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Back to work with commitment

02 October 2019

While we enjoyed our holidays in the sun, news on the climate was not good this summer. The IPCC, which is generally restrained in its remarks, published two alarming reports – one on the link between climate change and land use and another on the state of our oceans and glaciers.

Weather conditions over the summer were clearly not normal, be it in France – where 
87 departments have water restrictions, 41 of which at crisis levels – or around the world, with unprecedented wildfires in the Amazon and Africa and Hurricane Dorian. 

The signatories of the COP 21 climate agreement – which in itself did not go far enough – have fulfilled few or none of their commitments and we are hearing more and more bad news. The climate is making the headlines in our daily newspapers, on the radio and on TV news. It also joined the agenda at the G7 summit in Biarritz where the world’s leaders brought attention to the Amazon wildfires and the dangers that come from destroying the Earth’s lungs, calling on President Bolsonaro to take action and offering their help.

Climate news – bad news – has reached the French National Assembly, where Valérie Masson-Delmotte was at last able to present the IPCC’s latest special climate report dating from last October – thanks to Greta Thunberg! 

The climate also came up at the annual conference organised by the Medef (French employers’ organisation), both intentionally (because it was part of the conference theme: “Our Future(s)”) and unintentionally (when students addressed the conference with their Manifesto for an Ecological Awakening). 

The Statement of the Purpose of a Corporation issued by the powerful Business Roundtable in the United States, which suggests moving away from the extreme focus on shareholders, shows that bad news can also raise awareness and bring about change in society. We in France in general and at La Française in particular wholeheartedly support this change.

It is with this in mind that we are continuing to organise our activities to make our commitment even more visible and effective, for example with the appointment of Laurent JacquierLaforge as Global Head of Sustainable Investing. Laurent will be responsible for embodying and promoting La Française group’s commitments to responsible investing in all its areas of expertise, both internally and outside the group. He will draw on Inflection Point by La Française, our group’s ESG research centre located in London. 

The group is fully aware of the need to raise awareness, because change can only come about with widespread support. So, in early September, taking advantage of the PRI*, which La Française sponsored, we organised a roundtable on impact investing followed live and streamed online. The keynote introduction was given by Eric Salobir and the conference included a speech by Valérie Masson-Delmotte (IPCC). It covered 3 topics: The Grand Paris project – the impact of metropolises; Roadmaps for measuring the transition; Raising awareness to raise the impact. The presentations are now available on our BlueRoom.
 

 

 

 

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