- January 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 1

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Are your investments at risk? Facing climate change threats head on in institutional real estate portfolios

by Molly McCabe

Impacts of climate change are affecting the real estate markets — cyclones, extraordinary rain events, rising sea levels, fire, extreme heat. There is increasing risk of an asset becoming “stranded” due to direct impacts and devaluations related to the transition to a low-carbon economy. We face sweeping and long-term consequences as well for the global economy, biodiversity and human development. The question is, what do we do about it? How do we assess the risk? How do we stave off what appears to be almost inevitable, and what can real estate investors do to shore up their portfolios and remain good stewards of capital? It is no longer an abstract exercise, but rather a fiduciary, practical and moral one.

It’s clear we will undergo an extraordinary amount of change, in an exceptionally short time frame, at a magnitude we have not experienced in our lifetimes. We must fully decarbonize our economies by 2050. To do this, we’ll need to innovate and transform our bui

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