Global asset manager Schroders has published the latest update of its Climate Progress Dashboard and has concluded that, in the face of what was a relatively lackluster COP24 summit in December, the pace of global warming has slowed marginally thanks to higher carbon prices and increased political ambition to tackle climate change.
Schroders launched its Climate Progress Dashboard in July of 2017 to provide investors with “a unique insight” into the global progress towards limiting global warming to the 2°C set by the Paris Agreement and started off by predicting that we were on a path for a temperature rise of 4°C — a forecast which remained unchanged a year later and in its October 2018 update.
Fast-forward a few more months and Schroders published its latest update to the Dashboard this week revealing that, with higher carbon prices being implemented and increased political ambition to tackle climate change — and despite “limited progress” at the recent COP24 conference in Katowice, Poland, last year — the pace of global warming has slowed, slightly, and the world is now currently on course for a long-run temperature rise of 3.9°C as of the end of 2018.
“COP 24 ended with an agreement that pushes the prospect of tougher action back to 2020,” said Andrew Howard, Head of Sustainable Research, Schroders. “We are becoming increasingly doubtful that a binding global consensus will be reached quickly enough to deliver the change needed to meet the commitments made in Paris three years ago.
“In our view, it is increasingly clear that the key to climate action on the scale and speed needed to avoid the worst physical effects of climate damage lies away from the global political agenda which continues to attract most headlines,” Howard added. “Indeed, there are more reasons for optimism in other areas. The biggest changes have happened away from international politics. For instance, clean technologies are becoming increasingly attractive from an economic perspective and rising carbon prices in Europe and the US create a growing financial penalty to emissions.”
Specifically, Schroders points to rising carbon prices across Europe and North America as driving the increased momentum to address climate change. This was combined with increased political ambition seen around the world as countries representing more than half of the world’s car sales having announced plans to phase out combustion engine sales.