Edition for 20 June 2020

Top Stories

Climate Crisis: Keystone XL Supreme, Cap and Trade Takes Hit and California Geoengineering (The Real News Network)

  • With that in mind, this space will continue to report on and examine news from an environmental and climate justice lens.
  • Environmental groups have long argued that using NWP 12 in this way, dating to its first use in 2012 for the southern leg of Keystone XL—which runs from Cushing, Oklahoma to both Port Arthur, Texas and the Houston Ship Channel—is a form of illicit “segmentation” and a violation of basic tenets of the National Environmental Policy Act, the bedrock environmental law.
  • “If faced with such a delay, TC Energy would undertake accelerated construction in 2021 to try to complete two-year’s worth of pipeline construction in 2021, which would increase costs by approximately $200 million.” Tar sands oil is among the most carbon-intensive crude on the planet.

Integrating ESG into capital allocation and investment strategy is ‘simply good investing’ (Finextra)

  • With wildfires, the Covid-19 pandemic, the strengthening Black Lives Matter movement and the Yemen crisis dominating headlines in 2020, the sustainable investing space has seen demand despite the IMF’s projection that global growth will fall by 3% this year, resulting in the worst recession since the Great Depression and consequences far worse than the global financial crisis.
  • Finextra Research spoke to Claudia Coppenolle, co-founder and CEO of the IMP+ACT Alliance, a Deutsche Bank spin off, public good technology initiative and developer of the IMP+ACT Classification System (ICS), about how these global events will effect investment strategies, not only in the sustainable investing space, but asset management in a holistic manner.
  • Launching in June 2020, the ICS will enable asset managers to describe how they report and categorise the social and environmental impacts of their investment portfolios.

The EU stands ready to engage with Russia on addressing climate-related challenges (European Union External Action)

  • On 18 June, EU officials, representatives of Russian and European business communities and civil society met virtually to discuss EU and Russian climate strategies, the EU Green Deal and post-pandemic Recovery Plan and the relevance of these ambitious EU strategies for Russia.
  • The webinar “Europe’s Green Deal and Recovery Plan and their relevance for Russia” was organised by the Delegation of the European Union to the Russian Federation to introduce a discussion on the EU’s climate-neutrality objective by 2050 into the Russian context.
  • The webinar panellists included Clara de la Torre, European Commission Deputy Director General for Climate Action, Evgenii Nikitin, RUSAL’s CEO, Johan Vanderplaetse, President Schneider Electric – Russia/CIS and Chairman for AEB Russia, and Alexey Kokorin, Head for Climate and Energy Programme at WWF Russia.

In-depth: BP data reveals clean electricity matched coal for the first time in 2019 (Carbon Brief)

  • Renewables were the largest source of new energy in 2019, but there were still record highs for oil, gas and CO2 emissions, according to new global data from oil giant BP.
  • The 69th edition of the company’s influential annual statistical review of world energy is published amid a global pandemic that risks derailing global climate efforts, BP says.
  • As a result, global CO2 emissions rose again, albeit by just 0.5%, leaving the gap to global climate goals larger than ever.

Rocked to the core: Mining giants confront an ancient, incalculable risk (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Rio Tinto's CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques in Melbourne.Credit:Josh Robenstone Expectations around the role of business in society continue to ratchet upwards and the world is growing increasingly sensitive to social and environmental issues.
  • At the same time, money managers are placing exponentially more importance on how companies minimise these risks, commonly referred to as ESG (environmental, social, governance).
  • The inclusion of ESG into financial decision-making is based on an understanding that such issues will increasingly present a financial risk to investments and ought to be considered alongside other performance metrics.

A New York Primary Challenger Shows Why the Green New Deal Has to Take on the Military (Gizmodo)

  • Yet the carbon footprint of warfare hasn’t been a central focus of the U.S. climate movement.
  • Even the game-changing Green New Deal resolution that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey introduced last year—the most comprehensive climate platform to ever hit Capitol Hill—makes no mention of the Pentagon’s climate impact.
  • And by highlighting the connections between the two, his platform shows how the Green New Deal could spur environmental justice not only domestically, but also abroad.

Millions of abandoned oil wells in U.S. are leaking methane, a climate menace (The Globe and Mail)

  • The U.S. figures are sobering: More than 3.2 million abandoned oil and gas wells together emitted 281 kilotons of methane in 2018, according to the data, which was included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent report on April 14 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • Researchers say it’s impossible to accurately estimate global emissions from leaky abandoned wells without better data.
  • But a rough Reuters calculation, based on the U.S. share of global crude oil and natural gas production, would place the number of abandoned wells around the world at more than 29 million, with emissions of 2.5 million tonnes of methane per year - the climate-damage equivalent of three weeks of U.S. oil consumption.

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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