Investors Seek Meaningful Scope 3 Emissions Targets to Evaluate Climate Transition Plans
Climate concerns continued to dominate proxy voting in the 2022 proxy season. With more clarity on sectoral commitments required to achieve the global net zero goal, shareholders’ requests have become noticeably more specific. A larger number of resolutions asked companies to adopt and report on emissions reduction targets and transition plans that reference the latest forward-looking guidance.
Post-COP15 Outlook: Evolving Investor Responsibilities in Biodiversity
Awaiting COP15’s Global Biodiversity Framework negotiation outcomes, financial market participants could face new regulatory pressure sooner than expected to integrate biodiversity assessment into their investment, decision-making processes.
Danish Delegation Engages Sustainalytics’ Biodiversity Expert, Enabling Front Row Access to COP15 Negotiations
Finance Day within the U.N. Biodiversity Conference (COP15) is fast approaching, and Morningstar Sustainalytics’ team members will be in attendance, each focusing on different investor biodiversity considerations related to active ownership.
Physical Climate Risk: Preparing Your Portfolio for a Changing Climate
The physical climate risks affecting assets are likely to increase in the coming years, as the impacts of climate change are felt more frequently and with more intensity. In this guide, learn how companies and investors can assess their exposure to physical climate risks.
The Role of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in Achieving Decarbonization by 2050
Meeting the aviation's industry's goal of decarbonization by 2050 will require a collective effort and more ambitious measures than those currently in place, including carbon offsetting, route optimization, fuel efficiency and fleet renewals that involve a shift to more eco-friendly aircraft. However, all of these measures still revolve around fossil fuels as a source of energy.
Climate Change, Innovation, and Cybersecurity in the Defense Industry: New Opportunities for ESG Investors
While perhaps not a widely considered link between the defense industry and climate change, several Eurosatory conference sessions addressed how climate change can intensify security risks and threats.
EU Action Planning: ESMA Questions and MiFID Data begs Further SFDR Clarity for Investors
Regulators asking questions about topics central to the EU Action Plan show that more work needs to happen to make this ambitious, first-of-a-kind sustainable finance legislation workable for the market and supervisors and more useful for end investors.
Physical Climate Risks: 6 Things Portfolio Managers Need to Know
The negative physical impacts of climate change are being felt by communities and corporations globally and are likely to get worse in the coming years. The knock-on costs of more frequent “once-in-a-century” climate events on economies are likely to rise. To prepare for this looming threat, investors must forecast the asset-level effects of climate change on companies in a granular and sophisticated way. Here are six things portfolio managers should know to manage and mitigate the physical risks of climate change to their portfolios and meet growing list of climate-focused reporting requirements.
Impact of US Supreme Court’s EPA Ruling on US Utilities’ Carbon Exposure
The Clean Power Plan was created using a directive from the Clean Air Act that enabled the EPA to set emission limits for air pollutants based on the best available technology to reduce emissions. The EPA aimed to cap carbon emissions and curb greenhouse (GHG) emissions by changing the composition of the existing operational power generation assets by forcing the closure of coal plants through strict emission caps, resulting in a system-wide transition to renewable energy.
How Europe’s Energy Crisis Impacts the Clean Energy Transition
Europe is facing two major crises—an energy crisis, worsened by Russian energy supply disruptions and the challenge of tackling climate change. Renewables have the potential to accelerate EU's energy independence and reduce emissions. Still, there is also an urgent need to secure an adequate energy supply, especially in the coming winter months when heating demand increases. In the short-term, many EU countries are turning to other fossil fuel producers in the Middle East OPEC+ and the US, as well as domestic coal production. For firms deciding which energy projects to invest in, they face a complex question: are energy supply disruptions advancing the EU’s transition to a lower-carbon economy and its energy independence or furthering the continent’s dependence on fossil fuels?
Sustainable Investment Calculations Under MiFID II and SFDR Remain Perplexing for ESG Investors
The various interpretations of the sustainable investment definition introduced by the SFDR and leveraged in MiFID II leave many market participants unsettled, having to decide between approaches that have different benefits and limitations in the short to medium term.
Biodiversity loss and climate change call for a nature-positive economy – Stewardship may lead the way
Financial institutions funding the supply chains affected by biodiversity loss stand to lose right alongside farmers, producers and retailers—and so, in turn, do investors. ESG stewardship continues to be a powerful investor instrument to mitigate risks on a changing planet. With growing expectations of double materiality, it is an opportunity for investors to have a greater societal impact and support the transition towards a nature-positive economy.
Mass Timber in Construction - Big Buildings, Smaller Carbon Footprint
As an innovation in the industry, mass timber construction emits significantly less carbon than traditional concrete and metal structures, while modular construction ensures usability across many building types. This article reviews some of the concerns over structural strength, fire safety, regulatory compatibility, cost savings and the sustainability of increased forestry. It then examines current mass timber buildings and projects and looks at their viability as an alternative material for the future.
Looking at ESG in Crypto, Blockchain, and Public Equities
Beyond the volatile crypto market, blockchain has several features that lend well to commercial applications. Blockchain can help improve the transparency, speed and efficiency of data transfers and monetary transactions. Businesses in multiple industries are using blockchain tools to enhance payment platforms and secure supply chain management systems. Sustainalytics’ latest Thematic Research report, An ESG Lens on Blockchain and Public Equities, surveys ESG risks and opportunities related to applications of blockchain technology that are being developed by listed companies across multiple sectors of the economy.
Key Themes Shaping Proxy Voting in 2022
As the volume and breadth of ESG risk exposure continue to rise, the stage is set for another momentous proxy season. The trending topics of last year will continue to steer the agenda—with the prospect of even more substantial support from shareholders in 2022.
EU Taxonomy in Limbo - Reporting Alignment of Article 8 and 9 Funds in 2022
For observers of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Strategy, 2022 kicked off with a crack and a bang as the European Commission went ahead with plans to include natural gas and nuclear-related activities as potentially sustainable under their ‘Green Taxonomy’. However, in midst of this furor, seemingly less attention has been paid to other components of the regulation that have quietly taken effect from the 1st of January 2022, presenting their own set of challenges.
The ESG Risks of National Oil Companies Taking Over Fossil Fuel Production from International Oil Majors
As growing pressure to cut GHG emissions is causing Western oil majors to sell their high-carbon assets, it is expected that National Oil Companies (NOCs) will pick up some of the production. For investors holding an interest in or considering investing in NOCs or sovereign debt, it is worth assessing how fossil fuel production shifts will impact their portfolio’s alignment with climate ambitions and ESG values.
3 Reasons to Skill Up and Scale Up ESG Stewardship in 2022
As our clients and the industry at large focus on proactively mitigating risk and capitalizing on this evolving landscape, stewardship will be a key lever for savvy investors—particularly those facing external pressure to divest. Here are the ESG themes we see influencing stewardship priorities this year.
5 Sustainability Themes to Expect in 2022
As we enter 2022, it struck me that VUCA--a concept that originated in the mid-1980s at the U.S. Army War College to describe the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the world after the Cold War—is still a useful framework to think of where we are now.