Posted on: March 27th, 2020
My first thoughts, when the horrible seriousness of Coronovirus started to become clear, may however have been a little different from some in that they were not entirely negative…
Aside from the fears about relatives – my mother-in-law is recently bereaved, indeed we had to mostly ‘un-organise’ the funeral a fortnight ago – and ten days ago my father was mid way through downsizing, moving just around the corner from us – but was not anywhere near ‘moved in’ (with his new home missing eg fridge, washing machine, phone line).
And then there was the worry about how the our offspring would deal with their respective exams being cancelled. They were meant to be doing A levels and GCSE’s this summer… and had been working surprisingly hard. (For the record they are both thoroughly enjoying the bonus free time … although our ‘going easy on them because of the shock’ may end pretty soon. And after a frankly barmy couple of days my father is now installed in his fully equipped new home – and enjoying not having to drive to family to be fed! And in further good news our dogs, Evie and Daphne – are having an absolute ball , with a full house 24/7. Never better – evidently.)
So aside from the many and various personal challenges that we are all dealing with at the moment and the constant flow of heart breaking news – my thoughts, as ever, turned to what the coronavirus might mean for sustainable investment and the battle against climate change.
The following are at the top of my current, if early, list:
There are of course many other push and pull factors that will shape how we respond to the climate crisis once we are ‘on the other side’. Growing government debt and rapidly increasing unemployment do not bode well. Expressions of delight about cleaner air and waterways do. (Who would have guessed people might actually prefer to live with lower pollution levels!?).
Once we put this mess behind us I’d like to see the finance community reflecting more seriously on what can really be done to halt the climate crisis. The COP26 team are calling for the finance community to play its part in addressing climate change. The coronavirus crisis might just be the catalyst we need to recognise what we are capable of.
We all know we ‘shouldn’t waste a crisis’, so whatever happens in the markets let’s try to make the most of our not always exactly splendid isolation and work through what we can do to help prevent the next one…