Top Stories

January 14, 2021


Siemens spin-offs create breakthrough in mass renewable hydrogen production

Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy are developing a commercial offshore wind turbine that produces hydrogen via electrolysis, marking a breakthrough for the mass production of renewable hydrogen. The companies are investing $146 million in the new system. It is the renewable industry’s most concrete plan yet to capitalise on an expected boom in hydrogen demand. Hoping to get ahead of main rivals Vestas and General Electric, Siemens Energy and Siemens Gamesa are targeting large industrial players, including steelmakers, refineries and chemical firms, as customers from the mid-2020s. In the European Union renewable hydrogen is seen as a way to meet goals to reduce emissions, replacing fossil fuel in sectors that are struggling to decarbonise. (Reuters)


Major asset managers still voting against tougher climate measures

An analysis of the world's 30 largest fund managers has found that the global sector is failing to translate high-level climate commitments into investment decisions and support for shareholder resolutions. Conducted by think tank InfluenceMap, the research outlines how each of the 30 finance majors are aligning with the Paris Agreement by tracking progress against three criteria: the carbon intensity of their portfolios, their engagement on climate with investee companies, and their support for climate-related shareholder resolutions. The report reveals mixed progress, with European firms generally out-performing their US-based and Asia-based counterparts. The likes of BNP Paribas, UBS and Legal & General Investment Management all received an overall ‘A+’ grade. This happens in the same week that BlackRock was widely criticised for continuing to hold $85 billion investments in coal. (Edie)


The British government has been urged to give shareholders a vote on how businesses are responding to global warming in a sign of growing investor concern about the risks of climate change to financial returns. The Investor Forum, an influential group whose members account for a third of the UK’s FTSE all-share market capitalisation, including BlackRock, Standard Life Aberdeen, Fidelity International, Schroders, Boohoo and Royal Mail, called on the government to consult on rolling out so-called “say on climate” votes. So far, both Spanish airport group Aena, and consumer goods giant Unilever have pledged to regular climate votes. The Investor Forum says it would be a framework to enable investors to understand which companies are making great progress on addressing climate change and which aren’t. (Financial Times*)


TSB and Aviva Investors plot pathway to net-zero carbon

Major retail bank TSB has unveiled its plans to reach net-zero by 2030, after cutting operational emissions by 66% during 2020. TSB revealed that it has completed the renewable electricity switch and recorded a 66% decrease in operational emissions year-on-year, following the announcement of its 2030 net-zero target in July 2020. The bank has now outlined measures to reduce gas use for heating, which accounts for 94% of remaining operational emissions, by implementing efficiency measures. In related news, asset management company Aviva Investors has revealed its plans to decarbonise its £47.3 billion real assets portfolio by 2040. The company will also funnel £2.5 billion into low-carbon and renewable energy infrastructure and create £1 billion of climate-transition-focused loans for utilities and the built environment. (Edie)


Half of women put off by ‘masculine’ language in job adverts

Biased language in some job adverts in Britain deters as many as one in two women from applying, according to a study by telecommunications company Openreach. The study found that women’s interest in applying for an engineering job increased by over 200% when changes were made to the advert’s language. While 80% of women said they would not consider working in engineering, 56% were interested in the job once the advert had been rephrased, including replacing the word “engineer” with “network coordinator”. Engineering remains a male-dominated profession, with women making up just over 3% of Openreach engineers compared to 11% of engineers nationally. The study also shows that 55% of respondents are considering a new career because of the pandemic, highlighting the pressing need to remove gender barriers to recruitment. (Reuters)


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