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A Market for Environmentally Responsible Investment? Identifying Obstacles and Enablers of Commodification of Environmental Risks in the South African Investment Industry


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  • Giamporcaro, Stephanie
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    This paper analyzes the views of South African investment organizations on the likelihood of commodification of environmental risks in their investment decision processes. It is based on an empirical qualitative survey of 22 investment organizations, which are signatories to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment. We describe a range of issues, identified by the investment players interviewed, that are likely to prevent or accelerate the internalization of environmental risks in the South African investment industry. The chance that broader commodification of the South African investment industry will occur—beyond the growing but still small ranks of responsible investors—seems to be linked to realization of an adequate political framing. This means legislating standardized environmental disclosure by corporations and a long-term commitment by institutional investors to responsible investment philosophies. The tension between social developmental goals and environmental goals is seen as a major political obstacle at the national level.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-11-01-efd.

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    Date of creation: 31 Jan 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-11-01-efd

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    Keywords: commodification; political framing; calculative framing; conventions; environmental risks; responsible investment;

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    1. Ostrom, Elinor, 2009. "A polycentric approach for coping with climate change," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5095, The World Bank.
    2. Xavier Basurto & Elinor Ostrom, 2009. "Beyond the tragedy of the Commons," ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 0(1), pages 35-60.
    3. Giamporcaro, Stephanie & Pretorius, Lise & Visser, Martine, 2010. "Responsible Investment: A Vehicle for Environmentally Sustainable Economic Growth in South Africa," Discussion Papers dp-10-17-efd, Resources For the Future.
    4. Donald MacKenzie, 2006. "An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262134608, December.
    5. Boyer, Robert & Orlean, Andre, 1992. "How Do Conventions Evolve?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 165-77, October.
    6. Rainelli, Hélène & Huault, Isabelle, 2008. "A market for weather risk ? Worlds in conflict and compromising," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/1169, Paris Dauphine University.
    7. Yamina Tadjeddine & Sébastien Galanti & Isabelle Bilon & Catherine Aaron, 2005. "Les styles de gestion de portefeuille existent-ils ?," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 81(4), pages 171-188.
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