Every insurer and broker is aware that ESG reporting and sustainability targets are now an integral part of compliance, and company reporting as regards balance sheets. New senior positions are being created at Board level, and departmental levels, to drive more detailed ESG checks, in every part of the supplier chain. The WEF this week called for global ESG standards, and demanded that local (as in individual, democratically elected nation state governments) ESG rules be superceded by their own standards and reporting on all things climate.
Some major insurers are now risking policyholders Life and pension funds in climate change projects which may lose millions in the long term, although the upside is that the technology might reduce our C02 emissions in the UK and Europe, whilst emissions rise in India, China and the developing world. It is possible that a wind farm, or a car battery pack factory, might still be operational in 35-40 years time and generating a profit, just highly unlikely as technology advances.
The WEF is naturally keen on more regulation, but in a bold move this week at Davos one US banking chief let the cat out of the bag by describing ESG compliance as a gun, being held to the heads of capitalist companies. Insurers should beware of jumping on the WEF bandwagon when such overtly anti-capitalist, anti-profit language is beig used in public. Companies should not be threatened with fines and bankruptcy simply for questioning every ESG edict, or blindly following the advice of self-appointed climate experts. The pandemic proved that a great many experts actually know very little.
Here’s an extract from the WEF press release;
“It’s actually the operating companies that will make the change happen,” said Brian Moynihan, Chairman and CEO of Bank of America. “The net-zero commitments by the operating companies around COP26 and the activities they force downstream are just unbelievable”, he said.Moynihan added, “Take our 200,000 people, $3 trillion balance sheet, $60 billion of expenses – you start aiming that gun and you take that across all these companies – it’s huge,” Moynihan said. He explained that the IBC’s metrics are “statements of what capitalism can do to solve what the world needs – the Sustainable Development Goals.” He added: “It takes $6 trillion to finance those a year and the only way you’re going to do it – charity can’t do it, they don’t have the money, governments don’t have the fiscal capacity, capitalism has to do it.”
Does anyone really believe that governments, who literally print money on a screen every time a new policy is announced, have less money than major corporations?