Investors flag limits of carbon metrics

Carbon metrics on their own lack the necessary forward-looking insights for a full assessment of the financial risks and opportunities of transitioning to a low-carbon economy, according to a survey of investment professionals conducted by WTW.

Conducted at a session during New York Climate Week last month, the survey focused on progress to measure and manage climate transition risk.

An overwhelming majority of participants (85%) rejected carbon metrics as the best measure to assess the risks.

Respondents also ranked the most significant barriers to greater adoption of ESG principles across their investment portfolios. Data quality and consistency (66%), availability of tools and metrics to accurately measure transition risk (41%) and a lack of conviction that ESG integration will improve performance over the long term (41%) were the top three.

In the drive to meet net zero targets, regulators are increasingly requiring investors to disclose their climate-related financial risks and companies to report their carbon emissions.

WTW’s Climate Quantified suite includes the latest physical risk models and the company’s own Climate Transition Value at Risk methodology.

Diya Luke, growth acceleration leader, WTW, said: “Investors are hungry for data on how climate risks impact investment outcomes. We now have forward-looking metrics that shine light on all the climate-related financial risks across industries. This includes quantifying the difference between current market expectations of future cash flows and those under different climate transition scenarios. This is a step change in understanding the impact of the net zero transition on companies, portfolios and even countries. These analytics move the market beyond current carbon metrics and will help capital align with net zero.”

Heather Boushey, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, added: “The high and rising costs of climate change require a new economic toolbox. These tools come from understanding that increased information can help identify and address vulnerabilities in our economy and financial system. They provide an opportunity to guide the market to strong and sustainable economic growth during and after this transition.

“We look forward to collaborating with and learning from the private sector as we address the climate crisis together. While the Biden Administration understands the challenges ahead, it also sees this as an opportunity for meaningful reform.”

    Share Story:


Cyber risk in the transportation industry
The connected nature of the transport and logistics industries makes them an attractive target for hackers, with potentially disruptive and costly consequences. Between June 2020 and June 2021, the transportation industry saw an 186% increase in weekly ransomware attacks. At the same time, regulations and cyber security standards are lacking – creating weak postures across the board. This podcast explores the key risks. Published April 2022.

Political risk: A fresh perspective
CIR’s editor, Deborah Ritchie speaks with head of PCS at Verisk, Tom Johansmeyer about the confluence of political, nat cat and pandemic risks in a world that is becoming an increasingly risky place in which to do business. Published February 2022.