Top Stories

June 23, 2022


BlackRock proposes TCFD alignment with SEC climate rules

The world’s largest asset manager BlackRock published a series of suggested changes to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed climate-related disclosure rules. These include recommendations for a different approach in areas including Scope 3 emissions reporting and materiality considerations. The SEC unveiled its proposed climate-related disclosure rules in March 2022, which would for the first time require US companies to provide information on climate risks facing their businesses. As a founding member of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), BlackRock has been a leading advocate in the investment industry for improved climate-related reporting. One key recommendation made by the asset manager is for greater alignment of SEC rules with the TCFD framework, warning that the SEC’s proposed rules will increase compliance costs and decrease regional comparability. (ESG Today)


$10.6trn investor coalition calls for ‘redesign’ of carbon pricing

The UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA), comprised of 73 institutional investors, has published a new position paper with recommendations on creating carbon pricing frameworks. The NZAOA position paper outlines how, at present, 25% of annual global carbon dioxide emissions are covered by a carbon price. The Alliance raised its concern that prices are far too low in most cases to have a material impact on the low-carbon transition. The paper sets out five principles for effective, Paris-aligned carbon pricing which are: establishing a set of key principles to ensure that ‘climate hubs’ are effective, ensuring that ‘climate hubs’ have clear objectives and operate on a theory of change, maintaining and improving incentives to club membership, implementing a well-defined governance framework covering oversight, promoting the linking of emissions trading schemes. (edie)


Report finds rampant sexual abuse in Australia’s mining sector

Australia will push its mining industry to set up a register of sexual harassment perpetrators to help rein in abuse after a government report detailed cases of “horrifying” and “appalling” behaviour against women. The inquiry by mineral-rich Western Australia also criticised mining giants such as BHP and Rio Tinto for ignoring or overlooking unlawful criminal behaviour. The release of the report followed a year-long investigation into concerns about a culture of sexism and bullying that fuelled public anger about workplace conditions. The report’s recommendations include changing rules to put the onus on companies to keep a harassment-free workplace, rather than on individuals to speak up. BHP acknowledged the report and said it was committed to creating a workplace that is safe, respectful and inclusive at all times. (Reuters)


UK Infrastructure Bank outlines plans to invest £22bn in climate

Set up in 2021, the UK’s Infrastructure Bank has outlined how it plans to invest £22 billion to “tackle climate change and regional inequalities”, with clean energy listed as the largest area of investment. The Bank has £10 billion in government guarantees, £8 billion in debt and equity and £4 billion earmarked for local authority lending. It also has a target to unlock at least £40 billion in private capital investment. Having already invested in seven deals worth £610 million in its first year, the Bank has outlined that its portfolio will focus on five key areas: clean energy, transport, waste, digital and water. The Bank’s strategy unveils plans to focus on low-carbon hydrogen, CCUS, decarbonising buildings, financing retrofits and enabling local authorities to invest in low-carbon transport solutions. (edie)


ONS data exposes ‘shocking’ pension wealth inequality

According to the Office for National Statistics, one-tenth of the UK population held more private pension wealth than the rest of the country combined between 2018 and 2020. The data exposed a gulf in equality on pension savings, with one-tenth of the population holding 64% of the country’s entire private pension wealth. The median pension wealth in this top decile was £637,500, compared with the bottom five deciles holding less than 1%. A third of people expect to retire only with a state pension, while data confirmed that the self-employed are lagging on retirement savings. A spokesperson from pensions and investments at Scottish Widows called for “boosting financial literacy, widening access to financial advice, and a solid long-term strategy from the government”. (FT Adviser)






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