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Alok Sharma

Finance Needs to Stop Living in the Past

Britain's incoming COP26 President argues that financial institutions risk living in the past if they don't take rigorous steps to invest in fighting climate change.

A choking planet.

A choking planet.

Photo: Bloomberg

The effects of climate change are all around us. Last year was the hottest on record; the last decade, the hottest ever recorded. Almost a decade and a half after the global financial crisis, experts warn that the effects — from rising sea levels, flooding, droughts and wildfires — could make financial crises more than twice as likely to occur.

The encouraging news is the world is greening. Renewable energy is now cheaper than new coal and gas in the majority of the world, and around 70% of the world’s economy is now covered by net zero emissions targets compared to less than 30% when the U.K. took over the presidency of COP26, the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference that the U.K. will host this November.