Edition for 26 June 2020

Top Stories

Global GDP to fall 25 per cent without more climate action, banks warn (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Australia's Reserve Bank has endorsed a warning that unless international climate policies are made drastically more ambitious, the disruption under the trajectory of climate change will cause global GDP to fall by 25 per cent by 2100.
  • The Reserve Bank is one of 66 central banks – including Japan, Britain and China – growing increasingly alarmed at the financial crisis which will result from global warming of 3 degrees or more, unless significant steps are taken to avoid the most severe physical and economic impacts of climate change.
  • “Climate change leads to financial risks and therefore remains a vital issue for central banks and supervisors to address,” said Frank Elderson, a Netherlands central bank executive and director of the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System.

Why we need the opposite of a carbon tax to reduce emissions (Channel News Asia)

  • For the last few decades, the consensus among leading economists has been that putting a price on carbon is the most efficient way to reduce emissions.
  • Despite its apparent simplicity, the accomplishments of carbon taxes over the last decade have been underwhelming. According to the World Bank, 61 carbon pricing initiatives target 22 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions.
  • China, the world’s largest polluter, has struggled to set up an emissions trading system since 2017 that would put a price on a third of the country’s emissions, and allow the most polluting enterprises to buy carbon credits from greener companies. 

Mizuho investors reject Japan’s first shareholder climate resolution (Japan Times)

  • Mizuho Financial Group Inc. investors rejected a shareholder climate resolution at an annual general meeting Thursday that had placed Japan’s third-largest bank in the spotlight for its financing of coal power projects.
  • The resolution, which its sponsor said was the first of its kind in Japan, would have required Mizuho to disclose climate risks and publish a plan to ensure its investments are aligned with the Paris Agreement. 
  • Japanese banks, among the world’s biggest lenders to coal power developers, have faced criticism for continuing the practice as global rivals withdraw in a bid to combat climate change.

COVID-19’s Long-Term Effects on Climate Change—For Better or Worse (Earth Institute)

  • As a result of the lockdowns around the world to control COVID-19, huge decreases in transportation and industrial activity resulted in a drop in daily global carbon emissions of 17 percent in April.
  • Beyond carbon emissions, however, COVID-19 is resulting in changes in individual behavior and social attitudes, and in responses by governments that will have impacts on the environment and on our ability to combat climate change.
  • While it’s unclear how these factors will balance out in the end, one thing is certain: more large-scale actions will be essential to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

RepRisk Partners With Battlefin to Offer ESG Datasets for the Alternative Data Community (Business Wire)

  • RepRisk, a pioneer and leader in ESG data science combining machine learning and human intelligence, has formed a strategic partnership with alternative data platform and marketplace BattleFin that will significantly expand alternative data buyer access to ESG risk data.
  • RepRisk’s daily-updated dataset on nearly 150,000 companies linked to ESG and business conduct risks will be available through BattleFin’s global alternative data marketplace, Ensemble.
  • Investors, hedge funds, and other buy-side professionals will now be able to test, evaluate, and purchase RepRisk ESG data seamlessly within Ensemble.

MAS launches public consultation on guidelines for financial institutions to manage environmental risk (Straits Times)

  • Businesses which do not manage their environmental risk adequately could find themselves facing higher borrowing costs or limits on their loans down the road if proposed guidelines released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday (June 25) are accepted and implemented.
  • These guidelines are part of a set of three consultation papers issued by the authority on environmental risk management for banks, insurers and asset managers in efforts to shape Singapore into a global centre for green finance.
  • MAS said the guidelines aim to enhance financial institutions' (FIs) resilience to environmental risk, and to strengthen the financial sector's role in supporting the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy in Singapore and the region.

ArcelorMittal Europe sets out path to net zero by 2050, with pioneering technologies at the forefront of the company’s roadmap for carbon-neutral steelmaking (GlobeNewswire)

  • ArcelorMittal Europe has announced details of how it plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 in its first climate action report, published today.
  • Building on the company’s work that has demonstrated that the steelmaking process can become carbon neutral, the report publishes details of the ground-breaking work underway to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 before reaching net zero in 2050.
  • The company is pioneering two breakthrough carbon-neutral routes for steelmaking: Smart Carbon, and an innovative DRI-based route.

Amazon buys naming rights to KeyArena in Seattle, will call it Climate Pledge Arena as part of sustainability initiative (Geekwire)

  • The Seattle tech giant announced Thursday that it bought the naming rights to Seattle’s KeyArena and will change the name to Climate Pledge Arena
  • It will be the first net zero carbon certified arena in the world, generate zero waste from operations and events, and be powered with 100% renewable electricity.
  • "Instead of naming it after Amazon, we’re calling it Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the importance of fighting climate change,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

Super giant HESTA divests coal, commits to 'net zero' investments by 2050 (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • The $52 billion super fund for healthcare workers has divested holdings in thermal coal companies under a new climate policy that commits to ‘net zero’ emissions across the entire portfolio by 2050.
  • HESTA's updated climate plan involves reducing absolute carbon emissions across its investment portfolio by 33 per cent within the decade and 100 per cent by 2050, in an effort to bring its investment strategy in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • The role of large super fund investors to limit emissions has increasingly come to the fore after the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change report found there would be "long-lasting or irreversible" impacts to the environment if warming exceeded 1.5 degrees.

Hyliion Launches Fully Electric Powertrain, Announces 1,000-Truck Pre-Order with Global Logistics Leader Agility (Business Wire)

  • Hyliion Inc., a leader in electrified powertrain solutions for Class 8 commercial vehicles, announced today the launch of its Hypertruck Electric Range Extender (ERX), a long-haul, fully electric powertrain delivering superior performance, emissions reductions and cost-savings to the global trucking industry.
  • “We’re already seeing robust interest in the Hypertruck ERX from fleets like Agility who are looking for electric solutions that can be seamlessly integrated.”
  • Continuing Hyliion’s long-standing partner relationship with Dana Incorporated, the Hypertruck ERX will feature Dana’s electric motor, inverter and axle technologies, and Dana plans to provide its state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities to support Hyliion in achieving full volume production of its powertrain systems.

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