The Race to Net Zero: an event with former UN leader Ban Ki-moon

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The Race to Net Zero: an event with former UN leader Ban Ki-moon

Climate change is the defining crisis of our time and the global economy is on a trajectory that would lead to possibly more than 3°C of global warming. Our planet is on fire, with the climate crisis accelerating as temperatures surge, sea levels rise, and wildfires burn. And in the backdrop, Covid-19 offered a glimpse of the possible global disruptions that could arise from climate change. The world is more unified on climate now than ever.

The time is now, and net zero is not for debate

The latest UN IPCC climate report exacerbated the sense of urgency to address climate crisis, terming this a “code red for humanity” and a global climate crisis that is now “inevitable, unprecedented, and irreversible”. The time is now, to immediately raise our ambition and urgency to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and turn existing international commitments into decisive and transformational action.

Comments came from former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his keynote speech at Lombard Odier’s keynote speaker conference in Asia, titled “The Race to Net Zero: A Sprint or a Marathon”. Organised by Lombard Odier in partnership with its strategic alliances in APAC, the virtual conference was streamed live globally in five languages to maximise our reach for Asian audiences. Discussions centered on the reality of our climate crisis and the pressing need to harness a sustainable approach in our race towards net zero.

Mr. Ban spoke at the conference as keynote speaker, emphasising the importance and relevance of the Paris Agreement, with its 195 government signatories, as a clear game plan to confront the serious threats to our planet through viable targets that impede rising temperatures and constrict greenhouse gas emissions.

The Paris Agreement offers us our best hope to persevere over the serious threats to our planet, but we must urgently step-up implementation efforts

“The Paris Agreement offers us our best hope to persevere over the serious threats to our planet, but we must urgently step-up implementation efforts. We don’t have a Plan B, because we don’t have a Planet B either. And, quite frankly, we have no time to spare,” he said.

 

Leading the sustainability conversation in Asia

Lombard Odier’s Limited Partner and Asia CEO, Vincent Magnenat hosted the “Race to Net Zero” event, in partnership with the bank’s Strategic Alliances – namely Kasikornbank Private Banking, Mandiri Private, Mizuho Securities (Singapore), Taipei Fubon Bank, and UnionBank Private Banking in the Philippines. JBWere Australia was also a part of the event.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Magnenat reiterated the importance of working closely with the Strategic Alliances in embracing the Sustainability Revolution. Formed in 2012, the Strategic Alliance remains a crucial pillar in Lombard Odier’s business, offering unparalleled expertise in the industry.

“Our core conviction in sustainability shapes everything we do, and we are embedding it across all our investment processes. At Lombard Odier, we believe the Sustainability Revolution represents the single largest opportunity of our lifetime – superior returns that we want to be able to offer our clientele. We work hand in hand with our Strategic Alliances across the region to influence and support one another and ensure that we are doing our part,” said Mr. Magnenat.

At Lombard Odier, we believe the Sustainability Revolution represents the single largest opportunity of our lifetime – superior returns that we want to be able to offer our clientele

Backed by our belief that ESG investing is the only approach to safeguarding investor portfolios’ and returns, Lombard Odier has developed unique expertise and methodologies to assess the alignment of business models with the sustainability transition on a forward-looking basis.

From an investment standpoint, it is important to recognise that Asia is also exposed to some of the most significant climate-related physical risks while facing considerable challenges in transitioning to net zero. Physical risks such as increased temperatures, natural disasters, extreme weather and changes in water supply can be very disruptive and quite costly. Investors in the region should therefore take a forward-looking approach, not only on climate transition opportunities but also on the geographically specific risks.

 

The crucial role of financial institutions in this sustainability transition

Bloomberg’s Chief International Correspondent for South East Asia, Haslinda Amin, led a fireside chat with Lombard Odier’s Senior Managing Partner Hubert Keller, who joined live from Geneva, to discuss the bank’s efforts in driving the net zero challenge towards a more sustainable future.

In the fireside discussion, Moderator Haslinda Amin opened with a question on the role of the financial sector and Lombard Odier’s approach in sustainability, noting that global economies have developed a range of sustainable finance policies and regulations to support the flow of capital towards a sustainable economic model.

In response, Mr. Keller stressed the crucial role of financial institutions in this sustainability transition. “Climate change is starting to create real financial exposure for companies, and as a financial industry we need to be able to address that,” he said.

Lombard Odier’s core conviction lies in the belief that the transition from a wasteful, idle, lopsided and dirty economy to a Circular, Lean, Inclusive and Clean (CLICTM) economy is a critically important driver of risks and returns in financial markets.

“As the climate transition unfolds, financial exposure to transitional challenges and physical and liability risks is escalating – we call this Climate Value Impact. As wealth and asset managers, we have a fiduciary responsibility to our clients to navigate the transition to the net-zero economy,” said Mr. Keller.

Through forward-looking assessments, including an understanding of decarbonisation pathways and trajectories and their financial implications, we help investors re-align their portfolios

“Through forward-looking assessments, including an understanding of decarbonisation pathways and trajectories and their financial implications, we help investors re-align their portfolios. We all agree on the need for clearer roadmaps to rapidly transform the economy towards net zero, through a concerted action among all stakeholders in Asia, as elsewhere,” he added.

 “Leading financial institutions such as Lombard Odier and its strategic alliances have a crucial role to play… we need an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach, as we step up on our efforts to achieve net zero,” added Mr. Ban.

In closing, the race to net zero is like a marathon, with all key stakeholders—government, finance, civil society, and industry—striding purposefully, requiring concerted action, and supporting each other’s efforts in pursuit of the finish line and a sustainable future for all people and our planet.

Important information

This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This document was not prepared by the Financial Research Department of Lombard Odier.

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