Top Stories

December 11, 2020

Sustainable Investment 

Asset managers with portfolios worth $9tr target net zero portfolios by 2050

A group of 30 asset managers with more than $9 trillion under management have launched the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative to help clients ensure their portfolios are carbon neutral by 2050. The group, which includes Schroders and UBS Asset Management, said it would prioritise securing real reductions in emissions at the companies in which they invest, and work with clients over their decarbonisation goals. They also pledged to set interim targets for the proportion of assets managed in line with the Paris climate agreement. The interim targets would be reviewed at least every five years and gradually ratcheted up until all assets managed by the group were aligned with the net-zero goal. (Reuters) 

Climate Change 

EU leaders reach deal to cut emissions by at least 55% by end of decade

European Union leaders reached a hard-fought deal to cut the bloc’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by the end of the decade compared with 1990 levels. This target will replace the bloc’s existing goal to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2030, from 1990 levels. Large swaths of the record-high €1.82 trillion package are set to pour into programs and investments designed to help the member states, regions and sectors particularly affected by the green transition, which are in need of a deep economic and social transformation. EU leaders have agreed that 30 percent of the package should be used to support the transition. (The Guardian) 


Coalition of US companies vow to hire a total of 1 million Black people over 10 years 

A coalition of 37 U.S. companies is aiming to hire and invest in 1 million Black Americans over the next 10 years in an effort it says will chip away at the economic barriers plaguing Black people in the country. The start-up, OneTen, includes companies such as Target, Verizon, and Bank of America who have signed on to help Black people without four-year degrees gain access and keep sustaining jobs. OneTen is intended to be a “comprehensive system” that connects companies with local education and skill-building organizations, such as community colleges and nonprofits, to not only hire Black people, but also intentionally invest in their success at the businesses. (NBC News) 


Sri Lanka returns first batch of imported waste from the UK 

Sri Lanka has sent back the first batch of hundreds of containers of waste to the UK. A total of 263 containers were labelled for recycling but were uncovered to be medical waste. This constitutes a violation of the Basel Convention that regulates the global movement of hazardous waste. Sri Lanka becomes the latest nation in the Global South to push back against abuses of a worldwide recycling framework by exporters in the West. Sri Lanka is also claiming $8.7 million from the UK as compensation under the provisions of the Basel Convention. (eco-business) 


Facebook faces biggest legal battle in years as US officials launch lawsuits

US regulators, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and 48 attorneysgeneral have sued Facebook in twin antitrust lawsuits. Citing scores of internal emails, the two lawsuits allege that Facebook has defended its social media monopoly for years with a “buy or bury” approach to its rivals, such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Letitia James, the New York attorney general accused the social network of abusing its “dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals, snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users”. If the FTC and the state attorneys-general can convince the courts that Facebook’s allegedly anti-competitive behaviour has damaged the market, the default solution is nothing short of the dismantling of the company. (The Guardian; Financial Times*) 

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