News and Analysis | 13 December 2023

A Response to COP28

Comment from David Macdonald, founder of Path Financial, the UK’s first ethical financial advisory firm on the COP28 draft text:

It doesn’t go far enough, but it’s also further than we have ever got before. We at Path Financial aren’t too disheartened by the agreed text from COP28 because the genie is out of the bottle now that we need to stop fossil fuel extraction. There’s no putting that back in again. That’s where everyone knows we are heading.

It did at one point look like we might get to the point of language including the words “phase-out” of unabated fossil fuels – that was surely unthinkable before these talks. It speaks to the massive progress that has been made – even if the final outcome is not what the most optimistic of us might have hoped.

Cop28 signifies a further shift in public opinion and will also galvanise commercial activity towards what needs to happen. It’s like when PM Rishi Sunak pushed back the phase out of petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2030 to 2035 and car maker Ford effectively said ‘say what you like, we will be phasing them out anyway.’ Our clients will be on the right side of history and no doubt on the right side of investment returns by investing in the future rather than in fossil fuels and the polluting industries of the past.

A response to COP28

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