BlackRock is the world's largest investment firm, with some $4.5 trillion in assets under management. Needless to say, those trillions make BlackRock highly motivated to accurately assess the forces and trends at work in global markets; it doesn't have the luxury of ideological blinders.
So I was struck by the opening paragraph of a comprehensive new report the BlackRock Investment Institute recently released on "The Price of Climate Change: Global Warming's Impact on Portfolios." It is, at least relative to the usual bloodless language of investment reports, remarkably blunt:
You may or may not believe man-made climate change is real or dismiss the science behind it. No matter. Climate change risk has arrived as an investment issue. Governments are setting targets to curb greenhouse gas emissions. This may pave the way for policy shifts that we could see ripple across industries. The resulting regulatory risks are becoming key drivers of investment returns.
In other words: Like it or not, climate isn't going away.
This is widely understood almost everywhere in the world, except inside the hermetically sealed bubble of US conservatism. Inside that bubble, they still believe that climate skeptics are winning the debate, that the whole edifice of climate science is about to crumble. They still believe that electing a Republican president is all it will take to get rid of climate regulations once and for all. They still believe that coal can be revived and that oil and gas are the economic future.
They are wrong. And people who listen to them are going to lose money.