Edition for 30 May 2020

Top Stories

Economic Giants Are Restarting. Here’s What It Means for Climate Change. (NY Times)

  • In the United States, the White House is steadily slashing environmental protections and Republicans are using the Green New Deal as a political cudgel against their opponents.
  • Under the Paris pact, which was largely designed to work through peer pressure among nations at annual meetings, world leaders were expected to announce revised targets this year for reducing emissions.
  • “If the necessary climate action can be embedded in recovery efforts then this year will have been a year when we pivoted for good,” said Rachel Kyte, a former United Nations climate official and now the dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Markets not paying attention to climate crisis, IMF says (Guardian)

  • Equity markets have generally ignored the increasing number of natural disasters over the past 50 years and tougher rules are needed to make investors aware of the dangers posed by the climate crisis, the International Monetary Fund has said.
  • Companies should be forced to disclose their exposure to climate risk because a voluntary approach does not go far enough, the IMF said in a chapter from its latest global financial stability report (GFSR).
  • The Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures, an initiative led by Mark Carney, the former Bank of England governor, outlines how companies should calculate and disclose their exposure to climate risk to investors.

Environmental, Social, and Governance is a Priority at American Campus Communities (Business Wire Consumer News)

  • American Campus Communities, the nation’s largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing communities in the United States, published a report outlining its continued commitment to sustainability.
  • This update comes after the company formalized an internal multi-departmental Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) task force in 2019 to manage and implement structure around the company’s environmental, sustainability and social initiatives.
  • “To ensure our company endures and is responsive in any situation, in 2019 we conducted a materiality assessment to identify our most relevant ESG issues and formalized our ESG programs.” ACC made industry-leading strides with its commitment to ESG, including developments of Plaza Verde at the University of California, Irvine, and LightView at Northeastern University, both targeting Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications.

Empire State, big New York City buildings aim to cut carbon footprints (EHN)

  • Put together, the improvements have slashed carbon emissions from operations at the Empire State Building about 40 percent in the past 10 years; owners aim to cut an additional 40 percent in the decade to come.
  • An ambitious regulation signed into law last year imposes a strict cap on emissions from the city’s big buildings.
  • But New York officials and the Empire State Building’s owners repeat the same mantra: “If we can prove it works here, then it can work anywhere,” in the words of Dana Robbins Schneider, Empire State’s senior vice president and director of energy and sustainability.

"We are in the midst of two global crises" says Nike's sustainability lead (Dezeen)

  • The coronavirus pandemic will bring an "intense focus" on the world's environmental crisis, says Nike's sustainable design lead Noah Murphy-Reinhertz.
  • The impact of the current pandemic gives an insight into what may happen if we do not address the current climate crisis, according to Nike's Murphy-Reinhertz.
  • Speaking ahead of the launch of Nike's Space Hippie trainers, which have the lowest carbon impact of any shoe made by the sportswear brand, Murphy-Reinhertz said that companies need to act now to prevent this future becoming a reality.

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