Keeping the future bright

“Soylent Green” (French: Le soleil vert), released in 1973 (based on Harry Harrison’s novel “Make Room! Make Room!” (1966)), depicts an overpopulated world in which industrialisation is causing the oceans to die and pushing flora and fauna to extinction. The greenhouse effect and rising temperatures have stripped the world of its natural resources and pollution and poverty have become commonplace. One caste controls the production of a plankton-based synthetic foodstuff and is prepared to do anything to stay in power. The story is set in 2022 in New York – a megacity with 44 million inhabitants.

In climate fiction novels, after global warming takes hold, only a small global elite manages to survive in domes recreating artificial paradise-like ecosystems. Cli-Fi, or climate fiction, is one step ahead of the few projects that have been launched – and are at varying stages of completion – such as Crystal Island in Moscow, Arcosanti in Arizona and Masdar City in Abu Dhabi (a laboratory-city in the desert experimenting with green solutions). There is no shortage of solutions to combat climate change and save the planet, however.

COP 21 was a turning point, and marked a political commitment to prevent a science fiction-type apocalyptic scenario from materialising. International bodies and heads of state changed their global climate strategies. In October, for example, the European Parliament decided, as part of the Climate Law, to cut CO2 emissions by 60% to enable Europe to honour the commitments made under the Paris Agreement.

We strongly believe that the financial sector has a decisive role to play in directing capital towards a carbon-free economy to accelerate the energy and ecological transition. There are a growing number of initiatives, such as the Sustainable Finance Observatory1 (Observatoire de la finance durable) and Climate Action 100+. The latter is a coalition of investors that has entered into joint commitments with the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters to incentivise companies to improve their climate governance and cut their emissions.

We have ambitious plans to contribute to tackling the climate challenge in our own way. In association with an independent expert, we have developed a scalable methodology, called “Maturité Climat”. Focused on climate governance, climate commitment and a just transition, it enables us to assess the trajectory and measure the climate impact and efforts made by businesses to support transition. Our new climate impact strategy is therefore based on this proprietary method. It will allow everyone to invest in responsible listed shares and businesses that are taking positive action for the climate transition. It aims to align the portfolio’s temperature with that of the Paris Agreement, by selecting companies that are leading the way in the transition process or putting forward solutions to climate challenges.

1 Launched on Climate Finance Day in late October