The markets closed out the year significantly down and 2018 officially became the worst year on record since the Financial Crisis. A general climate of gloom prevails, in sharp contrast with the optimistic beginning of 2018.
Until a green and social sovereign bond market develops – something that Mirova actively promotes and encourages – Mirova has developed a sustainability analysis that would be used as a proxy for impacts and is integrated into Mirova’s responsible investment decision making process. Furthermore, the Energy & Climate risk score co-developed with Beyond Ratings would allow for the integration of material energy and climate related risks into the solvability of sovereign debt.
The green bond market has undergone rapid expansion over the last five years. Given its still small size compared to the bond market as a whole, investors remain cautious regarding certain features of green bonds, such as the liquidity of the market.
For some, a responsible investment is by definition a long-term investment. And they’re right, to be sure. Problems arise, however, with any attempt to define these terms. Surprisingly, it is almost as difficult to achieve a consensus on the meaning of long-term investment as it is to arrive at a broadly acceptable definition of responsible investment.
We are today indisputably enmired in a crisis. So why, one might ask, are the pages of this periodical devoted to such seemingly disparate events as a fire at the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, or Europe’s horsemeat scandal. Indeed, given the current situation, these choices might appear dictated by sentimental considerations, out of place in the serious study of macroeconomic issues such as Europe’s sagging economy or budgetary and monetary policies that show every sign of being dangerously out of kilter. However, we are convinced that trusting to appearances would be tantamount to confusing a force and its expression, and that dismissing the events we describe would be a mistake. Remember that the strategies for overcoming economic crises have often arisen from ‘scandals’ that served to awaken a public conscience and provide the impetus needed by public authorities to implement reforms.
Why we created Mirova
The current imbalance between growth and debt, the decorrelation with the real economy, the depletion of natural resources, and climate change issues all highlight the fact that the current economic development model is no longer sustainable. Whether it is seen as one of the causes of this crisis or merely as a catalyst, the finance industry also represents a major part of the solution. This is particularly true for the investment industry.