Edition for 08 March 2020

Top Stories

Taking an Uber or Lyft pollutes more than driving, California finds. Next stop: Regulations (LA Times)

  • Behind the tap-of-your-phone convenience of hailing an Uber or Lyft lies an inconvenient truth: Such rides generate more carbon emissions than simply driving yourself.
  • “That means that for a one-mile trip, on average there’s about another 0.7 miles of driving around to deliver that trip,” said Don Anair, clean vehicles program research director for the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group that recently released its own report backing up some of the state’s findings.
  • The California Air Resources Board is now developing the world’s first regulations to reduce the climate impacts of ride hailing.

Analysts signal a watershed year for ESG (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Environmental, Social and Governance issues are rocketing up corporate agenda globally.
  • More than 90 per cent of Fidelity analysts report that companies they cover are focussing more on ESG, following a significant increase in public and investor climate-change awareness.
  • Analysts say assets of companies that still rely on traditional generation (especially coal) will attract a valuation discount versus renewables.Credit:Jonathan Carroll The Fidelity Analyst Survey 2020 showed change throughout most sectors and all regions, including areas where ESG interest had previously appeared to stall or be in decline.

UBS Bank won’t fund new offshore Arctic oil, gas projects (660 News)

  • A multinational investment bank has ended support for offshore drilling in the Arctic amid efforts to tackle climate change, a move that could affect future funding for oil and gas projects in Alaska, a newspaper said.
  • More company investors have pulled support since the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock urged companies in January to emphasize steps they are taking to combat climate change, the newspaper said.
  • An analysis of banks conducted by environmental group Rainforest Action Network revealed that UBS Bank invested about $300 million in Arctic oil and gas projects between 2016 and 2018.

Amazon nixed ‘green’ shipping proposal to avoid alienating shoppers (The Seattle Times)

  • Someone on the team proposed showing customers a “Green” shopping delivery option, a slightly slower delivery speed designed to give Amazon more time to cluster orders together and send out densely packed vehicles, saving on fuel, driver salaries and carbon emissions.
  • The idea was one of at least two instances in recent years when Amazon teams debated telling customers more about the environmental impact of their shipping choices, according to two people familiar with the episodes.
  • “If you don’t have top-down goals around sustainability, there are always going to be tradeoffs.” Amazon in the last year has made some big climate commitments, following calls from shareholders, activists and employees to do more to offset the company’s contribution to the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for warming the planet.

How one woman is taking on Vietnam's 'big coal' (Bangkok Post)

  • Today she is one of the few voices in Vietnam taking on the industry -- a rare female climate crusader pushing for renewables in a country where dirty energy is on the rise.
  • At 43, she has already founded Green ID, Vietnam's best-known environmental NGO, convinced the government to reduce some of its coal targets, helped spark a national conversation about rising air and water pollution, and won international plaudits for her work.
  • Even as 2020 is being hailed the year of climate action worldwide, she must walk a tightrope -- driving change without falling foul of authorities or well-connected big energy firms in the one-party state.

$350 million push for low-emissions economy launched (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • A $350 million initiative to lead the energy grid away from fossil fuel, promote renewable energy and cut carbon emissions, including a new electric vehicle strategy, is being launched by the Morrison government.
  • “This investment is a perfect example of how the Morrison government is taking climate action now, without dipping into the pockets of hard-working Australians,” she said.
  • “Supporting cutting-edge energy technology and research is a sure-fire path to lower emissions, cheaper power and a reliable grid.” Last month, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor foreshadowed the government’s promised “technology road map” for emissions reduction required under the Paris climate agreement.

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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