 2014 Climate Business Forum in Hong Kong (Oct 29th). Rand's talk will combine and extend core themes of his recent best-seller Waking the Frog: Solutions to our Climate Change Paralysis and Welcome to the Anthropocene: Investing in a Warmer World. Core message is to increase the sense of urgency in the investment community on climate: Multiple factors contribute to the lack of rapid progress on climate change globally: lack of awareness, vested interests, institutional lethargy and differing views on the role for policy direction versus market economics. The world today enjoys unprecedented wealth, industry and scientific innovation – what needs to happen for these resources to be deployed urgently to tackle climate issues?
Bottom line: Under business-as-usual, global average temperatures are set to rise by 4-6C, leading to unprecedented economic and civic collapse. A select few funds, acting in their own self-interest, might protect assets, arbitrage the impending catastrophe or benefit by providing much-needed solutions. But simple logic dictates that economic degradation on this scale renders the vast majority of funds (venture, private equity, pension, hedge) unable to protect principle or generate returns. Self-interest cannot drive solutions to this systemic problem. It's now an act of self-preservation for the global investment community to agitate for a price on carbon.