- US pension funds ‘must consider climate-related risks’
- PwC tells new staff they can choose what hours to work
- Anglian Water earmarks £6.5 billion to tackle ‘extreme weather challenges’
- European Commission ditches tariffs on Chinese solar imports
- Acciona to power LATAM’s facilities in Chile with 100 percent renewable energy
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The US state of California has passed a landmark bill requiring two of the country’s biggest pension funds to consider “climate-related financial risk” when making investment decisions. Senate Bill 964 requires the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to identify climate risk in their portfolios and report on that risk to the public and to the legislature every three years. The first report is due before 2020. The two funds – which oversee $590 billion between them – must also report their portfolios’ carbon footprints and their progress towards meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as California climate policy goals. The bill is the first of its kind passed in the US, according to campaign group and co-sponsor of the bill Fossil Free California, and provides a statutory definition of climate-related financial risk. (IPE)
Accountancy giant PwC has launched a scheme that allows some new recruits to work the hours they want. The Flexible Talent Network allows people to list their skills and preferred work pattern when they apply. PwC says the aim is to attract skilled people who don’t want to be tied to traditional 9-to-5 hours. Flexible working patterns can include anything from shorter weekly working hours, to only working for a few months a year. PwC said that it decided to embrace the gig economy after a study it carried out showed that almost 46 percent of 2,000 respondents prioritised flexible working hours and a good work-life balance the most when choosing a job. So far, more than 2,000 people have registered with the new network in the two weeks since the initiative was launched. (BBC)
UK water utility Anglian Water has proposed a major £6.5 billion investment plan to protect water supplies against the growing threat of extreme weather events. Anglian Water said the five-year strategy is one of the largest investments ever made in the region’s water network, and will help protect local residents and businesses against the impact of extreme weather events caused by climate change. Extreme weather events this year, including freezing weather and this summer’s heatwave, have underlined how climate change is set to impact water supplies in the future, explained Anglian Water CEO Peter Simpson. “The plan we’ve proposed, and the millions of pounds of investment within will tackle these challenges head on to ensure that… our customer supplies are not impacted by severe weather… it will ensure there are plentiful supplies of safe, quality water for our growing population,” he said. (BusinessGreen)
The European Commission has decided to lift controls on Chinese solar panels entering the EU market in a move likely to see the availability of lower cost panels improve across the bloc. The Commission announced late last week it will scrap minimum import price (MIP) rules from midnight 3rd September 2018. The MIP was imposed by the EU on Chinese solar goods in December 2013, and extended by a further 18 months in March 2017, in response to fears EU solar manufacturers were struggling to compete with Chinese firms that had allegedly benefitted from unfair levels of state support. Developers and installers have argued that the measures increased the cost of buying and installing solar equipment across Europe, slowing the bloc’s transition to a low carbon electricity system. (BusinessGreen)
The LATAM Airlines Group has signed an agreement to have 80 percent of its energy consumption in Chile powered by renewable projects of Madrid-based Acciona from September 2018. Acciona’s projects will power LATAM’s facilities at Arturo Merino Benítez Airport in Santiago de Chile, including its corporate offices and the operation and maintenance base for its aircraft fleet. This supply will allow the airline to avoid the emission of 5,850 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere per year. LATAM Airlines Group Senior Sustainability Manager Enrique Guzmán commented: “We are the airline with the most extensive network of connections in Latin America, serving 70 million passengers a year and connecting 143 destinations around the world. This means we have a responsibility in terms of caring for the environment, a deep-rooted commitment in our work, and we expect to continue making progress in the use of renewable energies in our operations.” (SantiagoTimes)
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13th and 14th of November | London
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