Top Stories

December 14, 2016


Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures releases recommendations

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has announced the publication of its recommendations report. The TCFD was established in December 2015 by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), following a request by the G20. The report outlines a set of recommendations for voluntary, decision-useful, climate-related disclosures to be made as part of mainstream financial filings. Michael R. Bloomberg, Chairman of the Task Force, said the report “represents an important effort by the private sector to improve transparency around climate-related financial risks and opportunities.” FSB Chair and Bank of England governor Mark Carney said: “The disclosure recommendations will give financial markets the information they need to manage risks, and seize opportunities, stemming from climate change”. The release of the report launches a 60-day public consultation period. (TCFD)

Climate change

Capgemini UK announces industry’s first science-based targets

The UK operation of IT services and consulting company Capgemini has revealed new science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions by 20% per employee by 2020, then 40% by 2030. Capgemini in the UK is the first in its industry to publish targets approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, a partnership between CDP, World Resources Institute, WWF and the UN Global Compact. The Science Based Targets initiative works with companies to set ambitious emission reduction targets consistent with the global effort of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change to keep temperatures below the 2°C threshold. Currently, 30 companies have had targets approved by the Initiative, while a further 172 companies have committed to doing so. (Blue & Green Tomorrow)

Supply Chain

Cameroon enabling Central African Republic conflict diamonds

Conflict diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR) are entering the global supply chain because of poor prevention controls, non-governmental group Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) has alleged. Rough stones are being smuggled across the border into Cameroon and adjudged conflict-free after they receive Kimberley Process certificates, enabling them to then be exported to international markets, PAC claims. Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the United Arab Emirates-based chair of the Kimberley Process for 2016 said the monitoring team overseeing exports from CAR has been probing the issue for several months. A concrete push is needed to establish workable structures to manage these issues in a sustainable way, he argued. (Rapaport)

Responsible Investment

Fossil fuel divestment funds double to $5tn in a year

The value of investment funds committed to selling off fossil fuel assets has jumped to $5.2 trillion, doubling in just over a year. A new report by Arabella Advisors reveals that concerns over investments in coal, oil and gas have now entered the financial mainstream, with more than 80% of the funds now committed to divest being managed by commercial investment and pension funds. If the world’s governments fulfil their pledges to tackle climate change by cutting carbon emissions, many fossil fuel reserves will have to be kept in the ground, potentially wasting trillions of investors’ money. “I commend today’s announcement that a growing number of investors are backing a shift away from the most carbon-intensive energy sources and into safe, sustainable energy,” said UN Secretary General  Ban Ki-moon. (Guardian)


Poland marketing inaugural euro five-year Green Bond

The Republic of Poland has started marketing the first Green bond issue from a sovereign state, setting a new milestone for the asset-class that has been growing steadily over recent years. The move to make market history comes despite the coal-dependent nation dragging its feet over the Paris climate agreement. The five-year bond will finance a range of green initiatives, including renewables projects, clean transport infrastructure, sustainable agriculture and afforestation. The Polish Treasury said the proceeds of the issue will be spent in line with Poland’s Green Bond Principles 2016 and reviewed by investment service Sustainalytics. UK banking giant HSBC acted as green structuring adviser and joint bookrunner for the issuance, alongside JP Morgan and PKO Bank Polski. (Reuters; Business Green)


Image source:Polish power station Belchatow by Petr Štefek. GNU Free Documentation license. (CC BY-SA 3.0); ( CC BY 2.5)