The report “Sleeping Financial Giants” by the GEDB programme, Future Earth and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, was launched and discussed at the event Global Systemic Risks and Earth System Tipping Points hosted by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in New York, 24 September.

The launch in New York featured co-author Beatrice Crona, Executive Director of the GEDB programme, together with Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and former Deputy Vice Minister of Finance of Japan. Moderator was Josh Tewksbury, Colorado Global Hub Director, Future Earth.

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In recent decades, scientists have begun to use the term tipping points to describe large-scale and abrupt shocks to the climate and ecosystems following incremental, relatively small changes. The Sleeping Financial Giants report is the result of a scientific project which aims to increase awareness among the public and investors alike, about the impact of the investment sector on key tipping points in the Earth System affecting our global climate. These include the Amazon rainforest, boreal forests, monsoons and oceans – some of which are approaching possible tipping points because of commercial activity, exacerbating climate risks.

The report provides a short state-of-the-art review of the scientific knowledge around tipping points in the Earth System. It elucidates the complex interactions between large global investors and such tipping points to help make informed decisions about the future of our planet.