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World Ocean Day 2024

One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together!  

The climate crisis, the greatest threat to our world, demands our collective action. Global warming is melting the polar ice caps at an unprecedented rate, and pollution is threatening the fragile ecosystems of the ocean. A healthy ocean means a healthy climate, and it’s our shared responsibility to ensure this.

The World Ocean Day organisation’s theme for 2024 is Catalysing Action for Our Ocean & Climate.

“By growing the movement through transformative collaboration, we aim to create not only a healthy blue planet but also a more just, equitable and sustainable society.”

 It’s all about creating global awareness and a new depth of understanding, compassion, collaboration and commitment.

The mission of World Ocean Day is to empower you, the legislature and corporate leaders, to commit and follow through on promises made to accelerate the transition to clean energy, halt fossil fuel extraction, phase out single-use plastic, collaborate with communities to implement action, and protect and restore natural coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Causes of Climate Change and Global Warming

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch primarily consists of plastic garbage washed out to sea by major river systems in Asia and North and South America and spans an astounding 1.6 million square kilometres. This garbage patch has been growing tenfold each decade since 1945. There is a similar garbage patch in the North Atlantic. The waste plastic consists mainly of plastic lighters, toothbrushes, bottles, bags, pens and cell phones. This drastically affects marine life as marine animals get caught, tangled or killed by plastic trash. Sea Surface feeders are losing the battle as they consume toxic plastic particles mixed with plankton. This toxic plastic gets bioaccumulated, and these toxins enter the bodies of marine life and are ultimately consumed by humans.

Plastic affects global tourism, fisheries, and agriculture.

Ocean plastic also damages air quality, contributing to global pollution and, ultimately, global warming. Sunlight and heat cause the plastic to release potent greenhouse gases.

Melting of the polar ice caps

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon with blue iceberg melting during summer in the evening

Antarctica loses around 150 billion tons of ice annually, and Greenland around 270 billion tons. Rising sea levels and increased freshwater (desalinisation) melting into the oceans disrupt ocean currents and, ultimately, disrupt weather patterns. Suppose all the ice in the Arctic and Antarctic were to melt. Sea levels would rise around 70m, flooding many cities and continents and shrinking land mass.

Melting ice caps could directly contribute to rising sea levels, destabilised global food systems, habitat loss for polar wildlife and increased global warming.

Fossil fuels and greenhouse gases

Industrial Skyline - Pollution

Global average temperature has already risen by 1 degree. Anything over 1.5 degrees could be irreversible, as global warming causes higher sea levels, biodiversity loss, species extinction, extreme weather, droughts, flooding and food scarcity.  89% of global CO2 emissions come from fossil fuels.

 It is vital that industries all over the world take note of this danger and start reducing their carbon footprint on the Earth. This means implementing good governance processes to reduce their carbon footprint without disrupting the bottom line. Companies that follow ESG principles.

ESG Investing

Ethical or ESG investing means investing your money in companies that strive to make the world a better place by reducing their carbon footprint on the earth. These companies follow ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) principles to improve their performance in these areas.

“At its core, ESG investing is about influencing positive changes in society by being a better investor.” Hank Smith – head of investment strategy at The Haverford Trust Company.

Companies follow ESG criteria to safeguard the community in which they work. Investors who invest in companies following ESG principles get a holistic view of these companies and can also mitigate any risks, as the companies are more transparent and better managed.

Environment – This is the impact that a company has on the environment. It includes carbon footprint reduction, such as using less harmful chemicals or even water in its manufacturing processes and striving to increase sustainability throughout its supply chain.
Social – This is the social impact a company has internally and on the broader community, such as inclusiveness in the workplace, racial diversity, employee relations, and hiring practices.
Governance – This is how the company’s board and management drive positive social change, including how they interact with board members, executive salaries, and even diversity in management.

Benefits of ESG investing

  • Companies that follow ESG principles are mitigated against risk and are less likely to have negative events, environmental disasters or labour market issues.
  • Historical figures show that ESG companies and funds often outperform their regular counterparts.
  • It is a way for the investor to align their ethics with their investment choices.
  • It is a practical solution to help reduce our carbon footprint on the earth and oceans.
  • ESG companies contribute towards global sustainability.
  • ESG investments tend to be less volatile as companies are regulated better.
  • Employee engagement is often greater in companies following ESG principles.
  • Reduces overall emissions and greenhouse gases. Thus, removing carbon from the atmosphere
  • Studies have shown that companies following robust ESG principles perform better over the long term.
  • ESG companies are more resilient, innovative and adaptable to change.

ESG investing is a way to help reduce companies’ impact on the environment and global warming while simultaneously earning good returns and building wealth.

If you are interested in ESG investing, chat with a financial advisor for more information.  

Please note, the above is for educational purposes only and does not constitute advice. You should always contact your advisor for a personal consultation.

* No liability can be accepted for any actions taken or refrained from being taken, as a result of reading the above.

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