GWP Chair: Changing Investment Patterns is a Solution to Climate Change

On 7 October, GWP Chair Howard Bamsey was the keynote speaker in the second of a series of webinars organized by the Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF) on the road towards the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit in 2022. He spoke to the topic of "Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Investors: More Risks, More Opportunities through better Governance." His speech focused on how the world can deal with the potentially catastrophic risks of climate change by changing the pattern of investment in the global economy, towards climate-friendly activities.

"Climate change is caused by what we do as human beings, by economic activity. Therefore, the solution to the problem lies in the hands of humans, in changing our economic activity from the sort of things that cause the problem, to things that fix it,” said Bamsey. “And if we want to change the direction of our economic activity, we need to fix investment. So, in a word, there is a solution to climate change, and it is investment."

To respond to the physical impacts of climate change in an effective way and for it to be resilient for humans and societies, Bamsey said that water is central. “Water is almost always the first casualty of climate change, and it’s also the means of conveying the impacts of climate to other parts of the economy, such as agriculture, public health, etc.”

In other words, to effectively deal with climate change, improving water governance and the management of water is vital.

“This is where GWP is relevant,” said Bamsey, referring to the network’s global reach and partners at all levels, with the joint goal of advancing governance and management of water resources.

“Changes in global and domestic governance can make a serious contribution to solving the climate problem because this enables the change of investment,” said Bamsey. “Some changes are already starting to show in the financial investment patterns at global level, but not enough.”

"We can hope that the investment pattern globally will change, and perhaps the highest point of hope is when we look at what young people are thinking about," said Bamsey, because research shows that younger generations are actually choosing to invest financially in sustainability portfolios.

"The big question is, [are climate change mitigation and adaptation measures] happening quickly enough? I think if we're being honest, we would have to conclude that at present it's not happening quickly enough. There is a greater momentum right now, but acceleration is vital - and if we want to accelerate, investment is the best way to do it," said Bamsey.

 Watch the full webinar:

Background: The APWF is an independent non-profit multi-stakeholder network launched in September 2006. The objective is to raise the priority of tackling water security issues highlighted in the development agenda in the Asia-Pacific region in order to improve people’s livelihoods and the environment. In the lead-up to the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit (APWS), to be held 23-24 April 2022 (rescheduled due to COVID-19), APWF is holding a series of preparatory webinars.