Top Stories

April 13, 2021


Temasek and BlackRock commit $600 million to invest in carbon reduction start-ups

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and US asset manager BlackRock are teaming up as ‘Decarbonization Partners’ to invest in private companies that use technology to reduce carbon emissions. The partnership will launch a series of late-stage venture capital and early growth private equity investment funds, planning to commit a combined $600 million in initial capital to invest across the funds, which would also raise money from third-party investors. The funds will invest in early stage growth companies in areas such as electric and autonomous vehicle technologies, battery storage, grid solutions and emerging fuel sources. The partners will provide their capital and management to scale up decarbonization solutions and technologies with potential to transform the economy. (CNBC)


New Zealand introduces climate change law for financial firms in world first

New Zealand has become the first country to introduce a law that will require banks, insurers and investment managers to report the impacts of climate change on their business. All banks with total assets of more than NZ$1 billion ($703 million), insurers with more than NZ$1 billion in total assets under management, and all equity and debt issuers listed on the country’s stock exchange will have to make disclosures. Around 200 of the country’s biggest companies and several foreign firms that meet the NZ$1 billion threshold will come under the legislation. The bill will require financial firms to explain how they would manage climate-related risks and opportunities, with disclosures set to begin by 2023. Those unable to disclose will have to explain their reasons. (Reuters)


Nike to refurbish and resell used trainers to reduce consumer waste

Global sportswear company Nike is to start refurbishing and re-selling used trainers returned by shoppers in the retailer’s latest efforts to reduce consumer waste. The company will clean up gently worn, like-new or slightly imperfect trainers by hand and resell them at a reduced cost to the original sale price at participating Nike stores. To qualify for refurbishment, consumers will need to return trainers to Nike stores within 60 days of purchase. Up to fifteen US-based stores will carry ‘Nike Refurbished’ footwear by the end of April 2021, with plans to integrate more of this product at additional US-based stores in the coming year. Nike is continuing to explore future expansion of the programme to markets outside the United States. (Reuters)


European wind powers up to €43 billion in 2020 on growing decarbonization focus

The European wind sector saw investment in 20GW of new capacity in 2020 – 13GW of onshore and 7GW offshore – showing a 70% increase in investment according to the latest report from green energy advocacy group WindEurope. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, 2020 received the second highest amount invested in the wind sector to date, after 2016. However, there is still a significant capacity gap, with the European wind industry needing to add 27GW to achieve European Commission goals of 55% renewable energy by 2030. WindEurope’s Chief Executive said that the sector expects to be able to roll-out capacity growth of 15GW over the next few years, leaving a gap of around 12GW of capacity. (Forbes)


Adani Ports to be removed from S&P index due to business ties to Myanmar military

Rating agency S&P Global is to remove Indian ports operator Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone from its Dow Jones Sustainability Index due to the firm’s business ties with Myanmar’s military, which is accused of human rights abuses after a coup this year. The company is building a $290 million port in Yangon on land leased from the military-backed Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC). The decision  comes a month after campaign group Market Forces asked S&P to review the company’s inclusion in the index, citing human rights and environmental concerns. Human rights groups have reported that the company’s ports unit in Myanmar had an agreement to pay millions of dollars in rent to MEC. (Business Standard)


2021 Actions for Business