Will the capital to invest in net-zero plans be available?

(Morningstar, Chicago, 9 November 2021) Capital critical to funding the greening of utilities and other industries makes the financial industry a key player in curbing global warming. At a global climate summit last week, big banks, institutional investors, insurance companies, and regulators announced that the amount of capital controlled by institutions [which claim to be] committed to net-zero initiatives now tops $130 trillion, up from $5 trillion in 2020, according to the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero. That is about equal to the $100 trillion to $150 trillion amount required to transform the economy to a net-zero by 2050, the group claims. Banks, insurers, pension funds, asset managers, export-credit agencies, stock exchanges, credit rating agencies, index providers, and audit firms have committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest and plan to report progress and financed emissions annually. For now, the impact on the finance industry itself isn’t clear. Lenders will still be looking for a good return and are already funding projects “that provide an appropriate return". [i.e. they have to make money if they're going to save the planet] How different portfolio companies will reduce emissions can be fraught, as they are struggling with their own net-zero plans. Dan Dorman of Calvert notes that while many of the largest banks had already committed to decarbonizing their portfolios, his conversations with executives suggest “they really don’t have details [yet] about how to land this plane.” There is also some debate about whether the group is double-counting the money that it claims is available.