Edition for 28 February 2020

Top Stories

World may miss carbon targets unless big firms improve – Mark Carney (Guardian)

  • Bank of England governor warns City about need for businesses to fully disclose climate impact.
  • Businesses must improve how they disclose their impact on the environment or risk failing to meet climate targets, the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, warned the City on Thursday.
  • Without disclosure rules that allow investors to compare how businesses are meeting the climate challenge, the world risks missing targets to be carbon neutral by 2050, Carney said.
  • Speaking at a climate conference at the Guildhall in London, Carney said he wanted to pull together a set of rules ahead of November’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow to spur a switch of investment funds away from polluting industries in time to prevent a global temperature rise of about 1.5C.

Prudential’s $1 billion portfolio of impact investments offers a blueprint for institutional investors (ImpactAlpha)

  • Today, back in Washington D.C., the Newark-based insurance company will announce it has surpassed its $1 billion goal at an event dubbed “Toward a New Capitalism” at the Aspen Institute.
  • Even more significantly, Prudential committed not foundation funds, but corporate balance-sheet assets, the same capital used to pay off insurance claims and other liabilities.
  • In 2016, Prudential funded much of Leapfrog Investments’ $350 million Strategic African Investment Fund.

Smelters 'stick out' in Rio Tinto's $1.5b push to cut carbon emissions (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Rio Tinto will need to source cleaner energy for its highly carbon-intensive Australian aluminium smelters in order to achieve its tougher new emissions-reduction targets, unless it opts to divest plants instead.
  • This week the Anglo-Australian miner pledged to invest $1.5 billion over five years in initiatives to neutralise its greenhouse gas emissions by becoming a net zero emitter by 2050 and to reduce its direct emissions by 15 per cent within the next decade.
  • In 2018, the business unit accounted for 10.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the largest amount of emissions in Rio's entire global operations.

Better Late Than Never? Big Companies Scramble To Make Lofty Climate Promises (NPR)

  • At some companies, employees are putting increasing pressure on their bosses to act on climate change.
  • A protester holds a sign reading "The Oceans Are Rising But So Are We" at an Amazon employee walkout in Seattle, as part of the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20, 2019.

The Energy 202: Martin Luther King III urges South Carolina voters to consider environmental inequality (Washington Post)

  • Martin Luther King III says South Carolina voters concerned about inequality in their communities should consider candidates' climate positions as they head to the polls this weekend.
  • King told The Energy 202 he wanted to get residents engaged “specifically around environmental justice and climate change, issues that disproportionately affect poor communities, and especially in South Carolina, African American communities.”  He's hoping more people will be inspired to vote in this Saturday's contest in the state, where nearly two-thirds of expected Democratic voters are black.

Tom Steyer bets his campaign on climate change in South Carolina (Washington Post)

  • Her street and many others in this majority-black coastal city of about 9,000 are flooding more frequently after heavy downpours or high tides — the sort of phenomenon expected to become common in South Carolina and throughout the South because of climate change.
  • “The weather’s nice,” she said, “but I saw a lot of storms.”
  • Climate change was on Collington’s mind on a damp Wednesday afternoon when she went to hear billionaire former hedge-fund manager and Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer speak at her congregation at Georgetown’s Bethel AME Church.
  • “If you talk about climate, [it] has a dramatically important racial subtext,” Steyer told a crowd of several dozen at the historically black church.

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