The eagerly awaited ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ (INDC) from one of the world’s biggest emitters has signalled that India is open for business with clear call for climate justice. For corporations and investors it provides pathways to channel their hard-earned money towards a cleaner future. CDP, together with other We Mean Business Coalition partners, welcomes the government of India’s measure to lay down a roadmap that help industry plan for the future in this rapidly growing economy.
Today in New York, the leaders of sub-national governments spanning four continents have announced climate targets that illustrate just how big an impact non-state actors could have in addressing climate change.
Having spent 3 days last week at the PRI in Person conference along with 1,000 other investors, service providers and NGOs, I was struck by the enthusiasm and positive energy in what must be one of the most soulless buildings in the world, the ExCel centre. The sheer number of attendees tells a story, as does the list of companies represented, including PIMCO, Legal & General, HSBC, Swiss Re, Sumitomo and Man GLG. Responsible investment is undoubtedly becoming mainstream, as acknowledged this week by Goldman Sachs, and there are some notable outcomes and implications from the conference and the broader shift in investor attitudes.
This August, US President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first carbon pollution standards for existing power plants via their Clean Energy Plan. This builds on the EPA proposal for carbon pollution standards to cut emissions from new plants in 2013 and directly affects the utility power sector.
As we head towards a historic global climate deal, set to be agreed in Paris at the end of this year, momentum for climate legislation will continue to build. If you have just submitted your CDP response, you may already be starting to identify areas of your business that could be impacted by legislation in 2016 and beyond.
Could more transparency around a company’s carbon dioxide emissions levels affect its cost of debt? This was the central research question Stefanie Kleimeier from Maastricht University and I examined in a recent paper investigating the effects of voluntary greenhouse gas emissions disclosure through CDP and actual emission levels on corporations’ cost of debt.
Words matter. This is especially true for the Paris Agreement on climate change to be concluded this December. Businesses and investors have a clear stake in the words in the agreement and in the political commitment behind them, which will underpin the policy certainty they need to build the low-carbon economy. Getting the right words in the right place is essential to success.
Pension funds and other asset owners have historically had a limited capacity for detailed ESG proxy research on the companies in which they invest, and consequently asset managers receive varied guidelines for proxy voting. The sheer volume and complexity of holdings and companies made it an endless task.
Are global chemical companies innovating for a low-carbon future?
Investors are increasingly waking up to the reality that their portfolios are exposed to numerous climate-related risks, and crucially, are taking steps to address this. Organizations such as the Portfolio Decarbonisation Coalition (PDC) have been gaining momentum, the PDC now has US$40 billion assets under management, and there has been increased action by some asset owners to divest from high impact sectors.
There can be no more urgent objective than making capitalism more inclusive. We need a society that takes into account the social and environmental dimensions of business, because business cannot function without the preservation of either.
CDP’s work with cities began five years ago as a natural extension of our work with investors and companies: a request for disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and assessments of climate risks and opportunities. We provide a globally standardized platform, refined over 15 years, to guide disclosers in developing robust climate-change strategies. The resulting data now informs institutional investors’ portfolios all around the world, helps companies benchmark their climate progress against their peers, and inspires cities to do more.