Edition for 22 February 2020

Top Stories

Standard Chartered commits US $75bn towards SDGs (CIO East Africa)

  • Bank also commits to net zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2030 Standard Chartered has announced new business targets for supporting its clients as they transition to a low carbon economy as part of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) aspirations.
  • By the end of 2024, the Bank commits to: Tracey McDermott, Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing, commented: “Over the past 18 months, we have made a series of commitments which are all geared towards supporting the Paris Agreement on climate change and the transition to a cleaner, greener, fairer economy.
  • Underpinning the aspirations, Standard Chartered also intends to reduce its emissions across its global properties by 2030.

Green deal sprinkles stardust on European power stocks (Reuters)

  • Utilities gain over 20% since EU unveiled green deal; ESG investing, low bond yields also boost sector.
  • An EU target to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and expectations of an associated spending boom have fired up shares in electricity firms, providing by far the biggest boost to stock market gains in Europe this year.
  • The zero carbon plan could unleash 7 trillion euros ($7.6 trillion) of cumulative investments, Goldman Sachs estimates, with utilities accounting for nearly half of that.

Mike Bloomberg under fire for using 'snazzy ads' to mask weak climate plan (Guardian)

  • Mike Bloomberg has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to environmental advocacy causes, but his campaign is coming under fire for a climate plan that lags far behind the other Democratic candidates for president.
  • In the latest televised Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday night, Bloomberg said he wouldn’t “go to war with China” over its highest-in-the-world carbon emissions.
  • We’ve just got to do something now.” The former New York City mayor has committed to rejoining the international climate agreement that Donald Trump plans to exit.

Once an afterthought, climate change emerges as key issue in Democratic primaries (The Seattle Times)

  • But in recent years, as she watched her beloved coastline pounded by hurricanes and saw residents displaced by crippling floods, as spring blooms arrive too early and Lowcountry fishermen face shrinking catches, Brown has been troubled by another source of injustice: climate change.
  • As Democrats vie for the chance to challenge President Donald Trump in the fall, candidates are talking about the warming planet and environmental justice more than ever on the campaign trail, bemoaning Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and bashing his relentless rollback of U.S. environmental regulations.
  • In Iowa, where wind energy is booming and residents have endured historic flooding, climate change ranked as the second-most important issue among voters in the recent caucuses.

Why South Africa withdrew coal power plant license from Saudi’s ACWA (Ventures Africa)

  • The news was announced by lawyers who have been actively kicking against the project for climate reasons.
  • According to a statement made by a Cape Town-based legal organization, Centre for Environmental Rights, without valid environmental authorization, ACWA cannot legally commence building the power plant.
  • The group further stated that ACWA “cannot reach commercial or financial close” without additional environmental authorization.

A 2040 vision for the US power industry: Evaluating two decarbonization scenarios (McKinsey)

  • California and New York, in particular, have set ambitious targets of 100 percent carbon-free power by 2045 and 2040, respectively.
  • If the MISO and PJM states do not act, it will be that much more difficult to constrain climate change to 1.5 or 2.0 degrees above historical averages.
  • We estimate that these policies, as well as initiatives in other states, could reduce PJM’s emissions by 49 percent by 2040 (relative to 2017) and economy-wide emissions in these same markets by 26 percent.

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