New Climate Targets and Battles Won
The World Bank Group announced a major new set of climate targets for 2021-25 in connection with the COP24 meeting in Katowice, doubling its current 5-year investments to $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action and significantly boosts support for adaptation and resilience and recognising the impact of climate change on lives particularly in the world’s poorest countries. Meanwhile, former Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel was appointed as Denmark’s Special Envoy for Climate and Energy to secure more private investment in the global green energy conversion and promote Denmark’s green solutions in time for next year’s UN Climate Change Summit. Engel will focus on increased investments and partnerships on the basis of the P4G Initiative. The Swedish Riksdag pushed through the old government’s proposal to ease regulation on the investment processes of Swedish pension buffer funds AP1-4, which will come into force January 1st 2019. The bill improves the possibilities of spreading investment risk and includes new sustainability requirements, though it’s debatable whether these go far enough.
NordSIP had the opportunity to sit down with Man Group‘s Steven Desmyter who talked about his firm’s journey into responsible investing which he has been part of from the start. “Everyone can create a dedicated ESG strategy. That is not the battle I want to win,” he tells us. Meanwhile, we also had a chance to meet Banque du Luxembourg Investments‘ Ivan Bouillot who talked about the inherent relation to ESG when investing in family-owned companies.
A collaboration between leading capital market actors, green finance experts and technology innovators launched Green Assets Wallet, a blockchain-based platform allowing issuers and investors of green debt to converge and overcome existing barriers in that market by providing solutions to upscale it, creating transparency, efficiency and cost cutting. And global impact investment manager BlueOrchard acquired a minority stake in SustainCERT, a “Gold Standard” social enterprise committed to mainstreaming credible impact certification. SustainCERT will certify BlueOrchard’s upcoming Sub-national Infrastructure Climate Fund initiated with the R20 Regions of Climate Action.
Heard on E-Street
The Green Finance Committee (GDC) of the China Society for Finance and Banking and the City of London’s Green Finance Initiative (GFI) jointly published a set of green finance guidelines for China’s proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The principles, developed on existing responsible investment initiatives, aim to incorporate low-carbon and sustainable investment into the BRI by encouraging corporations to sign a voluntary code of practice (Xinhua). The Plenum CAT Bond Fund, the flagship offering from Zurich-based specialist insurance-linked securities ILS and catastrophe bond investment manager Plenum Investments, has become the first ILS fund strategy to receive the “FNG label”, a German sustainable investment accolade acknowledging that the cat bond instruments invested in promotes and safeguards sustainability as a form of reinsurance and risk transfer (Artemis).
Fidelity International launched Fidelity Funds – Sustainable Water and Waste Fund, which will focus on sustainable investment opportunities within the water and waste management sectors as an open-ended Sicav investment fund registered for sale in 24 countries (International Adviser). The African Development Bank successfully priced a dual-tranche USD 500 million three-year and USD 100 million two-year SOFR-linked Green Bond, becoming the first issuer to bring a SOFR-linked Green Bond transaction to the market (This Day Live). And Angélina Boulestix takes a look at the dizzying array of options lumped together in green finance and which ones are truly worthy of green investor money, and which aren’t (Phys.org).
“In all the tributes to George H.W. Bush, this keeps being slighted: He pushed through the clean air laws that reduced sulphur dioxide emissions by 67%, hugely abating the acid rain threat of the 1980s, a huge environmental legacy,” writes David Frum of the often overlooked vision of the recently deceased President (The Atlantic).
Famous Last Words
“How can companies tackle… problems and take on the emerging responsibilities related to realising a sustainable world? The good news is that, in many organizations, there’s already someone poised to lead the charge: sustainability managers… The fourth industrial revolution may be disrupting markets, but it is also creating very real opportunities to solve social problems through sustainability. Sustainability managers are well equipped to lead their organizations on the path toward this goal. If they are willing to take on new responsibilities, they will also advance their cause” – Joanna Radeke, Manager of the Center for Sustainable Business at ESMT Berlin, on how corporate sustainability leaders can turn challenges into opportunities for society and companies alike in the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ (Stanford Social Innovation Review).
Your NordSIP team
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