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The new year began with good news of vaccines that are more or less effective against Covid-19. Their roll-out will take time,
but there is now the prospect that life will return to something recognisably more normal within the foreseeable future, although
the economic effects of the virus are likely to be with us for some time yet. The new year has also seen an increased emphasis
in the press on global warming. According to many of those who have studied it, the effect of climate change looks likely
to change the world we live in dramatically and for the long term. Notably, one of the actions taken by President Biden on
his first day in office as the 46
th President of the US, was to authorise the US to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement to limit global temperature
increase to below two degrees Celsius, with a goal of limiting it to 1.5 degrees. Since then he has announced a series of
measures and made clear that tackling climate change is high on his list of priorities. Recently Larry Fink, the chief executive
of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, called upon the companies his clients’ funds are invested in, to ensure that
they take measures to address their impact on the climate. He emphasised that corporate reports should disclose explanations
of companies’ plans for their business models, including how the plans fit into long-term strategies, and how they are governed
by the company directors.
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