Edition for 12 March 2020

Top Stories

With Oil This Cheap, Why Bother Going Green? (Washington Post)

  • The EU must ensure that the two new problems don’t exacerbate an even bigger one: climate change.
  • It involves expanding and tightening the EU’s existing emissions trading system, which relies on price signals and market forces to decide where in the economy it’s cheapest and easiest to cut emissions fastest.
  • Fortunately, the EU now has an ideal opportunity to fix that: It should, with haste, step in to extend the emissions trading system to the petroleum industry.

'Thanks Larry!' Green accounting project says BlackRock plug gave it a boost (Reuters)

  • The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, which hopes to standardize how companies report their environmental and social impact, said it has received a flood of new interest since investment giant BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) touted it an open letter to CEOs this year.
  • SASB is one of several organizations – another is the Global Reporting Initiative - seeking to cut through a fog of uncertainty on how to measure companies’ progress on sustainability matters, at a time of mounting concern among investors over climate change and other issues.
  • In a study published last year, for example, MIT Researcher Roberto Rigobon found the scores that companies received from five top environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings firms on greenhouse gas emissions had an average correlation of 0.13 - remarkably low considering the 0.9 level of major credit ratings services.

Carbon Capture Solutions for Climate Change (Earth Institute)

  • Capturing carbon emissions, storing them and even using them in novel ways are getting a lot more attention now than they did a few years ago, as policymakers, business leaders, scientists and others look more urgently for ways of addressing climate change.
  • Julio Friedmann is a senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy and the director of the center’s Carbon Management Research Initiative.
  • In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless catches up with Julio Friedmann, a senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy and the director of the center’s Carbon Management Research Initiative.

Polar ice caps melting six times faster than in 1990s (Guardian)

  • The polar ice caps are melting six times faster than in the 1990s, according to the most complete analysis to date.
  • The ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica is tracking the worst-case climate warming scenario set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists say.
  • Without rapid cuts to carbon emissions the analysis indicates there could be a rise in sea levels that would leave 400 million people exposed to coastal flooding each year by the end of the century.

Why the private sector will play an increasingly bigger role in climate change and sustainability (ZDNet)

  • Recently, Australia came under international criticism for proposing to use a dubious accounting method to meet its 2030 carbon reduction targets.
  • Sweeping climate action on a national and international level faces hurdles such as divided governments, intense lobbying, and climate change denialism.
  • According to the World Economic Forum, 67 countries have ambitions to be carbon-neutral, but only about eight "have strong targets supported by an effective policy framework."

Shareholders finally want action on green (Gulf News)

  • This year’s round of UK conferences could be spicier than usual, as asset managers press the companies they invest in to reveal more about the risks posed to their businesses by the climate crisis.
  • But this year, the Investment Association will start pressing U.K companies to align with the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, an initiative set up by the Financial Stability Board and chaired by Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP.
  • The association is asking British companies to detail how they assess climate-related risks, what steps they’re taking to mitigate those impacts and what metrics they use to measure progress.

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