Goldman Sachs: climate change an “opportunity to unlock economic growth”

Investment bank ploughing time and money in research into climate change

Climate change is a top priority for investors in 2019, according to Goldman Sachs.

John Goldstein, head of Goldman's new Sustainable Finance Group, told Markets Insider that an increasing number of clients are seeking advice on tackling climate change.

“At the end of the day, people want to make money,” he said. “And, say – take a pension fund, people need to get their money in 20 or 30 years, climate change poses a question of, will people get that money then? And how will the fund be affected?”

In response to socially conscious investors, Goldman Sachs formed a Sustainable Finance Group in July. It aims to “better serve” their clients, and “capture emerging opportunities as sustainable growth becomes more top of mind for investors, institutions and companies around the world”.

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As part of its ongoing research into climate change Goldman released an in-depth report last month called Taking the Heat, which analysed the impact of climate change on cities. While it acknowledges the importance of reducing carbon emissions, the report focuses on the need to adapt to ongoing environmental changes.

Goldstein said climate change is an “an opportunity to unlock economic growth”.

“It's why we’ve put in a lot of time and money into research on ESG [environmental, social, and corporate governance], as we don’t want to approach it with an ad-hoc fashion,” Goldstein added. “This is something we need to plan for in terms of managing risk, or driving growth. Or is it something we can use to drive resilience across a portfolio?”

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