• Global finance may be our secret weapon in fighting climate change.
  • This episode of House on Fire podcast talks to the bankers, insurers and innovators pushing the world to divest from fossil fuels.
  • Other episodes in this series focus on direct air capture, alternative meats, decarbonization, and more.
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The seventh episode of House on Fire explores the world of money management and the power it has to bring about environmental change. With some $75 trillion of assets under management globally, how are investors using their financial influence to persuade governments and companies to go green?

We talk disinvestment with Ulrike Decoene from the insurance giant Axa, a company that has earned effusive praise from environmentalists for committing to disinvest completely from coal. She warns that beyond a certain degree of global warming, the world could become largely uninsurable.

Then there’s Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Norway’s biggest asset management company Storebrand, who recently went head to head with Brazil’s government, demanding better protection for the Amazon rainforest. He explains how the perils of logging and wildfires could ultimately make investment in Brazilian assets “untenable”.

We talk to two start-up teams, both trying to re-engineer the machinery of investor capitalism for better environmental outcomes. First is Rebecca Minguela’s Clarity AI, which seeks to provide the information investors need to assess companies’ environmental risks and performance. Then we hear from Eric Ries, author of The Lean Start-up and founder of the Long-Term Stock Exchange, which seeks to bring together founders and investors who want to move beyond quarter-to-quarter cycles and create companies that can act for the long term.

Finally we hear from Jeff McDermott, Managing Partner of Nomura Greentech Capital, who thinks a revolution in investor capitalism towards green investment can save the world, and is already well underway.

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