Addressing Climate Lobbying and Children’s Rights
The P4G summit hosted in Copenhagen by the Danish government last week yielded new public-private partnerships, a direct partnership to the P4G initiative with the Netherlands and prize allocations to innovative projects globally that seek to address climate change. By all accounts a success, the summit wasn’t without its criticisms, however. Responsible investment advisory service GES teamed up with UNICEF to develop an Investor Guidance for Children’s Rights Integration in order to redress the problem that children’s rights thus far have little prominence on sustainability agendas, despite being a huge element of broader sustainability. Investors have been invited to review and comment on the proposal.
Swedish state pension fund AP7 and the Church of England Pensions Board backed by a group of investors worth $2 trillion sent a letter to 55 European big businesses to challenge them on their climate lobbying, elevated greenhouse gas emissions and persistent investments in energy-intensive sectors. The companies have been asked to review their relationships with key lobbying organisations and to comply with a set of investor expectations to ensure alignment with their formal positions supporting implementation of the Paris agreement. MSCI launched MSCI ESG Screened Indexes, a suite of indexes incorporating a range of ESG exclusions that will represent the performance of free-floating adjusted market capitalization weighted opportunity set with common ESG exclusions. These are designed to be used as policy and performance benchmarks and serve as the basis for investment products, such as ETFs (NordSIP).
Heard on E-Street
Charlie Robertson of Renaissance Bank makes the rather compelling case in The Economist that ESG risks becoming code for something other than ethical investment: namely an excuse for investors to put all their money in Scandinavia as opposed to, say, emerging markets (The Economist). €215 billion Dutch asset manager PGGM invested €10 million in a green bond issued by Dutch airport operator Royal Schiphol Group on behalf of healthcare scheme PFZW and other clients that contributes to the transport group being able to raise considerable funds to make its operation energy-neutral by 2040. This is reportedly the first green-labelled public debt issue from a European airport operator (IPE).
The Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry has been on the road in Scandinavia to target Nordic fund managers and highlight paths to greater European distribution via UCITS vehicles and Luxembourg domiciliation, offering seminars on regulatory, product development and distribution opportunities (Investment Europe). Mapfre, Spain’s largest insurer, has launched a full range of ESG products in the form of a new fund named Capital Responsible in collaboration with La Financière Responsible, a year after acquiring a 25% stake in the French manager which is focused solely on socially responsible investments (Investment Europe). Finally, Mirjam Staub-Bisang, chair of the €6.8 billion multi-employer pension scheme Profond, has been appointed head of BlackRock in Switzerland and senior adviser for sustainable investment, but remains chair of the Profond board (IPE).
Famous Last Words
“Since prehistory, humans have killed off so many species of mammals that it would take 3 million to 7 million years of evolution for them to evolve an equivalent amount of diversity. At least a third of amphibians face extinction, thanks to climate change, habitat loss, and an apocalyptic killer fungus. Even invertebrates aren’t off the hook. There might be fewer data for them, but the data that exist paint an alarming picture of rapidly disappearing insects, even in supposedly pristine forests. Meanwhile, in the oceans, coral reefs are bleaching too quickly to recover: Half of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef have died since 2016. All this evidence points to a period of “biological annihilation” that some have likened to the five great mass extinctions of the past. When the reality is this sensational, there’s not much need to sensationalize it even further.” – The Atlantic’s Ed Yong actually arguing for the importance of distinguishing between fact and easy sensationalist headlines despite the sheer scale of the problem described in the latest WWF Living Planet report (Atlantic).
With knowledge comes responsibility. Happy weekend,
Your NordSIP team
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