Edition for 30 April 2020

Top Stories

Goldman Sachs puts premium on sustainable investing with new global markets council (Reuters)

  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Wednesday said it had created a council of traders, sales staff and others to share expertise on sustainable finance and investing, as clients search for ways to achieve climate-change investment commitments despite the twin shocks of the coronavirus and the sliding price of oil.
  • The group is also tasked with “building new products and solutions for clients.” Sustainable investing skeptics have questioned for sometime how well portfolios focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues would perform in a down market.
  • Investing research firm Morningstar Inc said in early April that sustainable equity funds and ESG-tilted index funds did suffer large losses during the first quarter because of the coronavirus outbreak, but that returns at most of these funds held up better than returns from conventional funds.

It’s Time for a Carbon Tax—Now (Climate Law Blog)

  • The time for a carbon tax is now.
  • State-level or regional carbon taxes could be an important part of the answer.
  • By one calculation, a state tax of, say, $35 per ton of carbon emissions, could raise approximately $4.4 billion per year for New York—not the entire answer, but potentially a big part of the solution.

Supreme Court moves provincial appeals of carbon tax to September (News 1130 - Vancouver)

  • Canada’s national fight over the carbon tax won’t get sorted out at the Supreme Court of Canada until the fall.
  • The Supreme Court says appeals from both Saskatchewan and Ontario over cases that upheld Ottawa’s right to impose a carbon price on provinces will be heard in September.
  • The court has agreed to hear the two carbon tax cases and two unrelated matters in September.

Northern Trust Launches Enhanced ESG Analytics (Business Wire Technology News)

  • Northern Trust has enhanced its analytical capabilities to provide pension funds and other global institutional investors with heightened insights and transparency over their environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk exposures.
  • The ESG Analytics Summary, prepared by Northern Trust’s Investment Risk and Analytical Services group, provides investors with periodic snapshot analysis across their equity and corporate bond portfolios – setting out investment ‘scores’ against a range of ESG factors, United Nation’s (UN) Global Compact principles and business activity flags.
  • This detailed analysis enables investors to track changes in a fund’s ESG profile over time, compare results on an absolute and relative basis, and compare asset managers’ scores against each other.

Building Back Better with a green power wave (Corporate Knights)

  • In fact, because we generate more power than we consume, the carbon-free portion of our generation is enough to cover more than 90% of our domestic electricity needs.
  • To provide carbon-free electricity to all Canadians, it will be necessary to build new transmission links between the “hydro have” and the “hydro have-not” provinces.

Citi Releases First Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report (Business Wire Health News)

  • Citi today released its 2019 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report.
  • The ESG report highlights the ways in which Citi is enabling progress and sustainable growth in communities around the globe.
  • While this report and related summary cover the period before the COVID-19 pandemic, its broad themes – fighting climate change, addressing the affordable housing crisis and reducing economic inequality – continue to be key priorities for Citi.

COVID-19: As a ‘green stimulus’ Pakistan sets virus-idled to work planting trees (Gulf News)

  • But the government has now given him a better option: Join tens of thousands of other out-of-work labourers in planting billions of trees across the country to deal with climate change threats.
  • Such “green stimulus” efforts are an example of how funds that aim to help families and keep the economy running during pandemic shutdowns could also help nations prepare for the next big threat: climate change.
  • The ambitious five-year tree-planting programme, which Prime Minister Imran Khan launched in 2018, aims to counter the rising temperatures, flooding, droughts and other extreme weather in the country that scientists link to climate change.

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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