Green Investments and Climate Risks: Navigating Urgency and Opportunity


The urgency of addressing climate change has prompted a surge in green investments worldwide. As global temperatures rise and extreme weather events become more frequent, there’s a growing recognition of the need to transition towards sustainable practices. This shift is evident in the increasing focus on renewable energy, carbon reduction technologies, and sustainable infrastructure.

Climate Disruption: Rising Costs, Ignored Risks, and Calls for Change

As global temperatures continue to rise, the frequency and severity of extreme weather events are increasing, leading to significant economic losses. For example: floods in Pakistan in 2022 resulted in a staggering 2.2% loss of the country’s gross domestic product, Canada experienced its worst wildfire season on record in 2023, causing substantial damage to the local economy lastly a drought at the Panama Canal, a crucial artery for global trade handling $270 billion annually. All these events have highlighted the vulnerabilities to climate-related disruptions.

Despite these alarming trends, a report by BloombergNEF found that 65% of over 2,000 analyzed companies failed to identify areas of vulnerability to physical risks posed by climate change. Citigroup Inc. revealed in its climate report that its assessment of climate-related risks indicated significant concerns, particularly in sectors like oil and gas production, semiconductors, and ports.

In contrast to the growing awareness of climate risks, some American banks are increasing their investments in fossil fuel industries. Data compiled by Bloomberg shows that several U.S. regional banks, including Citizens Financial Group Inc., BOK Financial Corp., and Truist Securities Inc., have substantially increased lending to oil, gas, and coal clients, despite the detrimental impact of these activities on climate change.

Meanwhile, there are calls for urgent action within the finance industry to adequately fund protection measures for critical infrastructure, homes, and cities against the repercussions of global warming. Standard Chartered Plc emphasizes the pressing need for sufficient financing to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Amidst these challenges, Zurich Insurance Group AG has taken a positive step by announcing a shift away from underwriting new oil and gas projects and tightening restrictions on clients planning to expand metallurgical coal mining activities. This move signals a growing recognition within the insurance industry of the need to align practices with climate goals.

Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) project that if global warming is limited to 2°C, the world economy will suffer less damage. However, they warn that climate change will still inflict significant losses, estimated at $38 trillion annually by 2049. This damage will result from extreme weather events affecting agricultural yields, labor productivity, and infrastructure.

According to the study published in Nature, global income will decrease by 19% by mid-century due to climate change compared to a scenario without climate change. The authors emphasize the urgent need for emission reductions to prevent even greater economic losses, which could reach up to 60% by 2100.

Human-made greenhouse gas emissions have warmed the world by 1.1°C since pre-industrial times, causing $7 trillion in damages over the past 30 years.

The report highlights the disproportionate impact on lower-income and lower-emission countries, which have fewer resources to adapt to climate impacts. However, economic losses will be felt globally, including in highly developed countries like Germany, France, and the United States.

The study’s comprehensive approach considers not only temperature increases but also factors like extreme rainfall and the impacts of extreme weather events on agriculture, labor productivity, and human health. The authors stress the urgent need for structural changes towards renewable energy to mitigate catastrophic consequences.

Driving Green Innovation: SOSV’s Bold Investment Strategy and RHB Bank’s Ambitious Green Loans Target

SOSV, a Venture capital firm, is broadening its focus to support early-stage startups driving the next wave of decarbonization solutions. Their latest fund, SOSV V, aims to back startups focused on renewable energy, biomanufacturing, and rare mineral processing, totaling $306 million. The firm will prioritize startups with functional prototypes, ready to scale quickly.

While other climate-focused venture capital firms are launching billion-dollar funds, SOSV’s smaller-scale investments will complement its existing support for pre-seed-stage tech companies. Startups selected will join development programs across SOSV’s laboratories in New York, San Francisco, and Newark, New Jersey, with a focus on leveraging artificial intelligence.

SOSV backs companies developing innovative solutions for processing rare minerals critical for electrification, using techniques with lower emissions. With the new fund, SOSV plans to maintain its annual investment rate while potentially increasing the size of investments. A quarter of the fund’s investors are corporations, with additional support from family offices, institutional investors, and endowments.

Despite challenges like a slowdown in tech funding, SOSV remains optimistic about raising funds due to the urgency of addressing climate change and corporate initiatives to reduce emissions. O’Sullivan believes the current funding environment presents opportunities for strategic investments in climate tech.

Another news in green finance investments is that RHB Bank Bhd. has announced an ambitious increase in its green loans target, aiming to reach 50 billion ringgit ($10.5 billion) by 2026. This decision comes after the Malaysian lender exceeded its original target last year.

By the end of 2023, the bank had already mobilized 23.8 billion ringgit in green financing, surpassing its initial goal of 20 billion ringgit by 2026, as part of its sustainability strategy launched in 2022.

This move follows a trend among Malaysia’s leading banks, with Malayan Banking Bhd, the country’s largest lender, reporting that it had achieved half of its 80 billion ringgit green loan target for 2025 last year. Similarly, CIMB Bank Bhd, the second largest lender, has committed to directing 100 billion ringgit towards green loans by the end of this year.


In summary, as climate change accelerates, extreme weather events are causing substantial economic losses, highlighting the urgent need for action. Despite challenges, there are positive developments such as venture capital firm SOSV’s focus on decarbonization startups and RHB Bank Bhd.’s ambitious green loans target. These initiatives underscore a growing momentum towards sustainability, but concerted efforts from all sectors are crucial to address the climate crisis effectively and build a more resilient future.

These informations are based on the articles analyzed and reported by ThePlatform’s analysts team:

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