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Morgan Stanley exec on net zero: 'We can't just wait 30 years and see what happens’

Listen: Morgan Stanley exec on net zero: 'We can't just wait 30 years and see what happens’


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About this Episode

In this episode of the ESG Insider podcast, we talk to Jessica Alsford, Head of Global Sustainability Research at Morgan Stanley. In the run-up to COP26, the big United Nations climate conference taking place in Glasgow in November 2021, there has been a lot of discussion in the sustainability world about the path to net zero and the role the financial industry will play in reaching the goals of the Paris agreement.

In the interview, Jessica talks about what needs to happen at COP26 to move companies beyond their headline net zero commitments into specific and transparent action plans.

“We can't just wait 30 years and see what happens,” Jessica says. “So now, what comes next is [companies providing] that granularity, that visibility, about what are the specific actions” they are taking to achieve their end goal.

"Investors are looking for annual disclosure and reporting on progress so that you can very clearly see which companies are decarbonizing and at what rate,” she adds.

Jessica also says the lack of standardization in sustainability disclosure frameworks poses challenges for the ESG world. Still, she says, the direction of travel is clear: “You need more data in order to be able to make the ESG investment decisions.”

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