Edition for 09 March 2020

Top Stories

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.

KENFO is the first sovereign wealth fund to join UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (UNEPFI)

  • By joining the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, KENFO has committed to transitioning its investment portfolio to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C target above pre-industrial temperatures, in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Global climate change probably is the most significant event of our time, affecting both the real economy and the financial markets.
  • The Alliance is a group of the world’s largest pension funds, insurers and now sovereign wealth funds committing to fully decarbonize their portfolios to avoid a global temperature increase above 1.5°C.

Carbon emissions fall as electricity producers move away from coal (Guardian)

  • Carbon emissions from the global electricity system fell by 2% last year, the biggest drop in almost 30 years, as countries began to turn their backs on coal-fired power plants.
  • A new report on the world’s electricity generation revealed the steepest cut in carbon emissions since 1990 as the US and the EU turned to cleaner energy sources.
  • The report from climate thinktank Ember, formerly Sandbag, warned that the dent in the world’s coal-fired electricity generation relied on many one-off factors, including milder winters across many countries.

U.N. cancels some meetings ahead of climate summit due to coronavirus (Reuters)

  • The United Nations has canceled some meetings in Bonn, Germany, and elsewhere planned in the run-up to a crucial U.N. climate summit to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November due to the coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Friday.
  • The Glasgow summit in November is expected to be the most important round of climate negotiations since the 2015 Paris agreement was reached.

Virginia passes bill to achieve 100% carbon-free power by 2045 (Reuters)

  • The Virginia Legislature passed a bill on Friday that puts the state on a path to 100% clean energy by 2045 as part of the commonwealth’s effort to reduce its impact on climate change.
  • The legislation would also allow fossil plants to operate if they install carbon capture and storage technologies.
  • He made an executive order in September with a goal of producing all the state’s electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050.

Exxon Derides Oil Firms' Efforts to Not Burn Down the Planet as a 'Beauty Match' (Gizmodo)

  • In the pantheon of companies that have destroyed the climate, ExxonMobil has long sat on the throne.
  • Climate change is taking a toll on the ocean, and people are racing to save the seas.
  • Exxon’s business practices have always been abhorrent from climate to human rights.

‘They’ve basically all gone away, haven’t they?’: After Buffett’s LNG exit, industry watchers wonder who’s left to invest in Canada (Financial Post)

  • A day after legendary investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway abandoned an investment in GNL Quebec’s $9-billion Energie Saguenay liquefied natural gas project, frustrated investors and analysts are wondering if there’s anyone left to invest in LNG in Canada — or anything else, for that matter.
  • In addition to Berkshire Hathaway, Gingrich said there’s been a long list of foreign strategic investors pull out of planned investments in proposed LNG projects in Canada in recent months and years, including Chevron Corp., Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Exxon Mobil Corp., CNOOC Ltd. and Petronas Bhd., which shelved its Pacific NorthWest LNG project to buy a smaller stake in a project led by Royal Dutch Shell plc.
  • The railway blockades and concerns about building major infrastructure projects in Canada were understood to be the reason Buffett’s Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway pulled out of the Energie Saguenay project, in which it had planned to invest $4 billion.

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