Edition for 10 June 2020

Top Stories

Printing ESG frameworks after the bonds is too risky (GlobalCapital)

  • Now, some market participants are floating the idea that companies should be able to print COVID-19-related ESG debt and then publish framework later. 
  • But it is not clear why it is essential to cut this red tape out of the process other than for sustainability bankers to be able to book fee-paying mandates more quickly. 
  • Ultimately, the final say will come down to ESG investors.

Why climate investors may be missing out on a huge investment opportunity to reduce carbon (Forbes)

  • In fact, the mismanagement of plastic waste is a serious contributor to climate change and a significant — but often overlooked — investment opportunity for climate investors.
  • It also turned out that packaging and plastics was a top five contributor to Walmart’s footprint, and that if we increased the amount of recycled content in packaging, it would significantly improve the footprint of every product on the shelf.
  • When it comes to developing a circular economy for ocean plastic, capital at every stage is necessary for the type of expansion that can convert waste into value.

ESG roundup: EU urged to use bank rules to end 'doom loop' (IPE.com)

  • Policy-makers should take immediate action to harness banking prudential regulation to tackle the climate finance “doom-loop”, as existing measures focussed on transparency, risk modelling and stress tests would not be effective quickly enough, NGO Finance Watch has argued.
  • In a new report, the group said the most suitable tool for the EU to take preventative action were prudential measures aimed at banks with assets at risk of being stranded and that contribute to climate-related macro-prudential risk.
  • Finance Watch called for policy-makers to calibrate the risk weight for existing bank exposures to fossil fuel reserves at 150%, consistent with a provision in the CRR for applying 150% risk weights to exposures associated with risks that are particularly high or difficult to assess.

‘Final blow’ to aviation climate plan as EU agrees to weaken rules (Climate Home News)

  • On Tuesday, EU member states backed the baseline change, which could see airlines pay nothing for their climate impact until 2024.
  • “This could be the final blow for Corsia,” Gilles Dufrasne, senior policy officer at Carbon Market Watch told Climate Home News. “It was always a ridiculously weak system, but now it is becoming essentially meaningless. Airlines are just let off the hook one more time.”
  • But the move did not receive blanket support inside the EU. 

Russian mining firm accused of using global heating to avoid blame for oil spill (Guardian)

  • Environmental groups have accused a Russian mining firm of emphasising the role of global climate change in last week’s historic oil spill in part to avoid punishment for its ageing infrastructure and potential negligence in the accident. 
  • The accident is one of the largest in Russian history and had been compared by Greenpeace to the Exxon Valdez spill.
  • The accident, and a government investigation into its causes, is likely to have serious repercussions for Russian industry in the Arctic.

Ocean Spray cranberries have become America's '100 percent sustainable' crop (Fresh Plaza)

  • Ocean Spray recently took advantage of the crop's natural sustainability to become the first major food manufacturer in the United States to have its entire crop be certified "100 per cent sustainable."
  • Specifically, the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform) used its Farm Sustainability Assessment to verify that each organization within Ocean Spray's 700-farm co-op is operating with regenerative agriculture in mind.
  • According to Ferzli, the adjustments the farmers had to make were few and mostly centered on upgrading technologies that made sense for the specific bogs.

Investors step up pressure on companies that don’t disclose environmental risks (Forbes)

  • Some 1,051 companies from 49 countries, including ExxonMobil, Facebook and Domino’s Pizza, have been asked to disclose environmental data under the Non-Disclosure Campaign organised by CDP, the non-profit global environmental disclosure platform.
  • Almost a fifth of the companies already disclose on one of CDP’s key themes of climate change, forests or water security but they have been asked to disclose data on another issue because it is also important to their business.
  • One reason for the increase in investors involved in the campaign could be that companies that were targeted by their shareholders as part of last year’s campaign were more than twice as likely to provide new disclosure than those that were not asked to.

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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