Archive for October, 2016

Financial impacts of climate change likely to hit global markets directly


Whilst previous warnings about climate change have stemmed from the need for businesses to adapt and become more resilient to its effects, a former senior Bank of England official warns that the financial impacts of climate change may hit global markets directly. Businesses are advised to rethink their climate change risk exposure.

Following the sterling’s fall after the announcement of a timetable for Brexit this month, the former deputy head of the U.K.’s Prudential Regulation Authority, Paul Fisher, warned in an interview with Bloomberg that climate change could be the trigger for the next financial crisis.

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Transformation of global power markets led by renewables

wind turbine sunflowers

In 2015, renewables surpassed coal to become the largest cumulative share of global power capacity, and this impressive growth will continue over the next five years. Despite lower fossil fuel prices, renewable power expanded at its fastest-ever rate in 2015. Enhanced policy support in key markets, technology improvements and sharp cost reductions all contributed to renewables now accounting for more than half of the world’s additional electricity capacity. Yet, wind and solar energy producers and distributors face unique challenges in both volumetric and price risks. The remarkable progress being made in renewables requires innovative risk mitigation solutions in order to ensure that the pace of investments continues.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced this week that renewables have now surpassed coal as the largest source of installed power capacity in the world. Renewable energy now represents more than half the new power capacity around the world, reaching a record 153 gigawatts (GW), 15% more than the previous year. Record additions in both onshore wind and solar photovoltaics (PV), include approximately a half million solar panels being installed every day around the world last year, and in China, two wind turbines installed every hour in 2015. Contributing to the growth of renewables has been the sharp decline in costs. Average global generation costs for new onshore wind farms fell by an estimated 30 percent in the last five years, and costs for large solar panel plants fell by two-thirds.

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The healthiest cereals are laden with cancer-causing chemicals

The unexpected role of the insurance industry in reducing harmful chemicals in the food supply

muesli packs

Raw rolled oats and grains, fruits, seeds or nuts… On the face of it, muesli is the ultimate healthy breakfast choice, enough to make one positively smug about one’s clean living. But take a closer look, and that Instagram-worthy dish may in fact be a lethal cocktail of cancer-causing endocrine disruptors, no matter that the box guarantees 100% natural ingredients. In the fight to safeguard your health, could it be that risk managers are the unlikely champions that agri-business needs to safeguard your health?

According to a recent study, the majority of (non-organic) packaged muesli cereals, touted for being high fibre, low calorie and rich in antioxidants, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, are far from being the healthy start to the day they claim to be. Rather, the French environmental group “Generations Futures”, recently conducted a study of popular muesli cereals sold at supermarkets under reputable brand names to ascertain whether they contained any traces of chemic products. Taking 15 non-organic and 5 organic muesli cereals to their laboratory, the results were shocking: 100% of non-organic muesli samples contained pesticide residuals.

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Are you the predator or the prey in the perilous world of climate change?

Effects of climate change mean unexpected new winners, and losers, in finance.

Spinifex hopping mice

In what may be viewed as a fable for the times, scientists are looking to climate data to explain how traditional safe burrows have become hunting grounds and food chains have been upended. Risk managers are struggling with the same, confronted with the unexpected new threats, and opportunities, arising from the effects of climate change.

In a shocking twist that is baffling scientists, the cat is not only getting the mice, but the catfish is too. Whilst the hunt of mice by cats has become an idiom for the constant pursuit of one’s prey, it was hardly to be expected that this cartoonish relationship would one day extend to catfish too. Yet, in an article recently published by the scientific journal “Journal of Arid Environments”, Australian researchers have the grisly evidence, having discovered the bodies of Notomys alexis, or Spinifex hopping mice, in the stomachs of almost half of the lesser salmon cat-fish sampled in the Ashburton River of Northwest Australia.

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