This week, we received further proof that the dime finally dropped on climate change (for most at least). For the first time since the World Economic Forum started conducting its Global Risks Perception Survey in 15 years ago, only climate-related threats rank as the top risks for 2020. Increasingly isolated among the developed world leaders, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rebuffed Greta‘s call to cease all fossil fuel investments, while others took the opportunity to announce further commitments. The Church of England‘s three National Investing Bodies joined the UN’s convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance.
Another initiative was announced in the Swiss Alps this week: the Future of Sustainable Data Alliance, which should help Refinitiv, WEF, United Nations and several other partners to accelerate the mobilization of capital into sustainable finance. Meanwhile, the Global Impact Investing Network released the second edition of its survey and promotes yet a new acronym: IMM.
In another study commissioned by Amundi which reviews the impact of ESG criteria on portfolio performance, we find that ESG investing continues to be a source of outperformance in the Eurozone while squeezing returns in North America since 2018, underlying the growing divide on the two sides of the Atlantic. However, notable US corporate laggards are also getting in a greener mood. Starbucks’s CEO, Kevin Johnson, announced a range of initiatives and goals “to take care of the planet we share” and General Motors appointed its first Chief Sustainability Officer.
It will now also become easier for Japanese companies to get onto the ESG train, thanks to a new platform launched by the Sustainable Active Investment Lab.
Keeping the best news for last, we learned from Danske Bank‘s Lars Mac Key, that the total size of the green bond market may reach US$ 1 trillion by the summer! Sweden and the Swedish Krona market are definitely contributing to this expansion, thanks to the appetite of local investor for green issues.