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The Paris Climate Agreement: Implications for banks, institutional investors, private equity and insurers

February 2016 – This briefing paper provides analysis of the most pressing points of the Paris Agreement, and other key developments from the climate summit, and concludes that a coherent, strategic response is required of financial institutions.

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The international agreement at the Paris climate change summit strengthens the prospect of significant transitions across a wide range of sectors in all economies over the next decade and beyond.

Of particular significance is the energy transition that the Paris Agreement signals. The momentum that it will give to national emission reduction plans and targets, and the related actions of international, sub-national and private sector organisations, will generate significant risks and opportunities for the financial services sector, some in the near term.

CEOs of financial institutions need a practical way forward to navigate the risks and opportunities and play an appropriate role as responsible corporate citizens, against a current backdrop of acute short-term pressures from shareholders and regulators.

This briefing paper summarises the key issues and sets out some thoughts about a potential pragmatic response which strikes the necessary balance between the short and longer term.

About this report

The report was authored by Andrew Voysey, Eliot Whittington and Thomas Verhagen at CISL and James Stacey and Charles Allison at ERM.

The material featured in this publication is licensed and may only be used under the terms defined in the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike License.

Published: February 2016

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The opinions expressed in this report are the authors’ own and do not represent an official position of the University of Cambridge, CISL, the Baning Environment Initiative or any of its individual members. This report is not, and should not be construed as, financial advice.