“Sometimes, women feel patronized by financial professionals,” said Natalie Colley, a certified financial planner at New York City-based Francis Financial. “They want an adviser who connects with them emotionally, who understands them on a personal level.”
Say a spouse has accompanied her husband to meetings with the family’s male financial planner. If the two men do most of the talking, the woman may feel ignored and disrespected.
With the husband no longer in the picture, the widow may realize she lacks rapport with the adviser. He may use too much jargon or simply talk too much. If he addressed the husband primarily and treated the wife as an afterthought, it can be hard to maintain the relationship.
“It’s about making her feel heard,” said Courtney Richardson, a Philadelphia-based attorney who runs Desired Legacy, a new financial education platform for women. “Does the male adviser make her part of the conversation? Does he validate her and see her? Does he direct questions at her or just the husband?”
The way a financial adviser responds in the immediate aftermath of the husband’s passing can affect the widow’s decision on whether to stay or go.
“When someone has recently lost a spouse, the tendency is not to bring up the spouse,” Colley said. “Actually, it’s the opposite. Widows generally want to talk about their spouse.”
Many of the clients at Colley’s firm are widows, single women or the recently divorced. She and her colleagues have undergone grief training so that they can respond with compassion to new widows. They have learned to invite exact widows to open up about their husband and share stories and remembrances.
Colley recently got a call from a client — a young spouse who suddenly lost her husband. After digesting the shocking news, she prompted the widow to reflect on her loss. “It was like unlocking a door,” Colley said. “She talked about how they met, how they chose their home together. It was so rich and full of information.”
Such emotional conversations may make male advisers feel uncomfortable. But a let’s-get-down-to-business attitude can be a turnoff. Advisers need to treat widows with patience, especially in the weeks and months after their husband’s death. Don’t overwhelm them with to-do items and press them to make financial decisions.
Advisers may wonder how often to check in with a widow. While there’s no formula that works for everyone, reaching out to commemorate milestones can be a meaningful gesture.
“The first of everything is incredibly hard,” Colley said. “The first birthday [of the late husband], the first anniversary of his death. And she may feel so alone during the first holiday season that she’s going through.”
Dignifying a widow’s experience — her emotions, anxieties and fears — goes a long way toward preserving the adviser-client relationship. Calling or sending a handwritten card on such occasions can provide great comfort. Remember to use the husband’s name. (“I know you’re thinking of Jim today.”)
“Widows are often struggling and feel like they’re operating in a fog,” Colley said. “They may have trouble doing simple tasks, so the pace of financial planning is different for them. Meet them where they are.”
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A few months ago at a raucous tech conference in Toronto, I got chatting to some crypto evangelists who were desparate to extol the joys of decentralised finance or, as they like to call it, “DeFi”.
With reverential fervour, they declared that they loved digital assets because there were no hierarchies: anyone could deal in bitcoin, for instance, without having to rely on centralised gatekeepers such as banks.
What about the exchanges, I asked, pointing out that much crypto activity was taking place on these centralised hubs. Economic sociologist Koray Çalışkan notes that more than 90 per cent of bitcoin traded in 2021 was kept in crypto exchanges.
To me, it seemed that this created more, not fewer, concentrations of power than in mainstream finance. The collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, for example, was not just a broker but also issued its own currency, offered custody for customers’ assets and was linked to a trading company called Alameda.
Wasn’t this centralisation a contradiction in the DeFi creed? Not for the crypto-kids in Toronto, who brushed my question aside.
I smiled at the irony then, but the situation is no laughing matter. Since FTX imploded this month, it’s become clear that the concentration of power, coupled with a lack of oversight, has caused massive customer losses, because funds were funnelled around with no accountability.
As the British central banker Sir Jon Cunliffe noted in a speech this week: “The crypto institutions at the centre of much of the system exist in largely unregulated space and are very prone to the risks that regulation in the conventional financial sector is designed to avoid.”
Peering at the wreckage, we need to ask not just how FTX created an $8bn hole in its balance sheet but also why these dangerous contradictions were ignored for so long. Why did so many have a blind spot?
One answer is that humans, as anthropologists often point out, are wired to embrace magical thinking, or mystical explanations for things we do not understand; we need hope in a scary world. Digitisation has not changed that. The workings of cyber space are as baffling to most of us as anything we encounter in the real world.
We’re also pretty adept at ignoring things that might undermine the beliefs we use to frame our world. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it,” the US writer Upton Sinclair noted. The same goes for social status, religion or other parts of our identity.
Decades back, I witnessed this while working as a reporter in capital markets, where financiers had invented a new way of repackaging debts such as mortgages into complex new instruments known as collateralised debt obligations (CDOs). When I asked why bankers were doing this, they told me they were creating a more “liquid” (tradeable) free market that would make the financial system safer by spreading risk.
It sounded seductive. And they probably believed it in part. But, as in crypto land, there were some big contradictions. For one, the CDOs were so complex that they were not easily traded in a “free” (liquid) market. And the CDO sector was so opaque that it actually increased risk in the name of making finance safe. Magical thinking ruled.
So to Silicon Valley. When I first visited in 2010, I encountered an evangelism with echoes of the CDO sphere, despite the exact global financial crisis. There were those like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who insisted that making the world more connected was good because it would promote equality, democracy and freedom. Never mind that the sector seemed ripe for exploitation as only a tiny minority understood the core algorithms used by groups such as Facebook. The creation mythology of tech was riddled with contradictions, as in finance, that went widely ignored.
I am not suggesting that either tech or finance was unusually bad in this respect. Contradictory creation myths are found in most professions, including the media. Nor am I arguing that the mere existence of self-deception makes all of these innovations wrong. Far from it. The internet is an amazing invention, even with its flaws. And some forms of debt repackaging are useful, with oversight. Digital asset innovations can be valuable too: decentralised ledgers, for example, could Strengthen real estate record keeping.
But the FTX saga shows how, when taken to extremes, doublethink can have hugely damaging repercussions.
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Clean Juice announced it had hired Ashley Love to Chief Financial Officer. Love is the first CFO for Clean Juice, further signaling the nationwide, all-organic fast-casual brand’s rising popularity and rapid growth, expanding its franchise and corporate footprint.
In this newly created role, Love will oversee the finance, human resources, compliance, and legal departments, while focusing on cost-saving efficiencies, streamlining financial operations, ensuring regulatory compliance, and implementing scalable systems to support the brand’s strong growth trajectory.
"I am excited and honored to join such an impactful company that’s dedicated to being the gold standard in fast-casual/quick-serve restaurant franchise operations while offering its guest an exciting, premium, nutrient-rich product that raises the bar in healthy living through all organic, USDA-certified food and beverage offerings,” says Love. “Clean Juice has built an amazing brand and team from the grass-roots level, and I am thrilled to be an integral part of its expansive, record-setting growth.”
Love’s understanding and implementation of scalable systems and processes focus on several impactful areas important to Clean Juice’s operations, including a strategic, forward-thinking approach to franchise unit finances and the company’s national operations. Her background of working with day-one start-ups and Fortune 500 companies has gifted Love with a meticulous and calculated approach across all aspects of multi-unit operations.
This is the first time Clean Juice has employed a CFO role to target large-scale growth while supporting the brand’s Franchise Partners and corporate store operations. Love will be intricately involved in outlining franchise services to offer partners more cost savings and help identify trends and growth opportunities. Love is tasked with helping Clean Juice discover and implement models for large-scale growth and the required support systems to ensure success. Her expertise in mergers and acquisitions, financial planning and analysis, business law, profit and loss reporting, and efficient implementation of automated systems will be a key focus.
“We are thrilled to have Ashley join our team as the first CFO of Clean Juice,” says Landon and Kat Eckles, co-founders of Clean Juice. “Not only does she bring a unique skill set of accounting and financial operations from her previous experiences, but her forward-thinking vision, street smarts, and good character also make her the perfect fit at the perfect time to join our C-suite team."
Love earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University. When Love isn't working on implementing new scalable financial systems at Clean Juice, she enjoys North Carolina’s outdoor leisure activities, creating a new culinary experience for her family and friends, and spending time with her husband and son.
Clean Juice continues to ascend as the nation’s fastest-growing USDA-certified, organic, fast-casual brand after being recently named to the Inc. 5000 for the fourth year. To date, Clean Juice has 203 store units within its system, with 127 opened for business and 76 in development. Its impressive and continuous growth is attributed to its unique certified organic operation and premium guest experience. Named #21 of the top fast-food brands to watch, Clean Juice was founded on product innovation focusing on organic fruits and vegetables with no additives, GMOs, or chemicals and making healthy, fast food accessible to communities across the United States.
News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.
Imagine you could get paid to go to your best friends’ weddings. Hear me out.
When thinking of side hustle ideas, a wedding officiant might be the last thing that comes to mind. However, if you love romance and being around groups of people, it might be the perfect gig for you. And if you’re queer like me, officiating LGBTQ weddings sounds like a dream come true.
“I honestly stumbled upon officiating”, says Samantha Hernandez, a lesbian money coach who runs the Money Institute, a consulting company. Hernandez makes up to $1,125 of supplemental income a month from officiating in Savannah, Georgia, a weddings hot spot described by some locals as “the Vegas of the south.”
More Americans are taking on an additional job or side hustle in order to make ends meet. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most exact jobs report found that 165,000 additional Americans took on multiple jobs in November, the highest jump since June, and an indicator that more people are trying to get ahead of record-high inflation.
Becoming a certified wedding officiant is easier than you might think, and if you position yourself well with local businesses, they’ll often do the selling for you. Here’s what to know about this niche side hustle.
Weddings are a $57.9 billion dollar industry, and there are over 336,000 wedding services industry businesses in the United States as of 2022, according to Zippia, a career resources website based in San Francisco.
Wedding officiants find work by either working for or partnering with those wedding service industry businesses. Hernandez explains that she originally stumbled upon the opportunity in a local Facebook group to work as an officiant with a local wedding service company. She was looking for an additional income stream at the time.
“I had to get ordained as a reverend through Universal Life Church Ministries,” she says. “It took two minutes. I did have to pay around $50 to get a physical copy of the certificate of marriage and clergy badge, because the company I work with requires a copy of the certificate.”
Hernandez recommends reaching out to local wedding service companies after getting ordained to make them aware of your services. Start by searching on Google for local wedding service companies in your area. Find their contact information and social media on their website, and send them a message. Keep an eye out on their social media and website, too; they might post announcements that they’re hiring local wedding officiants.
LGBTQ-friendly vendors are an underserved niche in the wedding industry. The right to same-sex marriage was established in 2015 by the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, but fears of discrimination persist. The court is currently hearing arguments for a case that challenges LGBTQ couples’ equal access to service-based businesses. This comes shortly after the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for reconsideration of Obergefell v. Hodges and the right to same-sex marriage earlier this year.
Some LGBTQ couples specifically request LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly service providers in their wedding planning process.
“The company that I work with does a lot of LGBTQ weddings,” says Hernandez. “I believe that it’s important for LGBTQ couples to feel welcomed and loved by all parties on their wedding day. This is why I love being there to show my support for their marriage.”
If you are also LGBTQ and looking to officiate LGBTQ weddings for others, look to partner with LGBTQ inclusive wedding service companies to ensure you work with your ideal clients.
Hernandez says the local wedding service company that she works with takes care of marketing and finds clients for her.
“Once they have clients who are interested, they send out a message to all of the wedding officiants, and you can “thumbs up” the message if you are available,” she says. “The company provides scripts for every ceremony, and coordinates date, time, and location. All I have to do is show up.”
Hernandez earns $100 per wedding ceremony she performs. Each ceremony takes up to 20 minutes to perform, including signing the marriage license. Other services she gets paid for are:
“The most I’ve made in an hour was $150 because I did 2 signing services ($75 each),” she says. “The most I’ve made in a single day was on Halloween, when I made $275. I can take as many or as few weddings as I want; I love the flexibility of officiating.” Hernandez began officiating weddings in September of 2022, and brought in $1,125 in October 2022.
Hernandez loves officiating, but clarified that if someone wants to get started with this side hustle, they need to be good with people. “You also need to be comfortable practicing in front of a crowd,” she says. “I am dyslexic, and was thinking about the practicing aspect.” She uses an app called Bionic Reading, which makes it easier to read the scripts from her smartphone.
Hernandez also lives in a wedding hot-spot. Your area may not be as busy with weddings year-round. Don’t let that stop you from searching online to see if any wedding service companies are currently looking for officiants in your area.
If this is truly a side hustle you think you’d like to try, deliver it a go! Doing something you love that makes extra money can help you get on track toward achieving financial independence.
When you have a personal problem, it’s difficult to balance your career responsibilities with your daily concerns—your family’s needs, your child’s needs, your medical bills. At the end of the day, I have the full support of my colleagues, my mentors, my benefits advisor. I’m not sure where I would be without them.
Itsskin | E+ | Getty Images
Thinking about retiring to another state? You're not alone. A United Van Lines study found the percentage of people retiring to a new state had increased to 18.3% in 2021, up from 13.4% in 2015.
Making the move is not a straightforward decision, however, as there are myriad financial and non-financial considerations involved. Financial advisors can help you cover all the bases.
"There are times [when] the financial implications are so significant that it would behoove someone to do the analysis all around before packing up," said certified financial planner Marianela Collado, CEO of Tobias Financial Advisors in Plantation, Florida. And while many are seeking lower property taxes, "you don't really want the 'tax tail to wag the dog,'" she added.
Collado offers up several significant issues for consideration, including:
The grass is not always greener on the other side, said Kevin Brady, CFP, vice president with Wealthspire in New York. He encourages clients to also think about the tax implications of changing domicile. If they have residences in different states, there can be very strict requirements to meet in terms of days spent in a new state before clients can claim residency for tax purposes.
Benjamin Brandt, CFP and founder of Capital City Wealth Management in Bismarck, North Dakota, said "you want any potential tax savings to be the icing on the cake."
"There are very few free lunches with taxes," added Brandt, who also hosts the Retirement Starts Today podcast. "They could be offset by other taxes."
When it comes to health care, Brandt advises clients to be aware of possible restrictions in doctor choice, as physicians are not accepting Medicare in some areas popular with retirees.
"It's important to check with your health insurer to make sure you retain benefits in your new location," said Jeremy Finger, CFP, founder of Riverbend Wealth Management in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
"Both private health insurance for younger retirees and Medicare Advantage plans have specific service areas," he said. "Retirees moving out of the service area will need to find a new plan, which could mean more expensive premiums and increased out-of-pocket costs."
Legal documents should also be reviewed to account for different laws in the new state of residence, Finger said.
Before making any out-of-state move, people need to think about what friend or family connections they have in the new state, Wealthspire's Brady said.
"Being farther away from children or grandchildren can be emotionally difficult, not to mention more financially burdensome if frequent trips back and forth become the norm," he said.
Clients should look into the possibility of renting for a year or more in the desired new state to see if reality matches expectations, Brady said. "This can get complicated if the primary residence in the 'old' state is kept, but is a much lower-cost alternative to buying a second home."
It's a big mistake to not rent before you move, noted Brandt at Capital City.
Buying and selling quickly is almost a guaranteed recipe for losing money.
founder of Capital City Wealth Management
"We're conditioned as savers to not rent and throw away money, but buying and selling quickly is almost a guaranteed recipe for losing money," he said. "It's totally different picking a neighborhood versus being on vacation.
"If you're following your kids, there's no guarantee they won't move again — or feel they can't move because they have to stay near you," Brandt added.
For his part, Finger at Riverbend noted that people sometimes move to get away from, and not closer to, something.
"But what matters is how you spend your time and who you spend it with," he said. "It's important to have a sense of purpose."
By Huw Jones
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain proposed over 30 reforms on Friday to bolster the City of London's role as a global financial centre, now outside the European Union and facing competition from Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt, as well as New York and Singapore.
IS THIS BIG BANG 2.0?
Not quite, but it marks a swing in the regulatory pendulum from years of increasing bank capital requirements and tightening consumer protections, to thinking what tweaks are needed to make rules work better for Britain after Brexit.
Initially trailed as a Big Bang 2.0 on the same scale as far-reaching 1980s reforms of share trading, the changes have now been dubbed the "Edinburgh Reforms" after the city where they were formally unveiled by finance minister Jeremy Hunt.
The government has toned down its rhetoric, insisting there will be no 'race to the bottom', big departure from international norms, or scrapping investor protections, but that regulators should aid the financial sector's international competitiveness.
Hunt said it would be wrong call the reforms a Big Bang given the need to avoid 'unlearning' lessons from the 2008 global financial crisis and underscored the independence of regulators.
"The City does not want to see deregulation. Today's announcements are an indication of an evolution, rather than revolution," said Alasdair Haynes, CEO of Aquis stock exchange.
WHAT'S RING-FENCING ALL ABOUT?
Britain has already announced an easing of capital rules for insurers and is now turning to banks.
Since January 2019 banks have had to ring-fence their deposit-taking arms with a cushion of capital to insulate them against blow-ups in their riskier activities.
Banks have complained the rules are too strict and hinder smaller ones from competing with bigger lenders in the mortgage market. The government said it will follow recommendations from a review it commissioned and amend the rules.
The government will consult mid-2023 on exempting banks without major investment banking activities from the rules, and on raising the deposits threshold which triggers compliance with ringfencing rules, from 25 billion pounds to 35 billion pounds.
ARE BANKERS NOW OFF THE HOOK?
It's not back to pre-financial crisis 'lite-touch'.
The government had already announced it will scrap an EU cap on banker bonuses, though other curbs on how bonuses are paid are expected to remain.
Britain introduced rules in 2016 to make senior bankers, adding senior officials at insurers in 2018, directly accountable for the decisions they take after few individuals were punished for misconduct that led to the global financial crisis when taxpayers bailed out lenders.
It was feared as a tool to publicly shame bankers by putting "heads on sticks", but so far there have been few investigations or enforcement cases. Bankers say regulators also take too long to deliver the green light to senior appointments.
The government will review this senior managers and certification regime in the first quarter of 2023, with no indication yet of the scale of any changes.
WHAT ABOUT MARKETS?
There will be a raft of reviews as London seeks to catch up with New York in listings.
Topics under review include the rules on short-selling, or bets that the price of stock will fall. The government proposes to scrap outright an EU-era "PRIIPs" explanatory document given to investors, replacing it with an alternative framework.
There will be an industry taskforce to examine the case for halving the time it takes to settle a stock trade from two working days to one, a move already planned in the United States.
Rules on prospectuses that companies deliver to investors when they list on an exchange will be overhauled, along with a reform of rules for securitisation.
The government commits to putting in place rules for a "consolidated tape" by 2024, to provide market prices for investors to check on best deals across trading platforms.
The government will act on recommendations from a review into improving how listed companies tap investors for fresh funds.
There will be a review of EU rules which require brokers to itemise fees for stock picking research and executing stock orders, known as 'unbundling' - a rule the EU has already partially reversed. There will also be trials for a wholesale market venue that operates on an intermittent basis to Strengthen companies' access to capital before they publicly list.
AND GREEN FINANCE?
The government will consult on bringing environmental, social and governance (ESG) company ratings providers under the regulatory net.
The ratings are widely used by investors for picking companies which tout 'green' credentials, but they are not regulated. The Financial Conduct Authority said it would encourage regulation focused on transparency, good governance, management of conflicts of interest, and robust systems and controls.
WILL THERE BE A BRITCOIN?
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, when he was finance minister, called for a "Britcoin" or digital pound for faster payments.
The government will consult with the Bank of England in coming weeks on a digital pound for retail use.
(Reporting by Huw Jones;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
It is not just theoretically true that everything depends on everything else. It is a truth we can no longer ignore in practice.
As my colleague, Gillian Tett, often warns, silos are perilous. We have to think systemically. Economists have to recognise how the economy is interconnected with other forces. Navigating today’s storms compels us to develop a wider understanding.
This is not an argument against detailed analysis of individual elements in the picture. Economists should still look carefully at the things they know about, because they are both complex and important in themselves. Thus the data and analysis in the OECD’s latest continue to be both invaluable and illuminating. But, inevitably, they also omit vital aspects.
Consider, then, what the report tells us about the economic situation.
First, the energy crisis itself is truly huge. The share of OECD members’ GDP spent on end-use of energy is close to 18 per cent, double what it was in 2020. In Europe, the increases must be far bigger than this. The last time the ratio was this high was in the early 1980s, during the oil shock caused by Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran.
Second, inflation pressures are both strong and widespread. Again, this has echoes of the inflation in the early 1980s, which followed the high and variable inflation of the 1970s.
Today, the energy price shock caused by the war in Ukraine followed the negative shocks to supply and positive shocks to demand triggered by COVID-19. This combination of supply and demand shocks with big reductions in real wages and losses of national incomes in net energy-importing countries makes the job of central banks hugely difficult.
Third, there is likely to be a sharp slowdown in global economic growth between 2022 and 2023. The latter is forecast at 2.2 per cent. Moreover, the overwhelming bulk of that growth will be generated by Asian economies.
The British and German economies are forecast to shrink a little, while the eurozone and US economies are forecast to grow by only 0.5 per cent.
Fourth, although this is, unsurprisingly, an unhappy picture, it could turn out far worse. The energy outlook is itself highly uncertain, with a substantial risk that gas reserves in Europe will be smaller next winter than this one, especially if winters are cold or imports of liquefied natural gas too small.
Rising interest rates might trigger more financial upheaval and deeper downturns than now foreseen. Food shortages might cause deeper distress in developing countries than expected, especially in a financially restrictive environment.
The OECD’s view, which I share, is that central banks must not take a peak in inflation as a sign their job is done. It is essential that inflation be brought firmly back under control.
In this context, it is also vital that fiscal policy be targeted at supporting those worst hit by high energy prices. Just as important is a push on expanding supply of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. That is the “home front” in Europe’s conflict with Russia.
Yet even this is an incomplete picture. Other elements are the possible developments in the Ukraine war itself and what is needed to bring it to a satisfactory end. Yet another is how China will escape the trap of its zero-COVID policy. Last but not least, is finding ways to help developing countries through their looming financial woes, while supporting their climate transition.
The point is that we need to analyse within the silos, while also analysing systemically across them. The OECD, to its credit, created in 2012 a unit called the New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) in order to do that.
As this unit’s most exact and apparently final report notes, we have to analyse interactions among social, economic, political, geopolitical, health and environmental developments in addressing the challenges we confront.
Humanity has created a world so interdependent that no other approach is possible. Of course, such an approach is difficult. It is bound to irritate professional experts working comfortably in their silos.
But ever since the financial crisis and quite particularly over the past three years, it has become clear that such narrowness is folly. It is to be precisely wrong rather than dare to be roughly right.
So, what has the OECD done with this venture? Some say it is closing it. This would be a mistake. If the NAEC is not good enough, make it better. The world we know now does not divide into neat silos. Our thinking must not remain stuck narrowly within them either.
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The writer is chair of BeyondNetZero, a climate growth equity venture. He was CEO of BP and is the author of ‘Make, Think, Imagine’. He writes in a personal capacity
In 1997, I was the first big oil chief executive to acknowledge the risk posed by climate change, accept that we were part of the problem and pledge to become part of the solution. My peers at the time accused me of having “left the church”. Whatever church that was, it is now dwarfed in size by the congregation that showed up in force in Egypt last week for COP27.
As far as the clichés of international diplomatic conferences go, Sharm el-Sheikh did not disappoint. Motorcades blocked the roads, hotel prices went stratospheric and lunch and water were in short supply. But talking to ministers, NGOs, businesspeople and campaigners, several important things became clear. The ambition to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees is at severe risk. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions — “climate change mitigation” — is proving to be very difficult because the incentives to change behaviour and reallocate capital are still largely missing, even though we have been talking about them for the past 30 years.
We have the technologies we need to reduce global emissions by up to 70 per cent, but we do not have the right price signals (in the form of a carbon tax) or risk appetites (in the form of balanced public and private sector risk sharing) which would accelerate investment in their deployment. As a result, warming could approach 3 degrees, even if today’s swath of net zero pledges are delivered.
Although they dare not whisper it, most participants at COP know that the investment to deliver the technology may not be deployed in time to stop this trajectory. That is why the conversation has turned more decisively towards the “plan B” of climate change adaptation. This is good news: it might be plan B, but it is also a practical necessity as efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions fall short of what’s needed, putting more and more lives and livelihoods at risk.
But the bad news is that adaptation is likely to be even more difficult to finance than mitigation. This is because it involves investment in infrastructure which would function just fine in the absence of climate change; and because it generates returns which are long-term, unquantifiable and indirect. In other words, it represents an even greater public financing challenge than emissions reduction.
Where climate change meets business, markets and politics. Explore the FT’s coverage here.
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If both plan A and plan B fall short, what about plan C? I was one of a few voices at COP this year calling for the world to pay greater attention to geoengineering of the oceans and atmosphere. This is not desirable, is fraught with risk, and does not need to be done immediately. But it does merit greater thought and consideration, particularly as it will take at least a decade to establish the scientific and bureaucratic institutions needed to govern this activity.
This is our insurance policy against the failure of plans A and B, and against the risk of reaching irreversible tipping points. The world cannot afford to hope for the best by ignoring it.
The glue that could bind mitigation, adaptation and geoengineering into a coherent system is, of course, a carbon price. We remain a long way from this, but we do now have real-world examples of incentives and appropriate levels of risk-sharing coming together to deliver progress. The US Inflation Reduction Act is a prominent example of massive fiscal and industrial policy for the net zero age. Another is the proposal made by US climate envoy John Kerry to raise and transfer the proceeds of a quasi carbon tax to the Global South.
At COP27, I also detected a welcome sense of urgency about the need to establish carbon credits which are robust, tradeable and insurable, thereby generating reliable sources of revenue which can be channelled back into the financing of mitigation and adaptation efforts. The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market and the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative are leading on this, as is Bloomberg Philanthropies which plans to establish a carbon credit oversight body called The Global Carbon Trust.
There is much more to do to turn isolated examples of progress into systemic change. But until then, it is incumbent on all of us to do what we can with imperfect markets and imperfect institutions. Risk-averse multilateral development banks, for example, can be sidelined in favour of alliances between private investors and regional development banks which have a more realistic approach.
Meanwhile, greenwashing and the newly discovered “green hushing” should be consigned to the past, replaced with a practical set of mandatory environmental, social and governance disclosure requirements. Pragmatism executed at speed is better than perfection delivered too late. A motto for COP28, perhaps?
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