Top Stories

January 12, 2022


Edelman sets out new climate requirements for clients

PR giant Edelman has pledged to only work with organisations that it sees as committed to accelerating action to net-zero in compliance with the Paris Agreement, following an update to its  global ESG strategy last November. The pledge follows completion of the firm’s 60-day review into its sustainability-related requirements for clients. According to updated terms, Edelman’s clients must now have robust diversity and inclusivity policies and be committed to a just transition to net-zero. Edelman has confirmed it has undertaken an internal review of its existing client portfolio, although it has not yet cut ties with any clients, including fossil fuel companies Shell and ExxonMobil. Edelman’s pledge highlights the increased pressure from activists faced by PR firms and other professional services over their ongoing work with fossil fuel firms. (edie)


RE100 calls for better clean energy support for business

RE100, the coalition of companies committed to transitioning to 100% renewable power, has called on governments to remove barriers to corporate clean power procurement, warning that regulatory barriers are hampering the business world's transition to net-zero emissions. The group issued the appeal to policymakers as it published its 2021 Disclosure Report, which reveals it now incorporates 349 businesses, including new signatory Nokia, who collectively consume more electricity than the whole of the UK. Globally, over half of RE100 members claimed to face challenges in sourcing renewables in markets they worked in, such as limited availability in renewable electricity, lack of procurement opportunities, and prohibitive costs. RE100 members now source nearly 45% of their electricity needs from renewable sources, up from 41% in 2020. (Business Green; Globe Newswire)


Last seven years hottest on record, 2021 data shows

The last seven years were the world’s hottest on record according to data published by European climate agency Copernicus. The year 2021 ranked as the fifth hottest on record, with data showing temperatures reached 1.2ºC above pre-industrial levels. Researchers also found record atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide the potent greenhouse gas methane in 2021. The data coincides with new research published by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which shows ocean temperatures in 2021 were the hottest reported in history. It is the sixth consecutive year that this record has been broken, with 2020 and 2019 being the second and third hottest year for oceans, respectively.  Warmer ocean waters bring concern for increased numbers and intensity of natural disasters, helping to supercharge storms, hurricanes and extreme rainfall. (The Guardian 1; The Guardian 2)


One of the world's biggest wealth funds targets sustainable finance

The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) has revealed ambitions to make its entire portfolio compliant with environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards as Gulf nations reliant on crude move toward life after oil. The KIA, which manages $700 billion according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, says ESG has become central to its outlook. The KIA has sought to guard itself from the nation’s tumultuous politics with a mandate to prepare the OPEC member state for a post-oil future. The Authority states it has applied an undisclosed independent globally-recognised ESG standard, although it is not known what percentage of assets comply. The KIA has stakes in ports, airports, and power distribution systems around the world and manages the Future Generations Fund designed to reduce dependence on oil-related investments. (Bloomberg)*


Climate fund aims to help indigenous people protect world's forests

A global climate fund – the Community Land Rights and Conservation Finance Initiative (CLARIFI) – has launched, aiming to boost climate financing to indigenous communities to help them secure land rights and preserve forested areas from the Congo Basin to the Andes. CLARIFI will distribute donor funding to forest conservation groups, seeking to change the position of the last decade, which saw less than 1% of international climate finance given to indigenous and local communities to manage biodiversity-rich forests that absorb planet-heating carbon emissions. It will draw on government donors including the UK, US, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands who made a combined pledge of $1.7 billion at COP26 to help indigenous peoples and forest communities advance land rights by 2025. (Reuters)

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B4SI Annual Review 2021