Edition for 18 March 2020

Top Stories

Nine years after Fukushima, Japan can’t quit its coal habit (Japan Times)

  • The tragic events of March 11, 2011, are the single biggest reason for the smudgy stain on a country that used to lead on climate change.
  • A return to coal has left Japan with long-term climate goals that are unambitious — and increasingly, the subject of international censure.
  • Electricity generation is now responsible for almost 40 percent of the country’s emissions, and the amount of carbon dioxide generated by that electricity, per kilowatt-hour, is high compared to many other developed countries.

Sustainable Development Goals: What if transport was the missing piece? (World Bank)

  • Today, we have to acknowledge that progress has been slow, and no country is on track to meet all 17 SDGs.
  • Transport does not have a dedicated SDG, yet it plays a critical role in enabling other SDGs.
  • Furthermore, we tested the relationship between the sustainable mobility index score and the SDG index Scores for 180 countries, while controlling for the income level of those countries (GDP per capita). The result shows that the sustainable mobility index score has a positive and significant influence on the SDG Index Score.

EU Cohesion Policy invests over €1.4 billion in green projects in 7 Member States (Modern Diplomacy)

  • The projects cover several key areas such as environment, health, transport and energy for a smarter, low-carbon Europe.
  • This way, more people will be encouraged to use public transport and congestion will be reduced with positive urban environmental consequences.
  • This will benefit long distance good and passengers’ transport with positive economic and environmental benefits.

RepRisk Launches New Version of its ESG Risk Platform (Business Wire Technology News)

  • World’s largest ESG database provides risk profiles for more than 140,000 public and private companies to financial institutions and corporates.
  • RepRisk, a pioneer and leader in ESG data science today announces the launch of its upgraded ESG Risk Platform – the world’s largest and most comprehensive due diligence database on ESG and business conduct risks.
  • “RepRisk has been on the cutting edge of ESG data science for over a decade, becoming the first firm to leverage big data techniques to better understand ESG risks in 2006” said Philipp Aeby, CEO of RepRisk.
  • Notably, we have integrated the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Framework in this version – a new feature that allows you to identify and assess the industry-specific material ESG risks in line with the SASB standards.

Public Transit Is the Way to a Green New Deal (Gizmodo)

  • A number of environmental and data-focused groups, including the TransitCenter and Data for Progress, released the report and survey results Tuesday.
  • The Green New Deal is a policy idea that is all about transitioning our economy off fossil fuels by 2030 to prevent a complete climate catastrophe.
  • “Expanding highways is a form of building new fossil fuel infrastructure—it locks in additional driving mileage and carbon pollution,” the report reads.

Supreme Court postpones federal carbon tax challenge in response to coronavirus (Global News)

  • The Supreme Court of Canada has postponed until at least June hearing a constitutional challenge of the federal government’s carbon tax over the spread of a novel coronavirus.
  • But, as part of a country-wide effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, Chief Justice Richard Wagner says the court is putting off several hearings, including on the much anticipated carbon tax case.
  • The top courts in Ontario and Saskatchewan rejected arguments by those provinces that the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional authority to impose a carbon tax in provinces that don’t impose a carbon price that meets federal standards.

San Diego declaring 'climate emergency' to spur awareness, local action (San Diego Tribune)

  • San Diego is joining many cities around the globe in declaring a climate emergency, a largely symbolic gesture that aims to raise awareness and spur conversation about the threat of climate change.
  • “Climate change in San Diego is no longer a what-if, it’s a what’s-now,” said Councilwoman Dr. Jenn Campbell, who is spearheading the city’s effort.
  • “Declaring a climate emergency will spark conversation about the danger of warming world and what that means for future generations.” The City Council approved the resolution last week in a 7-1 vote, with Councilman Chris Cate absent and Councilman Scott Sherman opposed.

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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