The Week in Green (July 21 edition)

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    Stockholm (NordSIP) – Schroders, the UK’s largest-listed asset manager, this week issued a stark warning on climate change, cautioning that global temperatures are on course to rise far faster than expected, potentially putting trillions of dollars in investors’ cash at risk (Financial Times). The $520 billion fund house said its analysis of the biggest drivers of climate change, including oil and gas production and political action, suggested global temperatures are poised to rise by 4 degrees above pre-Industrial levels, twice the level agreed by global leaders at the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. Schroders also launched a “Climate Change Dashboard”, which assesses 12 decarbonisation metrics, including political action, public concern, climate finance, corporate planning, renewables deployment and fossil fuel production, and which will be updated quarterly (NordSIP). Meanwhile in Switzerland, a climate fund managed by responsAbility Investments AG partnered with the energy, climate and technology branch of the UN Environment. Together they will develop country baselines for specific technologies to establish benchmarks for both sustainable energy policies and energy efficiency financing (Investment Europe).

    The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) found in its Green Finance Progress Report that the G-20, along with other nations, have made considerable progress in the past year alone in terms of mobilizing the necessary trillions of dollars of public and private capital to realise sustainable development. The report finds that more measures related to green finance have been introduced since June 2016 than during any other one-year period since 2000, among other encouraging findings (NordSIP). Meanwhile, a report published by Morgan Stanley, “Renewable Energy: What Cheap, Clean Energy means for Global Utilities,” found that the U.S. is set to exceed its Paris Climate Accord goals despite Trump’s withdrawal from the treaty and expectations that the U.S. was hard set on reducing efforts to transition to clean and sustainable energy (Business Insider). On the contrary, a number of U.S. states and private institutions are forging ahead with initiatives reinforcing rather than scaling back initiatives outlined in the 2015 deal. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), meanwhile, found that 70% of all Global Greenhouse Gas emissions since 1988 are linked to just 100 companies, ExxonMobil, Gazprom and BHP Billiton prominent among them, in its new Carbon Majors report (Sustainable Brands).

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    Elsewhere, the European Commission held a public hearing in Brussels on its Finance High-Level Expert Group (HLEG)’s Interim Report, freshly released last week, as part of its development of a comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance. The public hearing was intended to allow stakeholders to provide feedback to the HLEG on the barriers to and possible solutions for increasing sustainable finance, and was addressed by Christian Thimann, Chair of the HLEG and Bianca Jagger, Council of Europe Goodwill ambassador, among others.

    Summer continued its wet embrace of the Nordics, without the lack of sunshine speeding matters up much, although the Nordic Investment Bank made a €25 million investment in Lithuanian green energy bonds while concluding an agreement with the Chinese Development Bank on mutual Nordic investments (NordSIP), while SEB has started reporting on the CO2 emissions of its equity funds in a transparency drive mandated by the Swedish Investment Fund Association (NordSIP). NordSIP also discovered an interesting online tool from Envonet allowing for the facile comparison of climate-related financial disclosures in the filings of major energy and utilities companies. “When disclosure are compared side by side, the contrast between many European companies and their U.S. counterparts leaps off the page. For investors, it makes evident which corporations are treating climate change as a material financial risk and which are not,” Envonet CEO Greg Rogers told NordSIP.

    Finally, the Daily Mail reports that climate change could spell the end of the aardvark, as researchers find that the animals cannot survive in dry soil as their natural habitats change. For once, one is inclined to believe them.

    Wishing you a happy weekend,

    Your NordSIP Team


    Picture (c) – NosorogUA—shutterstock

    Glenn W. Leaper, PhD
    Glenn W. Leaper, PhD
    Glenn W. Leaper, Associate Editor and Political Risk Analyst with Nordic Business Media AB, completed his Ph.D. in Political and Critical Theory from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2015. He is involved with a number of initiatives, including political research, communications consulting (speechwriting), journalism and writing his first post-doctoral book. Glenn has an international background spanning the UK, France, Austria, Spain, Belgium and his native Denmark. He holds an MA in English and a BA in International Relations.
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