Edition for 28 May 2020

Top Stories

Morgan Stanley Sustainable Signals: Asset Owners See Sustainability as Core to Future of Investing (Business Wire Consumer News)

  • A majority of asset owners globally actively integrate ESG factors into their investment process, according to a new survey published today by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
  • The survey gathered insights about trends, motivations, challenges and implementation approaches in sustainable investing.
  • This work builds on the Institute’s extensive body of research tracking sustainable investing trends over the last six years through its Sustainable Signals survey series focused on individual investors, asset owners and asset managers.

Investment in global energy to drop by $400bn (Guardian)

  • Investment in global energy will fall by $400bn (£324bn) this year, the biggest slump in the industry’s history, as the Covid-19 pandemic fuels a collapse in energy demand.
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) said the unprecedented investment slump follows the most severe plunge in energy demand since the second world war.
  • In a report, the IEA said the decline in investment in areas such as clean energy technology could undermine the transition to renewable, sustainable sources of energy.

The European Investment Bank must go further to truly become a ‘climate bank’ (Climate Home News)

  • In its roadmap for 2021-25, the EIB should eliminate support for high-carbon activities in all sectors and make its intermediaries follow the same standards Warnings of an economic downturn in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic have prompted some to argue it is time to abandon the European Green Deal.
  • Yet the crisis has made it even clearer that the EU needs to marshall its resources and accelerate investments in a post-carbon society if it is to weather the cononavirus crisis, and be able to address the far graver ecological breakdown and the climate crisis.
  • It has gradually been raising the bar on its commitment to climate action over the past few years and is nowadays in the midst of public consultations on its Climate Bank Roadmap 2021-2025.

NCE’S SCOR JOINS UN-CONVENED NET-ZERO ASSET OWNER ALLIANCE (UNEPFI)

  • Paris-based Tier 1 reinsurer SCOR announced today it had joined the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, bringing membership to 24 with combined assets under management (AUM) of over $4.6 trillion.
  • Launched in September 2019 during the UN Climate Action Summit, the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA) is an international initiative bringing together investors that are committed to transitioning their investment portfolios to carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • SCOR, the fourth largest reinsurer in the world, said in a statement that it has entered a new phase in its implementation of climate and energy transition measures.

EU €750 billion Covid recovery fund comes with green conditions (Climate Home News)

  • The European Union’s proposed €750 billion fund to help the bloc recover from the coronavirus crisis will have green strings attached, with 25% of all funding set aside for climate action, the European Commission has said.
  • Spending will also be guided by a sustainable finance taxonomy, which aims to channel private investments into technologies that contribute to at least one of six pre-defined environmental objectives, such as climate change mitigation.
  • The announcement was welcomed by pension funds and asset managers at the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), who said a green recovery is “the only option” to avoid investments that would otherwise risk “fuelling the climate crisis for decades to come”.

Historic New Commitment to Slash Southeast Carbon Pollution (NRDC)

  • For too long, the Southeast has lagged behind the rest of the nation on commitments to cut carbon pollution and build the clean energy economy.
  • Today, Fanning made a shareholder commitment that the Southern Company: one of the nation’s largest utilities, which for decades was one of America’s largest emitters of carbon pollution and a frequent foe of environmental protections, will by 2050 reduce the net carbon emissions from its electric and natural gas operations to. . . ZERO.
  • Southern Company serves 9 million customers in the Southeast and though it is not the first utility to make such a net-zero-emissions commitment, it had already begun a shift toward cleaner energy sources while recording significant reductions in carbon pollution over the past decade.

NRDC and Partners Take Trump Administration to Court for Reversing Clean Car Standards (NRDC)

  • Alongside a coalition of environmental groups, NRDC sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today for illegally gutting clean car standards—again—which are considered by many experts to be the largest federal action ever taken to fight climate change.
  • The latest lawsuits aim to reinstate rules that save consumers billions of dollars at the pump and spare the climate millions of tons of carbon pollution.
  • Mandated under the Clean Air Act, the previous standards helped prevent carbon pollution, saved consumers $90 billion in fuel costs, and spurred economic growth through investments in clean and efficient vehicle technology.

Energy Impact Partners Enters Infrastructure Market With 100 MW Portfolio of Community Solar Projects (Business Wire Energy News)

  • Energy Impact Partners (EIP), one of the world's leading investment firms focused on the sustainable energy transition, and NextPower III, an international fund managed by NextEnergy Capital Group (NEC), today announced the closing of an agreement for the acquistion of an 102 megawatt (MW) portfolio of community solar projects in upstate New York. 
  • In addition, the projects will provide access to clean power for approximately 15,000 New York households and help the state reach its mandate of 100 percent net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as laid out in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal Program.
  • “We are proud to be working with Energy Impact Partners on this substantial portfolio of community solar projects here in our home state of New York,” said Mark Richardson, President and CEO of U.S. Light Energy.

Building Back Better with an Energy Innovation Fund (Corporate Knights)

  • In the low carbon economic transformation, Canada is well equipped to lead the way and supply growing global markets with zero-carbon products and technologies.
  • There now remains little doubt that disruptive large-scale growth opportunities are no longer centred on combustion of fossil fuels, but rather on what the Energy Futures Lab calls future-fit hydrocarbons, which include carbon fibres, activated carbon, hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels.
  • While still dwarfed by global crude markets, we know that there are potential multibillion-dollar markets close to the conventional energy industry that don’t involve combustion: bitumen-based carbon fibres and activated carbon, hydrogen, renewable jet-fuels and geothermal energy.

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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