Swimming to save the sea

iceberg in sea at antarctica

Have you seen the headlines about Lewis Pugh’s latest endeavour?

Lewis, British UN patron of the sea, embarks on extreme swimming feats with campaigns about climate change. He has previously undertaken marathon swims at the North Pole and in a glacial lake on Mount Everest.

His latest challenge saw him set off across the Red Sea to arrive in Egypt in good time for COP 27, where world leaders will gather to try and agree urgent action on climate change.

This particular swim aims to raise awareness of the devastating affect of climate change on coral reefs, effectively highlighting two of the greatest challenges to the sustainability of our life on earth – climate breakdown and destruction of ecosystems.

With COP27 approaching, we will see climate change rise back to the top of the headlines and policy agendas, but with growing awareness this year that it’s just one of many inter-linked environmental challenges. We may not have the will or ability to immerse ourselves in the ocean to the extent that Lewis does, but a quick cold dip into environmental science can wake up our senses and help us make investment decisions that are fit for a low carbon, nature friendly economy, and a liveable planet.

Our Sustainable Impact portfolios are aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, of which Goal 14 is focused on “Life below Water”. This goal is underpinned by the fact that what happens on land eventually makes its way to the ocean. What happens in the ocean, impacts life on land.

We should aim to avoid the stormiest of warming seas for a number of reasons. Firstly, the risk of rising sea levels from ice melt, set to wreak havoc in certain parts of the UK, the whole of Florida, entire Pacific island communities and many significant cities in China and the Far East. The social, environmental and economic implications of this are not hard to imagine and investing to avoid climate harm and further climate change solutions can literally turn back the tide. Scientists have calculated sea levels will rise by 2.3 metres for every 1C rise in global average temperatures. Even if we can limit the rise to the Paris Agreement target of 1.5C, sea levels would eventually end up more than 3 metres higher. That means no more holidays in the Maldives and possibly a trip to Cambridge on Sea for a beach holiday!

Warming seas also trigger bigger hurricanes and tropical storms, the likes of which we saw recently with Hurricane Ian in Florida, estimated to have caused up to $74 billion in insured losses, serious damage to the tourist trade and 50,000 new unemployment claims.

As the temperature of the oceans rises, so too does their acidity. This in turn reduces the ability of the blue part of our planet to continue absorbing 25% of the CO2 we are emitting on land.

The investment strategies I employ for my clients are mindful of the importance of healthy seas, seeking to enable positive marine outcomes by investing in companies that provide climate change solutions and pollution reduction.  In the world of financial planning, we strive to help our clients attain their personal goals and wishes, whether that might be a holiday home on a sunny island, a retirement by the sea or to set sail on an adventure across the oceans. It’s not just as simple as building up a sufficient sum of money to fund this though, you need a conducive natural environment too.

We may not be able to swim through the reefs like Lewis, but we can ensure our capital flows in an appropriate direction.  Do you love the sound of the waves lapping against the cliffs? Knowing my investments are climate positive provides that same feeling of peace.

Click the contact link to get in touch and find out more.

*Please note that capital is at risk and these investments are designed for the long term. 

Tens of thousands likely jobless after Hurricane Ian, economists say | CNN Business

Goal 14 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs (un.org)

Hothouse Earth – Bill McGuire


Photo by Muhammad Nasir on Unsplash

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