1. Growing Climate Risk
The biggest sustainability challenge the world faces today is global warming, and two reports released this fall underscored its magnitude. The report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, written by scientists convened by the United Nations and released in October, finds that the world is currently on a path to warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by about 2040, increasing risks to "health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth." The report estimated the global economic impact at $54 trillion, growing worse over the course of the century if warming continues to increase.
The IPCC report was followed in November by Volume 2 of the latest National Climate Assessment focusing on the impacts of global warming in the U.S., which reached similar conclusions: "Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth."
Jon Hale, Ph.D., CFA does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.