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Climate spin: yesterdays disastrous climate investor news is “top marks”

Dismal failure can be rewashed as success. An outbreak of Dengue Fever could be a “hot holiday island with weight loss”.

Yesterday a study showed that the worlds sharpest fund managers couldn’t give a toss about climate change.  Less than a fifth could even manage a “tangible” effort. These guys manage trillions. They assess risks for a living. They can’t see either a green revolution, nor the need for one. As I noted, most heavyweight investors are acting like skeptics.

But some poor sods reading “The NewDaily” and listening to John Hewson would think it’s a booming thing. Hewsen, by the way, ran for PM in Australia circa 1993 as the leader of the Liberal Party.

Let’s translate the marketing: When the news is bad, find a reason to cheer (don’t mention the rest):

Super funds get top marks on climate index

Tony Kaye

On an index where 80% failed to do anything at all, there are still A, AA, and AAA rated divisions of tangibility:

Three Australian superannuation funds are among just 12 institutional investors in the world to receive the top rating for climate change risk management from the Asset Owners Disclosure Project’s (AODP) 2016 benchmark index, The Global Climate 500 Index, released today.

In a barrel of rotten apples, some will always get above the bottom.

Watch this wording: the vague “tangible” gets pivoted around the weasel word “signaling” to channel the readers mind to the ideal fantasy state (my bolding):

“This year’s index sees a fifth of the world’s 500 biggest asset owners taking tangible action to mitigate climate change risk – clearly signaling that these leaders see managing climate risk as a core function in protecting their financial returns.”

In marketing it’s important to make out there is momentum. It’s a psychological thing. Quick rush, beat the pack…

Note the key sales words (bolded) direct from Financial Marketing For Dummies 101:

“Globally, it is clear that climate change is now moving up the investment agenda as the world’s biggest pension funds, insurers and endowments recognise they need to take action to protect the savings and financial security of millions of people,” said Chair of the AODP, Dr John Hewson.

End carrot. Start Stick. Plant the seeds of doubt:

“Yet, there are still too many ignoring warnings that investors need to be stepping up action and disclosure on physical, transitional and liability climate risks – which is endangering retirement nest eggs, shareholder value and potentially even the stability of our financial system. Worldwide, 246 of the 500 appear to be ignoring climate risk completely.”


Living in an information fishbowl can harm your health.

The New Daily is owned by a group of industry super funds.

Rule for any manager, investor, risk taker, read the enemies best work, seek out the critics and look for the data that matters.  In this case, to assess “climate risk” we need climate data — temperatures, cloud cover, stuff like that. Lists of ratings are fourth order fluff.



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