Edition for 12 February 2020

Top Stories

Why Company Carbon Cuts Should Include ‘Scope’ Check (Washington Post)

  • When a company pledges to cut its carbon emissions, how big a deal is it?
  • An oil company’s direct emissions – those from its trucks, drills and facilities – are only a sliver of the carbon released when the fuel it sells is burned, and an airport vowing to use wind power for its runway lights is making a much smaller commitment than if its promise covered the flights that take off there.
  • As more investors take environmental factors into account, what had been a technical debate is taking on increased importance, as a matter of “scope.” As the effort to boost green investment has grown, so have efforts to create metrics and standards for accounting and disclosure.

India’s steel sector is getting in the way of its climate action goals (Quartz)

  • India’s heavy industry, particularly steel manufacturing, is the sore spot of its climate action plans.
  • “Steel is one of the major consumers of coal after electricity, and if we don’t talk about it, this is going to be one of the biggest contributors to climate change and air pollution,” says Sunil Dahiya, an analyst at the independent Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).
  • In tune with India’s explosive development, the demand for steel in the country is predicted to grow five-fold in the next 30 years, adding 35% to the country’s total carbon dioxide emissions.

ICR launches ESG due diligence services for private equity and venture capital firms (Private Equity Wire)

  • ICR, a strategic communications and advisory firm, has launched ICR ESG Diagnostics, a comprehensive Environmental, Social & Governance analysis offering to help private equity and venture capital firms identify and assess corporate ESG issues during the investment due diligence process.
  • “As limited partners focus on responsible, long-term investments, they are increasingly focused on ESG issues,” says Don Duffy, President of ICR.
  • “With comprehensive ESG due diligence now a core part of the investment process, our Governance Solutions team developed a comprehensive Environmental, Social & Governance analysis to help financial sponsors identify risks and opportunities in potential investments.” ICR ESG Diagnostics analyses a target investment company’s awareness of, and commitment to, the issues material to their business utilising the most relevant ESG frameworks.

The City Insider Proving that Mayors Can Lead on Climate (NRDC)

  • “I needed it to be about something larger.” Flash forward to January 2019, when—after Mayor Emanuel announced he would not seek reelection for a third term—Wheat would harness that experience to become director of city strategy and engagement for the American Cities Climate Challenge.
  • The two-year, $70 million program is currently helping 25 U.S. cities meet their near-term carbon reduction goals.
  • “But it is something that manifests itself directly in that woman's life and really shows the cross benefits of this work.” And after Wheat organized the North American Climate Summit in late 2017, an event that brought together close to 50 prominent mayors from around the world, he truly realized the indispensable role that cities can, and must, play in tackling the climate crisis.

Amazon: Parts of rainforest 'emitting more CO2 than they absorb' (BBC News)

  • Results from a decade-long study of greenhouse gases over the Amazon basin appear to show around 20% of the total area has become a net source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • While trees are growing they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; dead trees release it again.
  • The results of the study, which have not yet been published, have implications for the effort to combat climate change.

Edmonton’s Highlevel Diner launches new menu with carbon footprint info (Global News)

  • An Edmonton non-profit that focuses on the environment has teamed up with Highlevel Diner to help the restaurant launch a new menu that includes carbon footprint levels.
  • Parker said the diner was approached by the team at the Northern Climate Stewardship & Sustainability Society to be involved in the pilot project.
  • The carbon footprint level shows how much greenhouse gas will be generated by an item, based on what happens during its production.

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