Edition for 07 April 2020

Top Stories

'Sustainable' funds a safer harbour in coronavirus market meltdown (Reuters)

  • “The focus... on the long-term sustainability of business models and often a focus on firms that are better able to adapt to changes in society is one of the key reasons in my view,” Jeroen Bos, head of specialised equities and responsible investing at Dutch money manager NN Investment Partners.
  • “These companies are often higher quality as well in combination with often having lower leverage, all factors that help in the current environment.” Geir Lode, head of Global Equities, International at Federated Hermes, said the changing political and regulatory climate would also likely lead to further opportunities for companies which score well on ESG metrics.
  • “Companies which play an active role in adapting to and mitigating some of the greatest challenges that we see today in society are likely to be rewarded through future policy and legislation, promoting greater sustainable development.

Public's views sought on move to shut carbon emissions loophole (Independent.ie)

  • Irish farmers have been among the most vocal in highlighting the problem of carbon leakage.
  • The tax, or 'carbon border adjustment mechanism', would close a loophole that could see cheap imports from countries with lax climate policies replace European goods made more expensive by stricter emissions controls.

Deadly pollutant surged by 3000 per cent at coal-fired power plant (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Environmental Justice Australia reported the increase in fine particle emissions after analysing data gathered and published by energy companies for the National Pollutant Inventory.
  • Fine particle emissions from the Vales Point Power Station have increased by 3000 per cent over the past six years.
  • According to a State of Global Air study released in 2018, exposure to PM2.5 emissions contributed to 4.1 million deaths around the world from heart disease and stroke, lung cancer, chronic lung disease, and respiratory infections in 2016.

Africa: What Happened to Africa's Ambitious Green Belt Project? (AllAfrica News)

  • The change in climate and weather patterns is precipitating a rapid spread of the Sahara Desert, encroaching into lands and engulfing huge lakes, according to climate scientists.
  • "The Great Green Wall is an inspiring and ambitious attempt to find an urgent solution to two of the major challenges of the 21st century, namely desertification and the loss of fertile soil," said Janani Vivekananda, climate consultant at adelphi, a Berlin-based think tank on climate, environment and development.
  • The Great Green Wall is more than just an environmental project that is intended to restore 100 million hectares of fertile lands in the Sahel, and in the process cut 250 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

How EV production can help refuel Canada’s post-pandemic economy (Corporate Knights)

  • But Canada only produces one plug-in vehicle model, which accounts for less than half a per cent of domestic light-duty vehicle production As the global economy goes low-carbon, demand for electric buses, cars, and trucks will only accelerate.
  • Considering that GHG emissions from freight are projected to eclipse passenger vehicle emissions by 2030, investing in the switch to electrification for heavy-duty vehicles makes environmental sense, too.
  • With the right investments in manufacturing and retraining for autoworkers, coupled with important policy signals, Canada can become an auto manufacturing heavy hitter again, all while revving the low-carbon economy.

EPA’s “Enforcement Moratorium” During The Coronavirus Outbreak Is Coming Under Fire (Buzzfeed)

  • Lawmakers are pushing back against a sweeping rollback of pollution regulations recently announced by the Environmental Protection Agency in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a letter from Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey shared with BuzzFeed News.
  • “It’s absurd that Donald Trump and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler are using this public health and economic crisis as a cover to roll back environmental laws.
  • Moreover, companies are being told to “make every effort to comply with their environmental compliance obligations.” EPA has said it will review all identified violations on a case-by-case basis.

Vornado Releases 2019 Environmental, Social, & Governance Report (GlobeNewswire)

  • VORNADO REALTY TRUST announced today that it released its 2019 Environmental, Social, & Governance (“ESG”) report.
  • This report is the eleventh annual report highlighting Vornado’s industry-leading accomplishments in sustainability, and provides key metrics on the Company’s ESG priorities.
  • Vornado is a signatory of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, and has reported ESG data in accordance with the metrics codified by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

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