Many property investors underestimating climate risks

Many real estate investors remain focused on the traditional risks of the sector rather than the growing threat from climate change according to a new report.

The RICS Global Property Monitor found that 38% of respondents said that climate risks are not important, or irrelevant, for investors. A similar share said that a shift towards more energy efficient and carbon neutral building designs is only for a few niche investors.

"While climate risk and resilience appear to be climbing up the list of considerations for investors in the built environment, the survey results suggest there is some way to go before these issues are treated as mainstream investment criteria,” said Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist.

North America lags
The survey reveals that in North America, the share of respondents who said that climate risk is not important, or irrelevant, is 50%; far higher than in Asia where those who said climate risk is at least quite important to investors is 70% in Hong Kong and 66% in Mainland China.

"The myriad of challenges facing the 21st century's people and places urgently require collaborative, international and innovative responses,” Marcene Mitchell, Senior Manager for Climate Business, International Finance Corporation – World Bank Group.

The issue of sustainable investment will be discussed at an event in New York next week.

“At World Built Environment Forum Summit New York 2019, senior leaders of the built and natural environment sector will convene to consider our pivotal role in this puzzle. I'm proud to be playing a part," added Mitchell.

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