Top Stories

June 09, 2021


SoftBank launches diverse start-up investment initiative in Europe

SoftBank Investment Advisers, which manages the Japanese conglomerate’s Vision Fund for tech investing will launch its ‘Emerge’ accelerator programme in Europe to support diverse start-up founders. The company first introduced its Emerge initiative last year in the US with office rental firm start-up incubator WeWork Labs, to back 14 start-ups whose founders come from underrepresented backgrounds, including non-white, female, LGBTQ+, disabled, refugee backgrounds. SoftBank has invested $5 million across 13 start-ups so far. In Europe, SoftBank will partner with venture capital investors such as Speedinvest, Breega, Cherry Ventures, firstminute capital and Kindred, to provide  investment to diverse start-ups in the early stages of development and support inaccessing a broader network of potential investors and partners. (CBNC)


UK launches taskforce to tackle greenwashing in financial sector

The UK Government is set to launch a new advisory group tasked with creating a 'green taxonomy' for finance, in a bid to crack down on greenwashing in the investment space. Called the ‘Green Technical Advisory Group’, the taskforce will outline which kinds of financing activities can be badged using terms such as “sustainable” or “low-carbon”. The outline will be presented to the UK Government as advice, and will require further steps to be enshrined in law.  It will comprise of members from NGOs, trade bodies and academia, alongside organisations that will use the finalised taxonomy and organisations with expertise in creating such frameworks. Member organisations include the Green Finance Institute, WWF, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, the Confederation of British Industries and the Aldersgate Group. (Edie)


Singapore launches MAS sustainability report to lead green push

The Monetary Authority of Singapore released its inaugural sustainability report, laying out its plan to green the city-state’s finance sector and lead the energy transition in Asia. The report, which consolidates previously announced policies by the central bank, highlights Singapore’s support in the fight against climate change by eliminating harmful emissions globally by the middle of the century. Those efforts include testing the climate resilience of its official reserve investments and deploying $1.8 billion to five asset managers as part of its Green Investments Programme. MAS plans to report annually on its efforts to strengthen the climate resiliency of the country’s official reserves, which it manages. It will also announce more information on mandatory risk disclosures for companies in the coming months. (Bloomberg*)


UK to ban halogen light bulbs from September in green push

The UK will ban the sale of halogen light bulbs in September as part of a shift toward LED-only lighting from 2023 to curb emissions. The transition to LED bulbs –with sales of fluorescent lights ending in 2023 –will cut 1.26 million tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing over half a million cars from UK roads. LED lights already account for about two-thirds of UK bulb sales. They last five times longer than traditional halogen bulbs, producing the same amount of light but using as much as 80% less power. The ban is part of broader measures to make homes greener, which includes a plan to replace conventional gas boilers with potentially more expensive “green” alternatives. (Bloomberg*)


World predicted to hit 'peak oil' by 2030 in shift to renewables

A new study by international law firm CMS shows that despite a 6% fall in global energy demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the world's largest oil and gas companies increased investment in clean energy by 34% in 2020.. The research assessed investment strategies of 15 top oil and gas majors, including BP, Shell, Total, Eni, Repsol, Equinor, Exxon, Chevron, CNPC, Petrobras and Saudi Aramco. Investment in renewables was the least affected by spending cuts and emerged as the most resilient during the COVID-19 crisis, with oil and gas majors investing $8.8 billion in 2020, compared with $6.6 billion the year before. If the same pace of investment is maintained, the research foresees peak oil happening “around 2030,” after which the rate of crude oil production is expected to fall. (Edie)

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