(David Callaway is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Callaway Climate Insights. He is the former president of the World Editors Forum, Editor-in-Chief of USA Today and MarketWatch, and CEO of TheStreet Inc. His climate columns have appeared in USA Today, The Independent, Bloomberg Law, the San Francisco Examiner, and New Thinking magazine, among others).
SAN FRANCISCO (Callaway Climate Insights) — Scott Tew has been going to the United Nations global climate summits for more than a decade, but he noticed something different in Glasgow last year and it became more apparent in Egypt last month at the COP27 summit. The crowd had been overtaken by business people.
Not just CEOs of renewable energy firms, but investors, venture capitalists, investment bankers. And oil executives. Lots of oil executives. More than 600 in fact. To Tew, head of sustainability at Trane Technologies $TT , a major manufacturer of heating and cooling systems, the shift took the meeting from one of science and international diplomacy to a major business opportunity.
“We’ve not really seen this before,” Tew said. “Most of them were there trying to show solutions in the market that are working.”
The nascent world of climate finance is moving from one of pledges, promises and greenwashing to one of actual investments, products, and dealmaking, with 2023 a pivotal year. After a honeymoon period from 2018 through 2021, the bottom fell out of the stock market in 2022 and took environmental, social and governance (ESG) stocks with it on concerns about war, inflation and broken supply chains. …
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