On 10 May 2017, Fossil Free South Africa convened a workshop for financial services professionals in Cape Town on fossil fuel divestment. The aim of the workshop was to build awareness of climate and carbon risk – and the divest-reinvest movement – amongst financial services professionals, and to catalyse the creation of divested funds and instruments. Judging by broad responses, we succeeded in the first objective, but the second objective – creating new funds – will take a great deal more work, though hopefully the necessary conversations have started. (The background reading for this workshop appears here.) Some video excerpts appear here.
- Bruce Hewitson, head of the Climate Systems Analysis Group at the University of Cape Town, addressed recent developments in understanding the threat of climate change.
- David Le Page of Fossil Free South Africa outlined (video excerpts) the history and context for the global divestment movement (pdf)
- Sam Gill of ET Index Research (London) described how to ‘Cut carbon, beat the market’ (pdf)
- Tracey Davies, of the Centre for Environmental Rights, spoke (video) on the implications of the recent South Gauteng High Court finding that the Minister of the Environment should have considered the climate change impacts of the proposed Thabametsi Power Station before deciding whether to authorise it.
- Paul Chandler, of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, spoke on the proposals of the G20-appointed Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (pdf).
After the presentations, we divided into four groups for a deeper discussion of some of the issues that had been raised. The discussion was covered by the Chatham House Rule, and is observed in these notes. These are some of the broad points that arose: (more…)