Edition for 08 May 2020

Top Stories

Twitter, Walmart, Equifax and others dropped by S&P from its ESG index, while Costco is newly included (Market Watch)

  • S&P Global Inc. said Wednesday that it kicked out big-name companies and added others to its sustainable version of its bellwether S&P 500 index, a move that will impact a growing swath of investments tied to the benchmark.
  • Following this year’s rebalance of the S&P 500 ESG Index, the New York–based ratings agency firm now excludes Equifax Inc. and ViacomCBS Inc. for landing in the bottom quarter of environmental, social and governance scores among S&P 500 members.
  • ESG rating systems are evolving and current methodologies are inconsistent across rating organizations.” “We stand by our ESG work which has been recognized by others,” the spokesperson added.

New ‘Decarbon8-US’ impact fund lets anyone make a philanthropic gift to climate-saving entrepreneurs (Geekwire)

  • You’re already recycling and composting, driving an all-electric Model 3 and donating to an environmental nonprofit like The Nature Conservancy or Climate Solutions.
  • Seattle-based E8, a network of angel investors that backs clean-tech companies, is announcing the launch of Decarbon8-US, a fund that will invest in startups developing innovative solutions for addressing climate change.
  • The first round is open to startups working on a variety of decarbonization efforts, which the fund defines as reducing planet warming emissions as well removing greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere through natural means such as planting and protecting trees or tech solutions including direct air capture of pollutants.

Rio Tinto investors turn up heat for tougher climate change targets (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • One in three Rio Tinto investors has backed demands for the Anglo-Australian miner to set targets to slash the emissions of its customers across the world, in the latest sign of the escalating climate push facing Australia's top resources companies.
  • More than 36 per cent of Rio Tinto investors on Thursday called for deeper cuts to the miner's own emissions and for the introduction of new targets covering the vastly greater carbon footprint caused by customers from using its products, such as the heavy-polluting steel-making industry in Asia.
  • "Rio's Scope 3 emissions are massive – comparable to the carbon footprint of Australia," said Julien Vincent of Market Forces, the advocacy group that prepared the resolution at Rio's investor meeting.

China virtually alone in backing Africa’s dirty coal projects (Japan Times)

  • President Xi Jinping pledged last year that the program must be green and sustainable.
  • “Despite promises to shift support to green and low-carbon energy, Chinese banks have continued to bankroll coal power projects,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst for the Centre for Energy Research and Clean Air, an independent research body.
  • By 2018, China had exceeded its target for reducing CO2 emissions, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the U.N. climate action summit in New York in September.

Global trade in soy has major implications for climate (Science Daily)

  • In some municipalities, CO2 emissions resulting from the export of soybean and derivatives are more than 200 times higher than in others.
  • The analysis is published in the journal Global Environmental Change.
  • Global soy trade is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions for multiple reasons.

St. Louis Becomes Third U.S. City to Adopt Bold Standards to Slash Energy Waste from Buildings (NRDC)

  • Demonstrating the power of locally led climate action, Mayor Lyda Krewson signed into law ambitious energy efficiency standards for St. Louis’s buildings, which account for about 80 percent of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The bill was part of St. Louis’s climate action efforts under Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge, in which organizations like NRDC support cities in tackling climate projects in the transportation and building sectors.
  • The latest win will move St. Louis that much closer to its goal of a 100 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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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