Edition for 19 January 2020

Top Stories

Anthony Albanese says Labor won't take same franking credits policy to next election

  • Albanese promised Labor would “take climate change seriously” and had a “very strong” policy that aimed to be “as ambitious as possible” but did not commit to outbid the Coalition because he hoped the Morrison government would take action before the next election.
  • The 45% emissions reduction target was first adopted by Shorten’s opposition in 2015 and was Labor’s policy at both the 2016 and 2019 federal election, which Labor lost despite a record number of Australians nominating global warming or the environment as their top concern.
  • The shadow agriculture minister, Joel Fitzgibbon, has suggested copying the Coalition’s target of 26-28% emissions reduction by 2030, but the climate change spokesman, Mark Butler, has rejected the idea.

Is BlackRock Going Green or Just Greenwashing?

  • This piece was originally published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and appears here as part of our Climate Desk Partnership.
  • Larry Fink, the founder and chief executive officer of the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, announced that his firm would fundamentally shift its investing policy to focus on climate change.
  • We are fiduciaries, he told the newspaper; “Politics isn’t part of this.” Or, as he put it in his closely scrutinized newsletter: “Will cities, for example, be able to afford their infrastructure needs as climate risk reshapes the market for municipal bonds?

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink: Climate crisis will reshape finance

  • Just last month, a British hedge fund manager, Christopher Hohn, said that it was “appalling” of BlackRock not to require companies to disclose their sustainability efforts, and that the firm’s previous efforts had been “full of greenwash.” Climate activists staged several protests outside BlackRock’s offices last year, and Fink himself has received letters from members of Congress urging more action on climate-related investing.
  • According to Ceres and FundVotes, a unit of Morningstar, BlackRock had among the worst voting records on climate issues.
  • In recent years, many companies and investors have committed to focusing on the environmental impact of business, but none of the largest investors in the country have been willing to make it a central component of their investment strategy.

ADB Inaugurates Project to Replace Diesel Systems with Solar Hybrid Across Maldives

  • The 100% diesel dependence of the Maldives makes it completely reliant on oil imports and also makes its carbon emissions per unit of electricity among the highest in the region.
  • The POISED Project, approved in September 2014, is supported by $55 million in grants from ADB—$38 million from the Asian Development Fund, $12 million from the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF), and $5 million from the Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JFJCM)—and $50 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
  • The share of renewables in global power should more than double by 2030 to advance the global energy transformation, achieve sustainable development goals and a pathway to climate safety, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Hoping to Shape the Conversation at Davos

  • I look forward to connecting and working with those who are leading at the front lines of their communities in the fight against climate change, who are restoring nature, who are helping to drive equitable societies, and who are committed to creating a more caring and inclusive world.
  • There has been a fair bit of criticism of Davos in the past, questioning whether the world’s elite has the courage to take necessary action in terms of climate change.
  • Climate Talks, there is a clear pressing need for countries to set more ambitious targets to scale up renewable energy.

Caring About Climate Can Help You Get Laid

  • People on OKCupid are swiping right on climate action—or something?
  • Not only that, climate is becoming an increasingly popular mention in profiles, a trend that reflects broader changes in society.
  • In data shared with Earther, the company said there’s been a 240 percent increase in mentions of environmental terms on people’s profiles like “climate change,” “environment,” “global warming,” “Greta Thunberg” and “recycle.” An overwhelming majority of OKCupid users also care about the climate crisis.

The Climate Sentinel is an AI-powered news assistant for ESG investors and those concerned about climate change, corporate social responsibility, and related topics. Learn more.

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