Starting this week from September 20-27 students around the world are taking to the streets to demand more effective climate action – and they want the adults to join them. Unions and NGOs are pledging to bolster the numbers. But there’s one sector that’s notably absent: finance….What’s behind the reluctance? Preventable Surprises’ Raj Thamotheram says he’s not surprised at the silence. He says many ESG professionals don’t believe campaigning is the most productive use of their time…And some professionals may choose to lend their support, but stay incognito. Thamotheram argues that a visible white collar presence on the ground would give the strike more weight: “The best way to get early and genuine political and corporate action is to bring forward the social tipping points. This, after all, is where some of the big uncertainty rests. Compared to spending an extra four hours on the day job, supporting youth and millennial campaigners and learning how to communicate with them is probably much more useful.”
Will suited finance professionals turn up to Friday’s strike clutching their latest sustainability reports? Being there won’t replace the work being done in sustainable finance, but it may focus minds on the urgency of that work and the related necessity for broad people power and political pressure to underpin the change needed.