Why HSBC’s head of ‘accountable’ investing is mistaken

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I watched Stuart Kirk’s speech on the FT Ethical Cash convention final week …

… and, frankly, was astounded. He’s now being side-lined, suspended, possibly sacked and definitely a pariah with anybody who cares about the way forward for our world. Why? Effectively, let’s simply take three feedback thrown out throughout his presentation:

“Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six metres underwater for ages, and that’s a very nice place.” Stuart Kirk Head of Accountable Investments

“The common mortgage size in an enormous financial institution like ours, HSBC, is six years. What occurs to the planet in yr seven is irrelevant.” Stuart Kirk Head of Accountable Investments

“There’s all the time some nut job telling me in regards to the finish of the world.” Stuart Kirk Head of Accountable Investments

Hmmmmm …

In finance, ought to we care about yr seven? In finance, does it matter if we make investments and generate profits out of issues that may guarantee our kids and grandchildren haven’t any future? Does it matter if we line our pockets with {dollars} and don’t give a frack?

Digging deeper, I discover that he primarily based most of his presentation on the economics of Nobel prize winner William Nordhaus who states that “even when we make the quickest potential flip in direction of zero emissions, CO2 will proceed to build up within the ambiance, as a result of we can’t merely shut down our financial system”.

Does that imply we shouldn’t strive?

The underlying headline right here nevertheless is that Kirk’s views are people who predominate most huge financial institution considering. The view is principally that we must always not fear in regards to the future, if we’re making earnings right this moment. I don’t agree with that view, as it’s unjustified. For instance, many argue that Nordhaus’s views are mistaken and it turns into a you say this and I say that social distancing. For instance, I’ve been debating local weather for the previous few years, within the build-up to launching Digital for Good, and have met numerous local weather deniers. One is David Siegel, who I requested to contribute to the e-book, however he refused on the idea that it promoted the ESG agenda an excessive amount of.

David states that he was a local weather change advocate again within the Nineties however, after researching the sector, believes that it’s a fallacy. You’ll be able to hear his views right here. I replied that I don’t give a rattling in regards to the local weather. What? It’s true, I don’t care in regards to the local weather. I care about my kids. I care about animals. I care about biodiversity. I care in regards to the planet I share with others.

The world has seen a median 68% drop in mammal, fowl, fish, reptile, and amphibian populations since 1970. A lot of the loss is attributable to habitat destruction as a consequence of unsustainable agriculture or logging. In different phrases, human exercise is killing our world of life. That’s what I care about.

The factor is that we are able to now use know-how and finance to work collectively to repair this. We will monitor in real-time human and wildlife exercise, and see if they’re working in concord. We will finance human exercise to work  in concord with wildlife. We will combine know-how and finance to create a world that works in concord.


Concord: “a state of affairs wherein persons are peaceable and agree with one another” [Cambridge Dictionary]

Wouldn’t that be great?

That’s why we have to use Digital for Good (come to the launch June 6, it’s free!) and it appears a bit like John Lennon’s Think about. Use your creativeness. We will make this occur. Think about concord … and the world will dwell as one.

Think about there’s no heaven
It’s straightforward should you strive
No hell beneath us
Above us, solely sky

Think about all of the individuals
Livin’ for right this moment

Think about there’s no international locations
It isn’t exhausting to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no faith, too

Think about all of the individuals
Livin’ life in peace

It’s possible you’ll say I’m a dreamer
However I’m not the one one
I hope sometime you’ll be a part of us
And the world can be as one

Think about no possessions
I’m wondering should you can
No want for greed or starvation
A brotherhood of man

Think about all of the individuals
Sharing all of the world

It’s possible you’ll say I’m a dreamer
However I’m not the one one
I hope sometime you’ll be a part of us
And the world will dwell as one

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