COP 24 Upshots & a 70th Anniversary
This week, NordSIP caught up with Andrew Howard, Head of Sustainability Research at Schroders, in Stockholm where he presented Schroder’s approach to sustainability, among other things via its ClimateProgress Dashboard which forms part of its targeted research to measure the climate effects of specific activities. In the context of the 70th anniversary of the UN adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Stina Nilsson, Senior Engagement Manager with Responsible Investment advisory service GES International, explains the firm’s niche emphasis on human rights, including its proprietary tool for investors to identity human rights salience and the preparedness of companies to align with the UNGP’s.
Elsewhere, a new report from Denmark’s UNEP-DTU Partnership published on the occasion of COP24 has determined the need for increased climate investments by pointing towards the serious public health consequences of failing to do so; the study shows that while major investments are required, the effort is actually slowing down. A Nordic Pavilion was held at the COP24 climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland, showcasing a set of common activities between Nordic countries and representatives and discussing and sharing Nordic knowledge and know-how as to how to transition to a low-carbon society. Nykredit Invest Bæredygtige Aktier (sustainable shares) became the first Danish investment fund to receive the Nordic Swan Ecolabel environmental certification, joining a number of Swedish peers, while PensionDanmark was awarded the Investment & Pensions Europe prize for European Pension Fund of the Year, one of four awards that also included the Outstanding Industry Contribution Award for CEO Torben Möger Pedersen. Sweden’s AP4 also won a number of awards (NordSIP).
Heard on E-Street
415 global investors managing $32 trillion in assets including UBS AM and Aberdeen Standard Investments called on governments at the COP24 UN climate summit in Katowice to accelerate steps to combat climate change and signed the 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change (Reuters). Aberdeen is also soon to make an IPO for an investment trust it says will “democratise” sustainable finance by investing primarily in private markets and only in companies making a positive impact in line with the UN SDGs. Andrew Dykes is the founder of the Global Sustainability Trust Initiative and will be deputy chair of its board (Money Marketing). Equally, following its acquisition of a stake in SustainCERT last week, BlueOrchard has a launched a UCITS-compliant Emerging Markets SDG Impact Bond Fund to grant retail and institutional investors access to a fund investing in bond issuances that finance impact activities advancing the UN SDGs.
Signatories to the UN PRI elected new board members, including Laetitia Tankwe, adviser to the president of Ircantec’s board of trustees, and re-elected incumbent directors Angela Emslie of the HESTA superannuation fund and Xander den Uyl, trustee at ABP to the current PRI board of directors (IPE). The World Bank issued five-year Sustainable Development Bonds linked to the Solactive Human Capital World MV Index aimed at Italian investors which will support the financing of World Bank activities aimed at eradicating poverty and promoting shared wellbeing, highlighting the importance of human capital (Investment Europe). CPR Asset Management, a subsidiary of Amundi, became the first asset manager to use Climetrics, an independent rating that allows investors to assess the long-term impact of their investments, to market its funds (Investment Europe). And wealth manager St. James’s Place introduced a minimum ESG criteria framework for all its underlying portfolio managers to help the firm improve its own ESG standards, a move initiated in response to increased client demand (Investment Week).
Famous Last Words
“[T]he latest IPCC special report underplays another alarming fact: global warming is accelerating. Three trends — rising emissions, declining air pollution and natural climate cycles — will combine over the next 20 years to make climate change faster and more furious than anticipated. In our view, there’s a good chance that we could breach the 1.5 °C level by 2030, not by 2040 as projected in the special report. The climate-modelling community has not grappled enough with the rapid changes that policymakers care most about, preferring to focus on longer-term trends and equilibria.” – Yangyang Xu, Veerabhadran Ramanathan and David G. Victor in an article for the Nature International Journal of Science suggesting that climate warming is happening even faster than currently assumed (Nature).
At least time is also speeding up to Christmas. Happy weekend,
Your NordSIP team
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