Top Stories

March 18, 2022


Kingspan reveals plans for €70 a tonne internal CO2 price

Building materials giant Kingspan seeks to accelerate decarbonisation efforts within business by putting a price on carbon. The company plans to introduce an internal carbon price of €70 per tonne of CO2 throughout its business from January 2023 with the aim of supporting its 2030 net-zero emissions manufacturing goal. Kingspan made the announcement in its latest report, noting an internal carbon price will help it to significantly accelerate its decarbonisation efforts to meet its science-based targets. The internal carbon charge would require different areas of the business to account for the emissions they generate in their budgets and accounting, providing managers with a clear incentive to adopt lower carbon products and practices. The initial €70 per tonne charge may be adjusted in future to help the firm meet its goals. (Business Green)*


‘Sustainable’ funds no more green than conventional funds

Investment funds that market themselves as sustainable under European rules get similar levels of “green revenues” through the companies they invest in as traditional funds, according to a new study by A study sustainability data platform Clarity AI. The study analysed 31,000 funds to assess how they perform against a new European Union classification system that defines a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. It found that just 3.6% of revenues globally are “green” based on the percentage of sales generated from products that benefit the environment, such as clean water or mitigating climate change. The EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation has faced criticism for its vague definitions. Earlier in 2022, financial services company Morningstar removed 1,200 funds from its European sustainable investment list after finding they did not live up to their sustainability claims. (Reuters)


Swiss Re to tighten rules on oil and gas insurance terms

Reinsurance company Swiss Re has announced plans to limit the number of oil and gas companies it will provide cover to, in an effort to advance its 2050 net-zero target. Among Swiss Re’s new pledges is a commitment to stop providing individual insurance to the world’s most carbon-intensive oil and gas production projects. Projects within the top 10% in terms of emissions intensity will be excluded by July 2023. For the remaining 90% of projects, Swiss Re has stated it will end insurance and reinsurance for all oil and gas companies without “credible” net-zero transition plans that have 2050 deadlines of the latest. The company has an interim commitment to halve reinsurance and insurance for projects without credible net-zero transition plans by 2025. (edie)


UK Export Finance backs €2.1bn Turkish green rail project

The UK Export Finance (UKEF) agency has signed a €2.1 billion loan guarantee deal to support the development of a major electric rail project in Turkey, ramping up its green financing efforts to support emerging economies. Hailed as the UK government’s biggest ever sustainable civil infrastructure deal, the agreement will help fund the construction of 503km of high-speed electric railway designed to advance decarbonisation of Turkey’s travel sector. The deal will see major contracts being awarded to both British and Turkish businesses. The green financing deal will be guaranteed by UKEF through its Buyer Credit Scheme, with Credit Suisse and Standard Chartered structuring and coordinating banks arranging the transaction. When complete, the line is set to provide a faster, low carbon transportation alternative. (Business Green)*


HSBC to review financing policies against 1.5C warming goal

Multinational banking company HSBC has pledged to review its financing and investment policies to ensure they are in keeping with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C. The bank announced the commitment following criticism from green campaign groups around its approach to reducing financed emissions. HSBC stated it will consult with “leading independent scientific, international and other bodies” to assess how best to update its policies on finance and investment for high-carbon sectors. Following the review, HSBC will introduce new policies for the non-energy businesses that HSBC supports that have operations or supply chains in “environmentally critical” areas, including the Arctic and Amazon rainforest. However, HSBC does not yet have plans to set a commitment to decrease oil and gas financing within a set timeframe, stating it aims to “[finance] the transition.” (edie)

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