Top Stories

June 23, 2021


France and UK strengthen climate reporting requirements

France is extending its binding climate targets for investors. This month, the country made it mandatory for investors to set greenhouse gas emission goals every five years to 2050 and for quantified targets to protect biodiversity. The 230 portfolio management firms covered by the regulations will have to declare the percentage of their assets that is green and their exposure to fossil fuel companies, and report against the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). In related news, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority will extend its current reporting requirements, which ask companies to disclose the risks they face from climate change, to eventually cover 98% of both assets under management in the UK market and those held by domestic money managers, as well as standard and premium UK-listed companies. (Reuters, Financial Times*)


Olam Food Ingredients to chart sustainable 'cashew trail'

Global food giant Olam Food Ingredients has moved to improve transparency across the cashew nut supply chain, with the publication of a series of sustainability targets aimed at curbing the environmental impact of the product and bolstering farmer livelihoods. The new initiative, dubbed 'The Cashew Trail', features a series of ambitious goals to fight farmer poverty by increasing average yields by 50%, while also halving the greenhouse gas emission intensity of the company's cashew supply chain. It aims to help 250,000 cashew households to improve their livelihoods through new training programmes, access to fertiliser and investments in education infrastructure. The strategy also includes a new commitment to supply chain transparency, with the company aiming to ensure 100% of its own processing volumes are traceable to farmer group-level. (Business Green)


Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley to bar unvaccinated staff

Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley's staff and clients will be barred from entering its New York offices if they are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Unvaccinated employees will need to work remotely from next month, in a move aimed to allow the lifting of office Covid-related restrictions like face coverings and social distancing. Last week, the investment bank's chief executive called on workers to return to the office. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs bankers were instructed to report their vaccine status ahead of returning to their desks. While the memo encouraged staff to get vaccinated, it did not tell them they must have the jab. In December, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency, allowed firms to bar unvaccinated staff from workplaces, subject to exceptions for religious and medical reasons. (BBC News)


South Korea’s major insurers to stop underwriting new coal power

South Korea’s three major non-life insurers, DB Insurance, Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance and Hana Insurance, will no longer provide coverage for new coal power projects, including their construction and operation. DB Insurance added it will gradually retract its existing insurance coverage to operating coal plants, while the other firms said they will keep their existing insurance coverage. The confirmation follows pressure from a network of civic groups named Korea Beyond Coal, which has advocated for a complete coal phase-out in Korea by 2030. Late last year, insurance affiliates of South Korea's Samsung Group conglomerate, including the remaining major coal underwriter Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, pledged to step up their coal-free policies by banning investments in the coal industry. (Reuters)


UK aviation sector sets interim climate goals towards net-zero

The UK Sustainable Aviation coalition, representing the UK's major airports, airlines and plane manufacturers has, after publishing its plan for reaching net-zero by 2050 last year, announced new interim goals for the industry to reduce absolute net emissions by at least 15% by 2030 and at least 40% by 2040, against a 2019 baseline. The coalition aims to deliver the targets by improving aircraft efficiency while increasing SAF uptake, and investing in carbon removal, contrasting the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee to establish electric aircraft and cap growth. Air safety organisation, Eurocontrol estimates that SAF accounted for less than 1% of the European aviation sector’s jet fuel consumption in 2019.For carbon removal, the coalition expects to use a mix of nature-based solutions and man-made technologies. (Edie)

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Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America