Caio Koch-Weser addresses climate change and responsible investment in Latin America
Vice Chairman emphasizes importance of sustainable energy generation and resource efficiency
Folha de São Paulo, one of Brazil’s leading daily newspapers, recently featured an interview with Caio Koch-Weser, Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank, member of the Regional Management Executive Committee and Chair of the Supervisory Board for the European Climate Foundation. The interview was based on a lecture he gave to a prominent group of businesses at the foundation run by former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The speech and the interview addressed the economic opportunities and threats arising from climate change and resource scarcity.
He observes it is time to put a price on carbon and reform fossil fuel subsidies to give the right signals to markets to reduce carbon emissions. “Markets need to work, with incentives and prices. We need the initiative and innovation of enterprises,” he told the newspaper. Koch-Weser is optimistic because the costs of renewable energy have declined rapidly and more regions of the world are developing or investigating carbon trading or carbon tax policies.
More institutional investors, insurance companies and pension funds are demanding improved “environmental, social and governance (ESG),” disclosure and performance by asset managers and by companies. He added that there is increasing evidence and experience that companies and investors economically benefit from improved performance on ESG metrics. He challenged the Latin American investment industry to do more in this area.
Koch-Weser praises both the private sector and the government in Brazil for having a high level of awareness about sustainability issues and highlighted the steps the country is taking to curb deforestation. However, he cautions Brazil must not get tangled in political processes that could stop, and possibly reverse, progress. “Brazil has a huge opportunity to combine growth with sustainability. With the right policies and incentives, and institutional capacity, Brazil is more likely than other countries to make the transition and lead it,” said Koch-Weser.
Read the full interview (in Portuguese)
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“Markets need to work, with incentives and prices. We need the initiative and innovation of enterprises.”