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Marisa Drew, CEO of Impact Advisory and Finance Department at Credit Suisse. Photo: Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Credit Suisse Exec: Firms ignoring climate change could 'go to zero,' coastal property investments cited as an example

One of Credit Suisse’s (CS) most senior bankers has said investments could “go to zero quickly” if companies ignore climate change " and cites coastal property investments as an example.

Marisa Drew, head of Credit Suisse’s impact advisory and finance division, told Yahoo Finance UK: “If someone has not priced in the risk, you could easily see something that seems like a great investment go to zero quickly.

“Let’s take the energy sector for a second. There will be a day when the world can be 100% reliant on alternative energy. If you’re in an old school energy business and we hit that moment where we switch, guess what? The value of those old school investments isn’t going to be worth much.”

The issue is not limited to sectors like oil and gas, Drew said.

“Let’s just say you’re a real estate investor and you’ve got a pool of coastal real estate. In the past, that’s where everybody wanted to be — everybody wants to be on the water. But now you look at that and say, woah, wait a minute, if seas are going to rise 3ft in the next 20 years, those assets may not actually be worth as much.”

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned earlier this year that businesses ignoring climate change “will go bankrupt without question.” The Bank estimated that as much as $20trn-worth of assets could be at risk from climate change.

“The other part of the equation is the new young startups that are going to be the disruptors,” Drew said, highlighting alternative hamburger company Beyond Meat as an example.

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