Blog & Articles

CLAP: Migrant rights & investor responses to lobbying by the Border Industrial Complex

2021 might be the year that investors wake up to the ‘S’ in ESG and engage on migrant rights, but it has been a long time coming [1]. Back...
11 January 2021
Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

Power, investors, and the steps of the US Capitol

In 2007, Citi then-CEO Chuck Prince famously said:  “When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve...
7 January 2021
Institutions, Blog & Articles

CLAP reflections on corporate lobbying: hitting rock bottom & 5 investor opportunities to create new narratives

With investor roundtables on healthcare, upstream fossil fuels, power utilities, and the transport and chemicals sectors under our belt this autumn, the Corporate Lobbying Alignment Project (CLAP) is thinking...
5 January 2021
Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

Health, climate and biodiversity: three reasons for investors to confront corporate capture in the chemicals sector

December’s Corporate Lobbying Alignment Project online investor roundtable will tackle corporate capture of public policy making in the chemicals sector, with a focus on agrochemicals and petrochemicals. Companies...
3 December 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

Q&A with Willem Schramade: a proposal for a financial system in transition

Finance In Transition, a newly published booklet by the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University, is a proposal for a positive finance transition. With Business-As-Usual no longer an...
2 December 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles

CLAP is looking for a research intern

To help ensure the success of the Corporate Lobbying Alignment Project, Preventable Surprises is looking for an intern from January to April 2021 to assist with the production of...
26 November 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

Will the last institutional investor supporting democratic institutions turn out the lights?

We have been exploring explanations for investor silence about the US presidential election, both in the run-up and now in the difficult transition. The active corrosion of democratic...
23 November 2020
Blog & Articles

CLAP: utilities sector discussion note and 19 November 2020 roundtable

Last week we learned that the global consulting firm, FTI Consulting helped design, staff and run astroturf  organizations to enable large fossil fuel companies to block action on...
17 November 2020
Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

ESG Leaders should commit to supporting a free, fair and non-violent election and upholding democratic standards in the United States.

We are one day from the US Presidential election. With democratic standards eroding, we have found only two CEOs of large institutional investors who have shown that their...
3 November 2020
Archive, Forceful stewardship, Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

CLAP: fossil fuel discussion note and 29 October 2020 roundtable

Preventable Surprises is pleased to launch the third Corporate Lobbying Alignment Project (CLAP) discussion note focused on the fossil fuel sector. Fossil fuels is one of the few...
17 October 2020
Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

Comment letter on Department of Labor proxy voting consultation

Preventable Surprises responded to the consultation on the Department of Labor’s proposed Rule on Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights. We asked for the withdrawal of...
12 October 2020
Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

CLAP: healthcare sector discussion note and September roundtable 

Join our CLAP online roundtable on 24 Sept. & check out the new healthcare discussion note. Preventable Surprises is pleased to share the second Corporate Lobbying Alignment Project...
8 September 2020
Archive, Forceful stewardship, Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

Letter to the editor: Beyond scenarios, triggering transformation

Scenario analysis has dominated the climate finance conversation since the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) integrated it as a core strategy in its 2017 recommendations report. The...
24 August 2020
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

Q&A with Emily Claire Goldman: divesting from for-profit prisons in America

The responsible investment world’s most entrenched habit might be debating the merits of divestment versus engagement. While not here to settle the debate (Preventable Surprises has generally supported...
28 July 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles, Guidance notes, Reports

CLAP: transport sector discussion note launch & August online roundtable

16 July 2020 – today we are publishing a first discussion note to engage the investment community on the role and negative impact of climate change lobbying in...
16 July 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

Responsible Investment needs a bigger toolbox

A survey of ESG influencers shows the elusive side of investor responsibility. What to do? When the Covid-19 crisis exploded in winter 2020, we spelled out four different...
17 June 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles

Launch of the Corporate Lobbying Alignment Project 

Our new applied research and engagement project will work to make corporate political capture a central component of  investors’ approach to ESG stewardship and integration. It will leverage...
10 June 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles, Corporate political capture

Breaking the Fever is now a podcast

Preventable Surprises and Ethical Systems are delighted to announce that our “Breaking the Fever” online webinar series is now a podcast! “Breaking the Fever” was our response to...
4 June 2020
Blog & Articles, Pandemic

Who’s got power? countries vs. asset management

As the Financial Times reports that the world’s four largest asset managers now control 61% of the industry’s assets, we take a look at the relative influence of...
10 May 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

Who to trust?

This article originally appeared in Climate 2020, the Path Ahead, and is reproduced with kind permission of UNA-UK and Witan Media. How can asset owners and investors evaluate...
29 April 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

It’s the Trolley Problem, Stupid! (guest post by Raj Thamotheram and Ben Hammersley)

Spoiler Alert: it’s not really about facts. This blog follows Ben Hammersley’s recent participation in Preventable Surprises and Ethical Systems’ Breaking the Fever online conversation series. One silver...
24 April 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles, Pandemic

Many of us are about to become non-essential workers

We are sincerely concerned about unemployment. There are multiple scenarios for coming out of the current crisis, but: – we are roughly looking at double the output decline...
13 April 2020
Blog & Articles, Pandemic

Exxon Mobil’s opium to Asia Pacific: let’s prevent history from repeating (by Praveen Gupta)

Former insurance executive and climate change enthusiast Praveen Gupta has a message: people should know that Exxon’s plans for Asia are not in line with the Paris Agreement....
24 March 2020
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

“Act now. Don’t wait for the perfect plan.”

Three ESG questions to author (and Preventable Surprises Senior Advisor) Margaret Heffernan who just published a timely book,  Uncharted, on dealing with uncertainty. (1)    In your prior book, Wilful...
19 March 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles

Choices and scenarios for ESG in times of pandemic

Health experts recommend washing hands frequently as a protection from Covid-19. Investors should not wash their hands of the planet’s problems. The coronavirus pandemic is threatening lives, straining...
13 March 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles

Making Net Zero count by facing up to its shortcomings

The world is increasingly committing to Net Zero emission strategies. Preventable Surprises has been supportive, but science and experience now show it won’t be enough to meet the...
6 March 2020
Archive, Forceful stewardship, Blog & Articles, Climate disruption, Must reads

Changing minds in the insurance industry: a conversation

Preventable Surprises invites perspectives from positive mavericks across economic sectors. Who are the agents of transformation? What do they think? Today, New Yorker Walter Murphy (WM) & Mumbaikar...
16 February 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles

Inside Out Economics: Are Externalities the Main Event? (by Duncan Austin)

The question our sustainability crisis poses is whether our economy is more market failure than market. What says economics, then? The following is an edited excerpt from Pigou and...
6 February 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles, Publications

Open letter: as SEC curtails shareholder activism, big institutional investors must act

The SEC is proposing to change rules that govern shareholder proposals. This would seriously undermine corporate accountability. Silence from U.S. institutional investors on this issue will hurt them and,...
30 January 2020
Blog & Articles, Publications

Larry had a momentous week on climate but is Blackrock Still Part of the #Missing60?

For those who say campaigning doesn’t work, just read Larry Fink’s 2020 letter to CEOs and its sister letter to clients, both coming hot on the heels of Blackrock’s...
20 January 2020
Archive, Blog & Articles, Must reads

Please show your stewardship mettle

More transparency about the impacts of ESG integration, improved proxy voting records, deeper and more long term engagement, decisive voices on the future of capitalism, and more: learn how...
15 January 2020
Forceful stewardship, Blog & Articles, Publications

Deforestation in the Amazon and the role of investors and their clients

The Brazilian, Bolivian, Peruvian and Venezuela Amazon have been burning to unprecedented levels, prompting what scientists have been arguing to be an irreversible tipping point. As the largest tropical...
24 October 2019
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

The systemic failure of US leadership on climate

No, this is not about Donald Trump. He is as much a symptom as a cause. Failure to provide leadership – or even just match benchmark standards – is far...
30 August 2019
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

Which financial sector players have most influence with the Bolsonaro government and Brazilian companies?

Belatedly, attention is focusing on the crisis in the Amazon and inevitably people are asking who are the financial sector players that have most influence with the Brazilian government...
7 August 2019
Blog & Articles

Greenwish: The Wishful Thinking Undermining the Ambition of Sustainable Business, by Duncan Austin

I’m pleased to post an original essay, Greenwish: The Wishful Thinking Undermining the Ambition of Sustainable Business, by Duncan Austin (available here). Duncan has been active in the sustainability...
22 July 2019
Blog & Articles, Publications

Research internship – climate / slavery

Preventable Surprises is starting a new programme to focus on the analogy between slavery and the climate crisis: This work is being led by Richard Barker and here...
11 June 2019
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

A new discussion note: The Climate Crisis, Sustainable Finance & “Made in Canada” solutions

The world has been struggling to come to terms with climate risk for several decades but as a result of procrastination, the risk is now systemic if not existential...
11 June 2019
Blog & Articles

Preventable Surprises hosted a private seminar in London

Preventable Surprises hosted a private seminar in London on 16th May 2019 with the internationally recognised atmosphere scientist Katharine Hayhoe from Texas, USA. Katharine was in London to give...
17 May 2019
Blog & Articles

The existential crisis of climate change: will Canadian investors show authentic leadership?

As G7 leaders prepare to gather in Halifax this week, Preventable Surprises is pleased to share a new Discussion Note about the Canadian market. With Canada’s Expert Panel on...
17 September 2018
Blog & Articles

UK Govt consultation on investment duties of pension fund trustees

The UK Government has recently undertaken a consultation about how to clarify and strengthen investment duties of pension fund trustees. Preventable Surprises made a submission which was supported by...
17 July 2018
Blog & Articles

Embracing the reality of climate change: Implications for “future wise” investors in Europe

Frankfurt Roundtable (18th June 2018) Frankfurt Roundtable Report PDF If you have time for nothing else, make sure you see Professor Rahmstorf’s Prezi – click here. Organizational affiliations are...
29 June 2018
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

Paris Roundtable: Climate change & “Future Wise” European Investors

This is a note of roundtable held on 28 th May 2018 kindly hosted by RMA Asset Management. Organizational affiliations are shown for identification purposes only as participants were...
7 June 2018
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

A modern allegory tale for advocates of portfolio decarbonisation

Boy: Grandpa! Grandpa: Yes, my boy. Boy: What is the global environmental crisis? Grandpa: Have you been listening to the news again? Boy: Yes grandpa. Please tell me what...
4 June 2018
Issues, Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

The AGM anti-climax: How success breeds failure at U.S. utilities

A resolution calling on Exxon to report on risks posed by climate change was hailed as a “game changer” last year after shareholders got behind it. However Exxon’s 2-degree...
25 May 2018
Blog & Articles

Seeking a new Chair: Help us become the global “tough friend” for the investment industry

Are you a senior executive from the investment world, disturbed by its impact on society and free to challenge it to be a more responsible and socially useful actor?...
30 April 2018
Archive, Blog & Articles

Asian Utilities: Expanding Perspectives on the Carbon Threat

Preventable Surprises recently held its sixth online dialogue with a specific focus on the Asia energy utility sector, which is estimated to be responsible for more than 20% of...
13 April 2018
Archive, Blog & Articles

@theRE100: Use the Power of the Pension

By committing to RE100, your company is part of an inspirational group of business leaders who are demonstrating that what is good for the planet is also good for...
20 March 2018
Archive, Blog & Articles

Quick pic: Climate positions of 10 largest asset managers

New research by the 50/50 Climate Project into voting on climate friendly resolutions highlights the disconnect between public positioning of the largest asset managers and their voting behaviour. Axios...
15 March 2018
Archive, Blog & Articles

An open letter to Investment Consultants: Time to show leadership on climate change

Today we published ten open letters to the largest investment consultants asking for the nine who have not yet signed up to TCFD to act immediately. Willis Towers Watson...
5 March 2018
Blog & Articles

What the Wokest Team Can Teach Us

When the Philadelphia Eagles won the Superbowl–after a 57-year drought–the outpouring of joy was magnified by the pride many felt in the “wokest team in the NFL.” The Eagles...
9 February 2018
Archive, Blog & Articles

Davos: Connecting the dots on systemic risk

Among those rubbing elbows in Davos this week are the leaders of BlackRock, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs, which manage $7.4 trillion between them. The trio represents all that...
24 January 2018
Archive, Blog & Articles

Emissions and Omissions: The Missing35 on Climate Action

The Climate Action 100+ is an admirable effort by institutional investors to step in where governments fear to tread. In the wake of the Paris Agreement, expectations were high...
20 December 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

Climate Action 100+ initiative must have sense of urgency that systemic risk demands

Research and advocacy organization, Preventable Surprises, has today (Tuesday Dec 12) congratulated organisers of the Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) initiative for harnessing so much ‘financial muscle’ in the cause...
12 December 2017
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

Missing in Action: Missing55% fail to step up on climate

When the world’s two largest money managers, BlackRock and Vanguard, threw their weight behind a successful 2°C scenario resolution at Exxon last spring, the media hailed a shift in...
5 December 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

Why investors should focus more on fossil fuel demand

To be clear, when we say “more”, we don’t mean at the expense of a focus on fossil fuel supplier – simply that there should be a better balance...
29 November 2017
Blog & Articles

Goliath Asset Management vs. David Pension Fund

If you had to quickly pick which is the most powerful–sovereign countries, asset owners, or the investment firms both hire to manage their assets–who would get your vote? If...
3 November 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

FT reporter pens critical piece on lack of stewardship

Financial Times’ columnist Attracta Mooney has written a hard-hitting piece acknowledging the fact that the largest investors are dragging their heels on climate change risk. An earlier FT piece...
23 October 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

PS responds to media spin

With publication of the votes from the 2017 proxy voting season, large US investors are being given much credit for their votes in support of shareholder resolutions seeking disclosure...
10 October 2017
Blog & Articles

Who defines Trump’s impact on the Paris Agreement?

Preventable Surprises Founder Raj Thamotheram argues that institutional investors have largely failed to make their voices heard in the climate debate. As universal owners of the world’s largest publicly...
19 September 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

Vanguard: “Look Beyond the Numbers”

In Vanguard’s just-published Investment Stewardship report, Chairman and CEO William McNabb encourages readers to “look beyond the numbers” when reading about Vanguard’s engagement efforts as a responsible investor. That...
1 September 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

Transition planning: Meet our new CEO

While Preventable Surprises has been focused on transition planning at utilities, we haven’t neglected organisational development in house. In August, we hired a new CEO, David Murray, who joined...
29 August 2017
Blog & Articles

Planning for the Transition: The Wisdom of the Crowd

Preventable Surprises recently concluded its fifth online dialogue, a three-day virtual gathering of 67 positive mavericks representing a cross-section of stakeholders in the responsible investing world. We put forth...
20 July 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

Ways of Being in a Brutalist Environment

The following speech was given by Preventable Surprises Board Member John Rogers on 6 June at the Responsible Investor Europe Conference in London. Today I’d like to talk about...
15 June 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

“But you are so different … no one would take the career risks you have taken!”

By Raj Thamotheram Founder and co-chair, Preventable Surprises This is a refrain I hear quite often when I invite ESG professionals to consider how they could be a bigger...
13 June 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

David Murray appointed Chief Executive of Preventable Surprises

Preventable Surprises has appointed as its new chief executive David Murray, currently head of campaigns and communications at Cycling UK. David has a track record of building and delivering campaigns...
7 June 2017
Blog & Articles

What a week!

As Dickens said, the best of times, the worst of times. A whopping 62% of Exxon shareholders told the company to disclose its exposure to climate change risk. This...
2 June 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

The Vote Is In

Nearly half of the shareholders at Southern Company have a message for the Atlanta-based gas and electric utility company: Clean up your act! At Wednesday’s annual general meeting, 46%...
24 May 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

Climate Science 101: Turning off the Tap

By Preventable Surprises Board Member Rich Pancost The challenges arising from growing carbon dioxide concentrations and climate disruption are clear to scientists and to the nearly 200 nations that...
19 May 2017
Blog & Articles

A Victory in the Votes vs. Values Battle

The many organisations working to force utilities to confront climate change risk scored a major victory this week, when 56.8% of shareholders at PPL Corp. voted in favour of a...
17 May 2017
Archive, Blog & Articles

Preventable Surprises strongly welcomes CalPERS climate policy & Mission 2020

Preventable Surprises warmly welcomes the focus CalPERS is giving to the issue of climate disruption as a risk to mainstream investors . We particularly welcome the support for the...
24 April 2017
Blog & Articles

Helping the Missing60 see the light

Investment firms that voted their clients’ proxies to increase transparency around climate risk–then reversed course last year when management at Exxon and Chevron opposed such measures–found themselves in an...
20 April 2017
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

A Road to Damascus Moment

By Casey Aspin As AGM season approaches, so does the road to Damascus moment for asset managers that participated in the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure. They can...
12 April 2017
Blog & Articles

A hierarchy of action for the planet

By Preventable Surprises Board Member Rich Pancost As if the challenge of limiting global warming weren’t daunting enough, the broad range of opinions on how to tackle the job...
7 March 2017
Blog & Articles, Biodiversity loss

Year in Review: Turning the Soil

As 2016 dawned, the glow of the Parisian accord still radiated among the many activists working toward a 2°C-compliant economy, Preventable Surprises included. We held an online dialogue in...
10 January 2017
Blog & Articles

Tasked with Forcing Change

Climate-related risk is building throughout global markets, just as the contagion effect of excess housing debt led to the Global Financial Crisis. To fend off another destructive chapter in...
14 December 2016
Blog & Articles

Stand and Fight

Using your voice as a shareholder By PS Chair Carolyn Hayman, OBE The divest-invest campaign has helped foundations focus on the contribution of fossil fuel producers to climate change...
8 December 2016
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

Ceding ground on climate change: Has it begun?

Guest blog By Casey Aspin, Communications Director In the wake of Donald Trump’s election in the United States, those of us fighting to rapidly shrink greenhouse gas emissions are...
5 December 2016
Blog & Articles

How technology will trump Trump

 A message from Preventable Surprises Chair Carolyn Hayman No one really knows what a Trump presidency will be like. Given his ‘man of action’ positioning, we may find out...
11 November 2016
Blog & Articles

The Missing60 revealed: Asset managers explain Exxon, Chevron votes

Proxy votes from the spring AGM season became public last month, drawing attention to the 60% of voters who supported climate-risk stress tests at non-US companies but reversed course...
19 October 2016
Blog & Articles, Climate disruption

Preventable Surprises encourages the G20 to require investors to disclose AGM votes

G20 leaders face a long list of pressing issues when they meet at their September summit, including the backlash against globalization and migration. While climate change could take...
3 September 2016
Blog & Articles

Climate Change: Mitigation or adaptation?

This guest op-ed is from Professor Rich Pancost, organic geochemist, biogeochemist and palaeoclimatologist. Since 2012, he has been the Director of the interdisciplinary University of Bristol Cabot Institute, which...
27 August 2016
Blog & Articles

What is the best role for Engagement Overlay Providers if they and their clients accept climate science?

Asset owners are, rightly, frustrated with how many investment managers actually “do” stewardship. Rather than engage assertively with managers about their stewardship performance, however, asset owners are outsourcing these...
15 August 2016
Blog & Articles

Beyond stress tests: preparing for the next AGM season

Leading up to COP21, companies faced investor pressure to report on stress tests or scenario analyses that acknowledge the potential for regulations limiting global warming to no more than...
10 August 2016
Blog & Articles

We support the Missing 60% initiative!

The individuals listed below have signed in their personal capacity. Organisational affiliations are shown for identification purposes only. Prof Michael ASHLEY, Department of Astrophysics, University of New South Wales...
23 July 2016
Blog & Articles

Obama’s top science adviser is right…and wrong!

Obama’s top science adviser, John Holdren, is right and wrong. Yes, we will need fossil fuels for some time and some (gas) could be better than others (if pipeline...
18 July 2016
Blog & Articles

Consensus on “Peak Demand” gathers momentum

Bloomberg New Energy Finance and McKinsey have both concluded that a rapid take-up of electric vehicles will lead to a late 2020s peak in oil demand. This was part of...
8 July 2016
Blog & Articles

New report: How investors should manage climate related systemic risk

Preventable Surprises has released its latest report “Climate Related Systemic Risk: A Guide for Investor Action Report“. This report takes investment decision-makers through key questions to consider on climate-related...
29 June 2016
Blog & Articles

Media commentary about the #Missing60 campaign

Here is some media commentary relating to the Missing 60% campaign: Prof Bob Eccles explains why Blackrock, State Street and Vanguard are well placed to lead the investment community in...
28 June 2016
Blog & Articles

The Missing 60% – let’s make sure investors do better in 2017!

At the US Annual General Meetings (AGMs) in 2016, approximately 40% of investors voted in favour of resolutions asking for better disclosure of climate risk. In contrast, more than 96% of investors...
2 June 2016
Blog & Articles

The US AGMs are a teachable moment for institutional investors! And who will make the learning happen?

Despite some increase in votes for more transparency about the strategic engagement by energy companies with climate change challenges, investors have failed to send as clear a signal to...
25 May 2016
Blog & Articles

Protected: What are the 5 most interesting things about the pre-online dialogue survey?

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
13 May 2016
Blog & Articles

Shell produces a

Commenting on Shell’s ‘below 2C’ climate change scenario, Preventable Surprises CEO Raj Thamotheram said:  Preventable Surprises strongly welcomes Shell’s ‘below 2C’ climate change scenario.  This recent statement is in stark contrast...
11 May 2016
Blog & Articles

The US AGMs: which investors matter the most?

Preventable Surprises has undertaken an analysis of who owns the nine companies in the USA that are facing 2°C stress test / transition plan resolutions. One highlight of this...
8 May 2016
Blog & Articles

FSB’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures: our response to the consultation

The Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) clearly wants to understand how the relevant industries tick, and also key challenges and potential solutions. You could...
28 April 2016
Blog & Articles

Southern resolution by the Tri-State Coalition: our analysis

Preventable Surprises will be watching carefully how investors stand on climate risk issues with respect to the proxy vote at the Southern Company on May 25th, 2016. In our...
28 April 2016
Blog & Articles

Institutional Investors & Carbon Risk Resolutions: Don’t sit on the fence, please!

This article was first published in Sustainable Brands At BP’s 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM), 4.12% of the company’s investors either ‘abstained’ (2.4%) or voted ‘against’ (1.72%) a resolution...
15 April 2016
Blog & Articles, Media Coverage

Peabody goes bankrupt! What can investors learn from this “preventable surprise”?

Investors and others (regulators in particular) should want to do a careful “lessons learnt” exercise about this latest corporate implosion. Some questions they should ask include: How strong is the...
13 April 2016
Blog & Articles

SEC allows ExxonMobil Shareholders to Press for Disclosure of Costs

Some good news from the USA! The SEC have ruled against Exxon and shareholders will now have the right to vote on a resolution which asks the company to...
11 April 2016
Blog & Articles

‘Climate value at risk’ of global financial assets

The Guardian reports on a new study by leading economists on the cost effectiveness of taking action to force the transition to a low carbon world. The paper, published in...
5 April 2016
Blog & Articles

IEA Announces “Decoupling of global emissions and economic growth confirmed”

Global energy-related CO2 emissions stayed flat for the second year in a row, according to a report released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Howard Covington, a senior...
16 March 2016
Blog & Articles

Sir David King’s take on the implications of COP21

Sir David King, UK Special Representative for Climate Change, spoke to the International Energy Authority this morning on what happens after COP21. While recognising the large implementation challenges, as...
29 January 2016
Blog & Articles

How investors should monitor their real world impact on climate related systemic risk

A helpful publication from the CFA Institute on ESG investing has data from a very interesting survey of 44,000 CFA members conducted in 2015. This survey reveals the challenges...
24 January 2016
Blog & Articles

Country GDP vs. Investor Assets Under Management (AUM)

COUNTRY GDP (EUR bn) INVESTOR AUM (EUR bn) HQ Investor Type Japan 3,784 BlackRock 3,844 USA AM UK 2,426 Vanguard Asset Management 2,577 USA AM India 2,051 State...
18 January 2016
Blog & Articles

Long-Term Matters: Followers Will Make The Money Flow

“Investment is the most often repeated word in IMF meetings, UN meetings, [the] G20 meeting, IIF meetings,” Angel Gurria, secretary general of the OECD said at the organisation’s recent...
6 January 2016
Blog & Articles

“Agreement on temperature target of 1.5 degrees within reach”

I was rather surprised to hear the message from Paris that 1.5 degrees is within reach.  Not being a climate specialist, I talked with two of our scientific advisers,...
10 December 2015
Blog & Articles

The Forceful Stewardship Guidelines

The guidelines have been described by John Rogers, the former CEO and President of the CFA Institute, as “an emerging best practice framework to guide investor action”.  There are...
10 December 2015
Blog & Articles

Why we need forceful stewardship (and why BAU engagement isn’t fit for purpose)

Preventable Surprises is delighted to see growing awareness that finance is arguably the critical player post COP21. And we are also delighted to see engagement taking an increasingly central...
9 December 2015
Blog & Articles

How tone deaf is the Oil & Gas sector? And are its major investors be any better?

Finally, it appears the industry is hearing! But even now, there is no North American involvement in Oil & Gas Climate Initiative. This sectoral leadership group is definitely welcome –it...
3 December 2015
Blog & Articles

Forceful Stewardship says: “Show Us Your 2C Transition Plans”

More and more investment experts are now accepting that robust engagement is the most effective way for investors to help manage climate-related systemic risk. To deepen this momentum, Preventable Surprises...
30 November 2015
Blog & Articles

Bill Gates and climate change

The fight to keep global warming to less than 2C is such that we need all the allies we can find so the announcement by Bill Gates that...
29 November 2015
Blog & Articles

A moratorium on new coal mines?

First came the coal divestment campaign and now comes the call for a moratorium on new coal mines. Its advocates say it has the unique political and diplomatic upside...
28 November 2015
Blog & Articles

When scientific realities and career risk clash…what should professionals do?

Leading climate scientist, Kevin Anderson published a “must read” article in “Nature Geosciences” (12 Oct 2015). The full article is behind a paywall, but most of it is on Anderson’s...
26 November 2015
Blog & Articles

What do investment “positive mavericks” think about litigation

This survey (“ThinkTank views on litigation“) shows that “positive mavericks” think litigation is an important ingredient in the mix of change strategies: the immunity to change in the investment...
24 November 2015
Blog & Articles

Who are the 50 biggest institutional investors in the world?

Here’s a list of the top 50 institutional investors today.  Our thanks to IPE for the data. Did you know that 8 of the 10 biggest investors are fund managers headquartered...
24 November 2015
Blog & Articles

How can investors maximise their impact on climate related systemic risk?

Strategies for maximum impact This slide sbows the result of a survey of 77 investment and other specialist from 15 countries who were selected for being well informed about climate...
23 November 2015
Blog & Articles

Environment Agency Pension Funds (EAPF) names climate change as a systemic risk and backs robust engagement

The EAPF’s new policy says that “Climate change presents a systemic risk to the ecological, societal and financial stability of every economy and country on the planet, with the...
22 November 2015
Blog & Articles

Preventable Surprises strongly welcomes PFZW’s action on climate risk

Preventable Surprises strongly welcomes this leadership action on climate risk by PFZW, the second biggest pension fund in the Netherlands. Whilst institutional investors are divesting – which typically takes...
18 November 2015
Blog & Articles

Preventable Surprises welcomes the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System

The United Nations Environment Programme recently launched a report on its 2-year inquiry into sustainable finance. Its authors and contributors should be commended for the scope and breadth...
16 November 2015
Blog & Articles

Important new study by Cambridge University on portfolio value at risk

Equity portfolios may lose as much as 45 percent of their value due to shifting investor sentiment about climate change, according to a report by Cambridge University’s Institute for...
12 November 2015
Blog & Articles

It’s BAU but not as we knew it!

Last week at a gathering of Europeans for Divest Invest[i], of which my own foundation is a member, Christiana Figueres gave two clear messages1. The first was a positive...
5 November 2015
Blog & Articles

An action agenda for Canadian institutional investors

This paper describes what Canadian investors could do about systemic climate risk and who needs to do what to make this outcome happen.
16 October 2015
Blog & Articles

“How our screwed-up CEO pay system makes climate change worse”

This is the title of a hard hitting article in GRIST about the role of executive remuneration in exacerbating the climate change challenge.
12 October 2015
Blog & Articles

Leading Canadian pension lawyer, welcomes Mark Carney’s challenge

“Mark Carney and the Bank of England have warned of the implications of climate change for the UK insurance sector. But the message is relevant for Canadians too and...
3 October 2015
Blog & Articles

Investment professionals in different countries show markedly different awareness of climate risk

The CFA Institute recently commissioned market research into how investment professionals in different countries/regions consider ESG risks. The country level data shows remarkable variation, Canadian respondents, for example, coming on...
30 September 2015
Blog & Articles

Preventable Surprises strongly welcomes Mark Carney’s call to action

“Mark Carney has offered a worthwhile challenge to institutional investors: Become part of the solution to climate change by acting as fiduciary capitalists. Preventable Surprises applauds this call to action, and will...
30 September 2015
Blog & Articles

Which investors count?

As society focuses on what investors can do to better manage systemic climate risk, the question emerges which investors have most influence. Slide 1 is a snap shot of...
5 August 2015
Blog & Articles

Aviva’s strategic response to climate change

We are delighted to see that Aviva, a major insurer, is supporting the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to study portfolio value at risk from climate damage.  As we described in our paper (“The...
27 July 2015
Blog & Articles

The latest convert to long-termism is… the U.S. Chamber of Commerce!

It’s wonderful to read that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is forming a coalition to make sure “long-term value creation” drives the decisions of public company boards. What a...
6 July 2015
Blog & Articles

Financial reforms have treated symptoms, not causes, says former senior US govt adviser

“A lot of financial reforms have treated symptoms, not underlying causes” says Zoltan Pozsar at FT Camp Alphaville, a former senior advisor at the U.S. Treasury Department and now...
1 July 2015
Blog & Articles

Don’t expect attention on climate risk from investment providers who are focused on earnings estimates!

CFA Institute thought leader Jason Voss highlights the on-going addiction of investment professionals to earnings estimates: Despite all the talk about long-termism and ESG, the figures speak for themselves...
26 June 2015
Blog & Articles

An epidemic of self censorship?

A core idea behind the Preventable Surprises project is that they aren’t surprises. Someone generally knows but is often too frightened to raise their concerns. Our focus is on...
17 February 2015
Blog & Articles

Video: What can Investors do about the crisis in banking?

12 May 2013
Blog & Articles