This week, together with about 2 billion people around the world, we are glad to bid farewell to the strange and difficult year of the Rat and welcome the year of the Ox, which traditionally stands for honesty and hard-work. This week’s snap looks at ESG, the Chinese way. Hard work is indeed what we’ll need if are to tackle climate issues. If you need reminding of the daunting scale of the task at hand and of the threat before us, consider the tragedy which hit the Nanda Devi mountain glacier in the Indian state of Uttarakhand this week.
On the positive side, Elon Musk is trying to motivate innovators to come up with solutions to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere by funding a US$100 million competition. Meanwhile, pushed by the demand of its clients, M&G plc will be allocating £5 billion to privately-owned enterprises working to create a more sustainable world.
To understand the hedge fund industry’s perspective on gender imbalance, we reached out to Bruce Amlicke, CIO of UBS Hedge Fund Solutions (HFS). We also caught up with Hilde Nordbø, the incoming Head of Sustainability at Handelsbanken Norge who shared her views of the sustainable finance landscape in the region.
Elsewhere, large US players announced new strategic hires to strengthen their sustainability image. Chuka Umunna, a British Member of Parliament (MP) for Streatham between 2010 and 2019 joined JP Morgan to head its European ESG efforts, while Vanguard appointed Fong Yee Chan as its first Head of ESG strategy for UK and Europe.
Last but not least, after an extraordinarily eventful 2020, the Swedish Krona green bond market started 2021 confidently. The last 40 days have seen SEK8.75 billion green and social bonds issued via 30 different transactions by 17 different entities.