By Anders Lorenzen
Last month climate teen activist Greta Thunberg addressed the global business elite at the annual Davos event hosted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss Alps.
Whilst US President Donald Trump decided to champion fossil fuels, mock people concerned about climate change and said never had things been greater, Thunberg laid out why business leaders must support the 1.5 degrees temperature rose target otherwise their kids would pay the price, stating “With today’s emissions levels, the remaining budget is gone in less than eight years. These aren’t anyone’s views, this is the science. I know you don’t want to report this or talk about this but I will keep repeating the numbers until you do.”
It seems that some of the business community is, in fact, listening to Thunberg. Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of the deVere Group, which operates in 100 countries, worldwide was quoted as saying that Thunberg is not only contributing to saving the planet, she is also reshaping the global investment industry. He said: Greta’s message is a consistent one, one based on science and fact, and one that is likely to hit home with millennials and Gen Z. Typically, these generations – those born from the early 1980s onwards – seem to ‘get’ the climate emergency we’re facing, and the urgency with which it needs to be tackled, far better than older generations.” He felt it was crucial Thunberg is in Davos, so she can drive through her message to political and business leaders as it means they can start to address the problem right now. He added that younger generations are listening to Thunberg’s message and are not only going to be the beneficiaries of the biggest-ever generational transfer of wealth – likely to be around $30trn – over the next few years but will also hold the balance of political and social influencers in due course.“With their socially responsible awareness, plus their new wealth and power, we can expect them to put Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) issues at the centre of their investment decisions.”
A new global survey carried out by deVere Group found that 77% of millennials cite Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing as their top priority when considering investment opportunities. The global poll of 1,125 people was carried out across the UK, Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America, Australia, India, ASEAN and East Asia.
Commenting on the results Green said: “This underscores that whilst traditional factors – such as anticipated returns (10%), past performance (7%), risk tolerance (4%) and tactical allocation (2%) – are important factors in millennial respondents’ investment decision-making, they are no longer enough.”
He concluded that it is now up the global investment industry to quickly catch up with the sentiments of Millenials and Generation Z.