The Week in Green (July 13th edition)

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Nordic Index Progress and Conflicting Imperatives

Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway ranked 1, 2, 3 and 6 respectively in the top ten of a new SDG Index accompanying the 2018 report from Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The SDG Index is a composite measure of progress across all SDGs, ranking countries on their performance across all 17. The study underlines all countries are still very far from the efforts required to reach the SDGs by 2030. Meanwhile, Nasdaq Nordic launched the OMX Stockholm 30 ESG Responsible Index, an ESG-compliant version of its OMXS30 European index that includes the 30 most traded securities on Nasdaq Stockholm. The Index will serve as a benchmark for funds and as the underlying index for ETFs, structured products and derivatives, being the first ESG index based on a major exchange-traded index.

Sweden Finance Minister Per Bolund lashed out at controversial investments worth SEK 1.8 billion by state pension funds AP 1, 2, 3 and 4 in U.S. pipeline companies that are at odds with a new law passed in June tightening sustainability requirements for pension funds. The pipeline companies are accused of massive emissions and circumventing environmental regulations. “Unbelievable,” added Nordea’s Sasja Beslik. Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages the $1 trillion Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, joined forces with five other large SWFs with a total of $3 trillion in AUM to create a framework on climate change at a summit held by French president Emmanuel Macron last week to follow up on promises made at last year’s “One Planet” summit. The charter commits the SWFs to invest in companies that factor climate risk into their strategies and to publish data on how they are reducing their carbon footprints. Denmark is set to invest DKK 300 million in wind farms in Bolivia as part of the government’s initiative to contribute to sustainable economic growth in developing countries. The wind farms will be ready by 2020 and provide green energy to a million people in Bolivia, also increasing access to a stable power supply for 95% of the population

In a postcard to NordSIP, Maria Mähl from Arabesque Asset Management tells us about what she learned at Almedalen last week. She talks about AI and the circular economy, and what other key concepts she takes back to the office. (NordSIP).

Heard on E-Street

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Sweden is apparently on track to meet its 2030 renewable energy goals – this year. The Swedish Wind Power Association (SWPA) says its members are on track to generate 18 terawatt-hours of electricity every year by the end of 2018 (Inhabitat). KLP, the Norwegian national pension fund, invested in forestry for the first time, putting SEK 250m into Silvestica Green Forest, a Swedish specialist fund, which will buy up woodland assets in Sweden, Finland and the Baltics (IPE). Over 100 international investors managing over $12 trillion, including Schroders, UBS, Nordea, Amundi, Axa and many others, wrote to 500 of the world’s top companies demanding better data on issues such as workers’ rights, diversity and supply chain safety. The companies have an October 22nd deadline to respond (Reuters). The Nordic Investment Bank signed a framework agreement with Georgia to finance projects in the development of energy, transportation and environmental protection (Georgia Today).

Question of the Week

Who was awarded Stockholm’s prestigious water prize last year?

Famous Last Words

“As a businessman, he really hasn’t been that successful. He is a successful PR person, but not a businessman. He has more baggage than all the other Republican candidates combined… He is a bully. That alone should disqualify him from the White House” – new Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler on U.S. president Donald Trump, in a now deleted 2016 Facebook post. Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who replaces the disgraced Scott Pruitt, said he changed his mind upon hearing the president outline his ‘comprehensive energy plan’ (Politico).

No comment. Happy weekend,

Your NordSIP team

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