The asset management industry—and thus the wider community of investors of all sizes— is facing the prospect of significant losses from the effects of climate change. Assets can be directly damaged by floods, droughts and severe storms, but portfolios can also be harmed indirectly, through weaker growth and lower asset returns. Climate change is a long-term, probably irreversible problem beset by substantial uncertainty. Crucially, however, climate change is a problem of extreme risk: this means that the average losses to be expected are not the only source of concern; on the contrary, the outliers, the particularly extreme scenarios, may matter most of all. The findings in this report indicate that climate change is likely to represent an obstacle for many asset owners and managers to fulfil their fiduciary duties.
Author: The Economist Intelligence Unit