Liftman: We’re starting to see people from different backgrounds and perspectives — business, government, nonprofits and communities — recognize that we all need to collaborate on solutions to climate change. This can’t be a situation where industry is on one side of the fence and environmentalists and social advocates are on the other, while policy makers referee. The private sector can drive consensus, which is already happening more and more.
Obasi: When companies can disclose climate and emissions data in a consistent, standardized and reliable way, it helps the methodologies and tools used for quantifying climate risks for specific companies and industries immensely. That’s why collective collaboration across all areas of a company is so important to gathering metrics, assessing the impacts, and planning for solutions and interventions. For example, lines of business should work with their risk assessment partners and the front office to get a strong sense of how to anticipate and create plans to deal with climate-related risk. This transparency will benefit everyone from individual companies to national governments to local neighborhoods.
Fang: The urgency is hitting home to everybody. There are too many indicators — from historic droughts and levels of inequality to global trade and commerce disruptions — to continue to treat the environment and social issues as though they’re separate from business concerns. If we don't have a healthy environment and healthy society, we don’t have anything. It’s all part of the same challenge, and we all have so much at stake that we can’t afford to fail. That’s why sustainable finance isn’t a trend; it’s the way of the future.
Countering the causes and effects of climate change over the coming decades will take the combined and cooperative action of governments, nonprofits and the private sector, and Bank of America is supporting this transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy through its operations, business activities and partnerships. Learn more about the bank’s commitments to sustainability and racial equality and economic opportunity, as well as its efforts to mobilize capital to address critical environmental and social issues affecting local communities around the world.