Top Stories

November 08, 2022


Over 50 top firms pledge to align lobbying activity with Paris Agreement

More than 50 companies have signed a new ‘Action Declaration’ that commits them to bring their policy engagement activity in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Launched at COP27, the ‘Action Declaration on Climate Policy Engagement’, has been signed by companies that boast almost $900 billion in annual revenues, including leading brands such as Unilever, Ikea owner Ingka Group, Commerzbank, Tech Mahindra and Enel. Organised by research and media group Corporate Knights and the Global 100 Council, the pledge commits firms to ensure their engagement with policymakers, and lobbying done on their behalf by trade groups, supports climate action aligned with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. It also commits companies to monitor and publicly disclose how their direct and indirect lobbying activity aligns with climate goals. (Business Green)*


LEAF: corporate spending commitments reach $1.5bn at COP27

Automotive manufacturer Volkswagen and retailer H&M have been named the latest signatories to a global coalition to scale the market for emissions reduction credits from forestry programmes. The move brings the total corporate finance commitment of the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) coalition to $1.5 billion. This means LEAF has met its at least $1 billion target to support emissions reductions by ensuring tropical forests that act as carbon sinks are protected from deforestation while protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. As corporate members, the two companies have committed to purchasing “high-integrity” emissions reduction credits, based on national or large-scale REDD+ schemes. The new funding commitments represent a 100% increase in private sector spending commitments since COP26 when LEAF’s target was announced. (edie)


CDP to incorporate ISSB climate disclosure into company questionnaires

Non-profit organisation CDP has announced it has officially integrated the International Sustainability Standard Board’s (ISSB) latest climate standard into its disclosure platform. The ISSB’s ‘IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures Standard’, which is currently being finalised, will be incorporated into the questionnaires CDP sends out annually to 18,700 companies from 2024. Announcing the decision ahead of the dedicated ‘Finance Day’ at COP27, CDP said the move provided investors with more consistent and comparable climate-related information, while reducing the reporting burden on companies. CDP and ISSB said they wanted to send a “clear signal” to the global market that they were responding to calls for more effective and consistent climate disclosure. CDP said it would provide the IFRS Foundation with access to data on disclosures so that the standard could be continuously improved. (Business Green)*


WBA: financial sector’s approach to climate change “fragmented”

Research organisation the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) has published its first benchmark on the world’s biggest 400 financial institutions and their contributions to the sustainable economy. The WBA says its new ‘Financial System Benchmark’ highlights that the financial sector’s current approach to tackling climate change and protecting human rights is fragmented, siloed and insufficiently aligned to drive scale. According to the findings, only 20% of the financial institutions with the greatest ability to influence the UN SDGs have publicly acknowledged their impact on people and the planet. Only 2% of financial institutions disclose their financing to low-income countries. Other insights found less than 40% of financial institutions have disclosed long-term net-zero targets, and fewer than 5% of institutions acknowledged a process to identify the impact of their financing activities on nature. (Circular Online)


Survey: lack of female executives in UK boardrooms ‘appalling’

UK companies are guilty of an “appalling” shortfall of women in executive roles, according to a FTSE board report from Cranfield University and professional services firm EY. The annual survey of the UK’s FTSE 350 raises new concerns that companies are not doing enough to bring women into management positions despite hitting targets for women directors in the boardroom. The number of women on FTSE-listed company boards has risen in 2022 to almost 40% but 9 in 10 were in non-executive positions, suggesting the increase has been driven to comply with targets. The survey showed there were only 9 female chief executives in the FTSE 100. While women in non-executive roles in the FTSE 100 increased by 15%, the number of women in executive directorships increased by just 3%. (Financial Times)*

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