Global ESG News
- EU climate action is ‘global model for greening the planet’
In order to meet the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, the European Commission (EC) has this week accepted a host of changes to the EU’s climate plans on energy, land use, transport and tax systems.
- Corporate solar interest surges as companies exit pandemic and turn focus to ESG issues
As the COVID-19 emergency has waned, interest in renewables surges and ESG issues drive more corporate decisions. A total of corporate funding for the solar sector reached $13.5 billion in the first half f 2021 compared with $4.6 billion lsat year; and a record 24.7 GW of solar projects were acquired globally in the second quarter of this year. Experts see growth fueled not just by pent up demand, but also growing attention to ESG considerations and renewables’ financial advantages over fossil fuels.
- Government of Canada confirms ambitious new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, formally submitted Canada’s enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations, committing Canada to cut its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40‑45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Canada has joined over 120 countries to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050 and its ambitious new NDC for 2030 keeps the country on course. It builds on a whole-of-government plan, “Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan: A Healthy Environment and Healthy Economy”, that includes Canadians in all regions and all economic sectors.
- Oatly faces claims and accusations by Spruce Point of inflating revenue and greenwashing
The activist short-seller accused Oatly of shady accounting practices and misleading consumers about its green credentials. Allegations of greenwashing and overstated revenue were raised, stating that Oatly has been manipulating its financials in its prospectus and ‘cherry picking’ sustainability data.
- European Commission Adopts New Sustainable Finance Strategy and Proposes European Green Bond Standard
The European Commission adopted measures to expand its level of ambition on sustainable finance and initiatives to tackle climate change and challenges.
– Extend the existing sustainable finance toolbox to facilitate access to transition finance
– Improve the inclusiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises, and consumers, by giving them tools and incentives to access transition finance.
– Enhance the resilience of the economic and financial system to sustainability risks
– Increase the contribution of the financial sector to sustainability
– Ensure the integrity of the EU financial system and monitor its orderly transition to sustainability
– Develop international sustainable finance initiatives and standards, and support EU partner countries
Regulation on a voluntary European Green Bond Standard
– The funds raised by the bond should be allocated fully to projects aligned with the EU Taxonomy
– Full transparency
– EU green bonds must be in compliance with the Regulation and that funded projects are aligned with the Taxonomy
– External reviewers must be registered with and supervised by the European Securities Markets Authority
- Climate policy takeaways from the G20 finance meeting
G20 members recognised that due to vaccines and continued policy support, the global outlook has improved. However, the G20 will continue its efforts to steer the global economy toward strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. They reiterate their agreement on a more stable and fairer international tax architecture, by reallocating profits of multinational enterprises and having an effective global minimum tax. Moreover, tackling climate change remains an urgent priority, concluding that closer international coordination on climate action is needed, integrating the G20 global risk monitoring and preparedness into future policy discussions, such as green investments in sustainable infrastructure and innovative technologies that promote decarbonisation and circular economy. G20 also recognised that advanced and well-functioning digital infrastructure is an important driver for economic recovery and will continue to foster collaboration between the public and private investors to mobilize further investment in infrastructure.
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