Edition for 27 April 2020

Top Stories

U.K. and EU Regulators Move Ahead on ESG Disclosures and Benchmarks (Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance)

  • Amid the ongoing push for standardized, comparable and decision-useful ESG disclosures, regulators in the United Kingdom and the European Union have proposed additional disclosures and benchmarks to promote sustainable economic activity.
  • The EU Taxonomy on Sustainable Finance provides performance thresholds for identifying environmentally sustainable economic activities.
  • Under the FCA proposal, all commercial companies with a U.K. premium listing (i.e., companies subject to the U.K.’s highest regulation and corporate governance standards) would be required to include a statement in their annual financial report setting out (1) whether they have made disclosures consistent with the TCFD’s recommendations, (2) instances where they have not followed the TCFD’s recommendations, and why, (3) instances where they have included disclosures in a document other than their annual financial report, and why, and (4) where in their annual report (or other relevant documents) the various disclosures can be found.

The co-evolution of technological promises, modelling, policies and climate change targets (Nature Climate Change)

  • The nature and framing of climate targets in international politics has changed substantially since their early expressions in the 1980s.
  • Here, we describe their evolution in five phases—from ‘climate stabilization’ to specific ‘temperature outcomes’—co-evolving with wider climate politics and policy, modelling methods and scenarios, and technological promises (from nuclear power to carbon removal).

‘Bad neighbor:’ will the cruise industry ever be the same? (Taipei Times)

  • Regulations to lower bunker fuel emissions were first put in place in Sydney Harbor in 2015.
  • “If you’re going gangbusters you can surely afford some basic environmental protection so you don’t burn bunker fuel near people’s homes.”
  • Byrne said communities where terminals were proposed should “heed the lessons from Balmain.” They included the need for environmental protections and to ensure communities impacted by development then had some stake in the economic benefits.

Why Britain’s 2.5 billion paper coffee cups are an eco disaster (Guardian)

  • With only one in 400 cups recycled, and even those barely ‘green’, the hunt is on for an alternative.
  • This suggests that coffee cups that end up in the UK’s landfill sites produce an annual carbon footprint equivalent to over 152,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, similar to what 33,300 cars produce in a year.

The evolution of ideas in global climate policy (Nature Climate Change)

  • From carbon pricing to green industrial policy, economic ideas have shaped climate policy.
  • In the 1990s, the neoclassical notion of weak complementarity between environmental protection and growth dominated debates on sustainable development.

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