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 in nature, and also coincides with growing economic inequality and populist threats to democracy in many countries. Had Canada and other countries acted in the 1970’s when warnings were first made, incremental low cost solutions may have worked. That opportunity has been wasted and now the choice is much more stark.
As a prosperous nation with a climate aware public, Canada has a unique opportunity to demonstrate what authentic financial sector resilience looks like in the face of climate risk. This Preventable Surprises Discussion Note considers if the current preoccupation with “Made in Canada” solutions to global challenges will become yet another excuse for incrementalism, reflecting a political and financial system still under the thumb of fossil fuel lobbyists. Or whether it can be a springboard for Canada to finally step out from behind the American shadow to show the leadership befitting one of the world’s most sophisticated and otherwise well governed financial systems. This comment builds on earlier papers in October 2015 and September 2018, and encourages the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance to seize the opportunity for authentic leadership in transitioning the financial system away from fossil fuels.
Download the discussion note: The Climate Crisis, Sustainable Finance & “Made in Canada” solutions: Further incrementalism or authentic leadership?