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Emmanuel Macron to Bill Gates: wealth managers must switch to climate business

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Paris climate change agreement
The
US is the only country in the world that’s not on board with the
Paris Agreement.

REUTERS/Mal
Langsdon


  • French President Emmanuel Macron is doubling down on
    his climate agenda.
  • He told the UN General Assembly Tuesday that he’ll no
    longer make trade deals with countries that aren’t in the Paris
    Agreement. (The
    only country that hasn’t gotten on board is the
    US
    .)
  • Then on Wednesday, Macron said one third of the
    global finance community needs to shift focus
    from the day to day business, to the climate
    business.”
  • “It’s good for the planet, but it’s good for you as well,”
    Macron said.

 

NEW YORK — French President Emmanuel Macron says when it comes to
dealing with our warming Earth, “we are late,” and that it’s time
for the world’s wealthiest financiers to keep the global
temperature in check. 

“We are lagging behind. We are not delivering following the
line of Paris Agreement,” Macon said on Wednesday morning,
speaking to Bill and Melinda Gates and a crowd gathered at the
Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers
event
.

The French president is asking some of the
world’s top wealth funds to definitively back away from investing
in companies that push fossil fuels out into the atmosphere,
which help warm the planet.  

“W
e have to shift 
one third
of the global finance, the global asset managers and so on,
f

rom the day to day business, to the climate
business,” Macron said on Wednesday.

It’s a plan that he’s been working on for a few months now.

In July, Macron gathered with several of the world’s
leading wealth managers in Paris to chart strategies for pushing
investors into more “climate-friendly” investment strategies,
according to
Reuters
.  The idea is for wealth managers to adopt a set
of Earth-friendly guidelines for their investments — a set of
rules that would push companies to reduce their carbon footprints
and reliance on fossil fuels, in order to receive the investors’
money.

Macron, a former investment banker, says that kind of
incentive strategy should create a powerful snowball effect,
creating a new normal in the global finance
industry. 

“It’s just to say, we live on the same planet” Macron said.
“You have to invest. It’s good for the planet, but it’s good
for you as well.”

Macron believes there’s no time to spare. 

The Paris agreement, which was originally singed in 2015,
set a goal to keep the planet from warming by more than 1.5
degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial
levels. Humans have already heated things up more than one degree
Celsius since then, and recently,
scientists warned that we could be on track to hit a dangerous
tipping point
, triggering an unprecedented temperature spike
around the world.

Already,
we’re getting a glimpse of
life on a warmer planet:
wetter rainstorms
, more intense heat waves, and rising
seas.

“The first consequences of all these climate changes
are here,” Macron said.

Recent World
Bank projections
 suggest that climate change could force
100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. “Everything is
in a big time of acceleration,” Macron said.

Macron is toeing an increasingly hard line on climate issues.

While Trump’s been in New York touting his signature
“America First” agenda this week (and drawing some
un-stifled laughs
from world leaders), Macron has
pledged that France will no longer make trade deals
with countries that don’t adhere to the Paris Agreement, as

The Hill reported
.

The only country in the world that’s not on board with the
Paris Agreement right now is the US, so Macron is essentially
pointing his finger at Trump with the new pledge.

Macron told Bill and Melinda Gates that he’s ready to work with
any world leader who’s committed to moving the needle on climate
change — not just the traditionally powerful members of the
G7. 

“I think it’s useful to have China around the table as
well,” Macron said. “Because
C

hina 
is more and more committed
on climate change.”

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