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Is Venice on your bucket list? If so, the recent flooding may have you bumping it higher on your ranking of “must-sees”.
In November 2019, Venice and its surrounding islands endured one of its worst floods in over 50 years. That month alone, the tide passed its average rainfall of 55 inches four times.
By the end of November, floodwaters had risen more than 6 feet higher than usual. and The Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, estimated over €1 billion in damage to the city.
Landmarks and historic sites were affected by the flooding. Rainwater infiltrated St. Mark’s Basilica, the city’s crown jewel. The 1000-year-old church is considered to be one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in the world. Meanwhile, the famous, romantic Gondolas were swept ashore.
Sadly, Venice is not alone in being at risk of flooding or other extreme weather events prompted by rising temperatures and other environmental issues.
Sea levels are rising, oceans are becoming warmer, droughts are threatening crops, wildlife and freshwater supplies are changing, and increasingly intense wildfires are becoming common. Our planet’s ecosystems and diversity are at risk from the changing climate. And cities and communities around the world are trying to stave off the potential damage.
Australia has been ravaged by the worst wildfires in decades as climate change is making natural disasters go from bad to worse. At least 28 people died, more than 3,000 homes destroyed or damaged and as many as half a billion animals. Experts say climate change has fueled the fires with persistent heat and drought which ignite the fires that start earlier in the season and spread with greater intensity.
Also, in Australia, the underwater coral of the Great Barrier Reef is bleaching. Coral stressed from higher temperatures whitens as it dies off. Researchers have found an 89% decline in the spawning of new coral in the Great Barrier Reef – a statistic that only keeps getting worse (not better) over time.
Closer to home, Yellowstone Park is facing snowmelt, in-turn reducing the flow of water in the rivers and raising the risk of more frequent wildfires. These changes affect the whole ecosystem, resulting in less fish spawning and decreased drinking water for surrounding communities, among other problems.
It’s not too late – there’s still time to change these outcomes of these environmental issues
These are just a few urgent reasons to combat climate change now to support sustainable solutions.
“I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic.” Climate change activist Greta Thunberg was not giving investment advice when she delivered this message to the World Economic Forum in Davos this year. You don’t have to be a CEO of a company attending Davos to contribute to the solutions.
We can support companies that are implementing cutting-edge solutions to climate change, from improving energy efficiency to renewable storage solutions to alternative meat. To achieve this goal, various approaches can be taken in climate change investing, such as “negative screening” which eliminates companies whose activities are not aligned with the investor’s values, “positive screening” which introduces companies into the portfolio which provide solutions. Or a focus on “material ESG” scores, which rewards companies that are leaders within their industries.