Before we dig into the week’s many news, we are very proud and happy to welcome a new member to our team! Julia Axelsson, who has recently completed a program on Sustainability Studies at the University of Linköping, after spending a couple of years in Dongguan in China will strengthen our research, editing and writing capacity and help us to cover ever-more relevant and interesting content for our readers and to support our new clients and partners. In 2020, NordSIP has received the mandate from Swesif, the Swedish Sustainable Investment Forum to provide secretarial and communication services to enable this fast-growing non-profit organisation. We have also co-founded Sustainable Investment Training Associates (SITA) a platform that provides high-quality interactive sustainable investment training both off-the-shelf and custom-made.
On January 11th, President Macron together with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and World Bank President David Malpass hosted the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity, which included speeches from over 30 government leaders and international organisations. Greta wasn’t too impressed. On the margins of the Summit, HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management, Lombard Odier, and Mirova launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Natural Capital Investment Alliance, established by Prince Charles, under his Sustainable Markets Initiative, which aims to mobilise US$10 billion towards natural capital themes across asset classes by 2022.
Meanwhile, in Denmark, four pension funds run by Sampension – Sampension Liv, Arkitekternes Pensionskasse, Pensionskassen for Jordbrugsakademikere & Dyrlæger and ISP Pension – united to demand increased tax transparency from BMW, BP, Danish Coloplast and brewery giant AB InBev. Elsewhere, fifteen institutional investors filed a climate change resolution calling on HSBC to publish a strategy and targets to reduce its exposure to fossil fuel assets.
This week we also has a chance to take part in the annual New Year Conference organised by the Oslo-based asset manager Skagen, this year virtually. While the first keynote speech by author Michael Lewis took place under Chatham House rules, we covered three other insightful interventions. Author and risk guru Nassim Taleb wasn’t too worried about climate change, as climate risk didn’t make it to the top three on his priority list of risks to watch out for. He did make a point about the risk of increasing inequalities. Meanwhile, the ESG opportunities in emerging markets highlighted by Dr Mark Mobius of Mobius Capital Partners stood in contrast with his unorthodox views about the role of political institutions. Last but not least, Mike Berners-Lee’s proposed that “the brutal reality” that fiduciary duty must be prepared to compromise financial returns to become Anthropocene-fit.
Also in Norway, Storebrand Asset Management has announced the launch of a new sustainable Nordic Real Estate Fund focused on income-generating sustainable real estate assets, weighted towards the home markets of Norway and Sweden.