Climate disruption

The human factor in climate finance

In January 2023, Preventable Surprises hosted an online dialogue on climate finance and behavior. The week-long conversation was designed to increase our collective understanding of the role of people...
24 April 2023
Climate disruption

Dialogue takeaways and call to action for investors on the Border & Surveillance Industries

We are happy to release the summary slides from an online dialogue on the Border & Surveillance Industries which Preventable Surprises hosted in March 2022. The dialogue is part of...
21 June 2022
Human Rights, Our events, Climate disruption

Rubber, Meet Road

Face it: responsible investment is about political choices. Short of this reckoning, the fate of ESG might be the least of our concerns. What is ESG? It depends on...
4 May 2022
Human Rights, Positive Mavericks, Institutions, Climate disruption

Migration is a climate issue is an ESG issue

The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report assesses the impacts of climate change, considering ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at the global and regional level. Accelerated environmental degradation and migration go...
1 March 2022
Human Rights, Climate disruption

Investor stewardship and the Border and Surveillance Industry: a Discussion Note

We are pleased to share a Discussion Note on Investor Stewardship and the Border and Surveillance Industries. This Note is intended to educate – and advocate for – proactive...
7 December 2021
Human Rights, Forceful stewardship, Climate disruption, Pandemic

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
Climate disruption

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
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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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 Paris...
6 March 2020
Forceful stewardship, Climate disruption, Must reads

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
Climate disruption

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
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
Climate disruption

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
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
Institutions, Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
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
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
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
Forceful stewardship, Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

#RE100 Letter to Investment Managers

Dear Investment Manager, Our company has committed to sourcing 100% of our energy needs from renewables to save money, to save the planet, and to protect our license to...
29 March 2018
Climate disruption

@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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Forceful stewardship, Climate disruption

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
Forceful stewardship, Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
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
Climate disruption

Disrupting CEO Pay

The former CEO of the Investment Association, the trade body that represents UK investment managers, has made a disruptive proposal on CEO pay. Decades of technocratic effort by corporate...
27 March 2017
Executive pay, Forceful stewardship, Climate disruption

Systemic Risk

While informed professionals in many sectors see climate risk as one of the biggest risks the world faces, most investment professionals give it a much lower priority. They are...
27 March 2017
Videos, Our events, Climate disruption

The Case for Forceful Stewardship (Part 2): Managing Climate Risk

Download Publication Abstract If it reaches 4° or more, global warming may cause severe economic damage with the consequence that a significant portion of the value of a diversified...
27 March 2017
Climate disruption, Reports

The Case for Forceful Stewardship (Part 1): The Financial Risk from Global Warming

Download Publication Abstract If it reaches 4° or more, global warming may cause severe economic damage with the consequence that a significant portion of the value of a diversified...
27 March 2017
Climate disruption, Reports

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
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
Climate disruption

Energy utilities hold the key to reducing emissions – help us move the sector!

Short-term consultants needed to test transition planning guidance with energy utility companies and investors–£5,500 (Europe) $7,000 (North America) Preventable Surprises is a nonprofit ‘think-do’ tank seeking to accelerate the transition...
24 November 2016
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

Stakeholders for Sustainable Innovation Workshop

The Centre for The Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge is holding a workshop on shareholder engagement strategies for the auto sector. The workshop’s goal is to develop...
17 October 2016
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
Forceful stewardship, Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

Shell produces a climate change scenario

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
Climate disruption

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
Forceful stewardship, Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

‘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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

“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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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 of...
16 November 2015
Institutions, Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

“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
Executive pay, Forceful stewardship, Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption

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
Climate disruption