Top Stories

December 09, 2020


Number of businesses securing CDP’s top score surges by 50 per cent

The number of companies to make CDP‘s ‘A List’ has grown by almost 50 percent over the last year, according to an update from the climate risk disclosure and environmental ratings body. The nonprofit revealed that 300 companies, representing a combined $15tr market capitalisation, have achieved an A score based on their annual disclosure through one of CDP’s climate change, forests, and water security questionnaires, with 10 companies clinching an A score across all three categories. The results, announced yesterday, highlight improving environmental transparency and action across the business world. More than 9,600 companies disclosed their environmental impacts through CDP in 2020, a 14 percent increase from 2019 and a 70 percent increase since the landmark Paris Agreement was signed five years ago. (Business Green) 

Sustainable Development 

Singapore to host World Economic Forum in May next year

Singapore will host the World Economic Forum‘s (WEF) annual meeting next May, which will see top political, business and academic leaders gather to discuss pressing global issues. Announcing its decision to shift the annual forum from Switzerland in view of the Covid-19 situation in Europe, the WEF said last night that the meeting in Singapore “will be the first global leadership event to address worldwide recovery from the pandemic”. Hosting the WEF’s annual meeting will give a boost to Singapore’s meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) sector and other sectors like hospitality, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) noted. (Strait Times) 


Trump’s EPA to finalise rule making it harder to issue new curbs on air pollution

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to finalise its overhaul of how it measures the costs and benefits of proposed new curbs on pollution, a move that is likely to sap the agency’s power to impose tough future regulations. The move is among a raft of measures the Trump administration is seeking to finalise before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated next month. The rule would require the EPA to weigh the economic impact of a proposed rule without factoring secondary public health benefits, which have previously been used to justify expansive regulations, according to the source. The Trump Administration claims this is to shield industry from what it considers historic overreach by environmental regulators. (Reuters) 


Energy efficiency improvements for 2020 ‘the weakest in a decade’

Despite nations investing in retrofitting and businesses looking to make energy savings amid lockdown restrictions, global progress on energy efficiency has slowed in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). In its ‘Energy Efficiency 2020’ report, it has recorded the poorest rate of improvement in primary energy intensity since 2010. While many governments have upped investments in energy-efficient buildings, other nations have chosen not to and the benefits of these schemes aren’t likely to come to fruition until 2021 or 2022. The IEA has repeatedly claimed that improving energy efficiency can deliver almost half of the reduction in energy-related emissions that is needed by 2040, if the world is to align with the Paris Agreement. (edie) 

Sustainable Investment 

Malaysia’s CIMB bank unveils 2040 coal exit plan

Malaysian bank CIMB has unveiled a comprehensive climate policy that rules out any exposure to coal power by 2040, aligning Southeast Asia’s fifth-largest bank with the Paris Agreement on climate change. CIMB announced that it will prohibit asset-level or general corporate financing for new thermal coal mines, new coal-fired power plants and expansions, except where there are existing commitments in place. It also called on power generation companies such as national electricity utilities to provide a diversification strategy to reduce the share of coal in their power generation mix. The new coal policy makes CIMB the first bank in Malaysia and Southeast Asia to commit to phasing out coal from its portfolio by 2040. (eco-business)