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Daily ESG Briefing: ACSI fights back against plans to regulate Australian proxy advisors

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), which represents 36 super funds in the country, is opposing proposals by Australia’s treasury to require proxy advisors to submit their recommendations to companies ahead of publication. According to the ACSI, the proposals are an “attack on independent proxy research” and are “potentially a political move given our stance on climate risk and work on executive remuneration”. The plans mirror similar efforts in the US last year, which were eventually abandoned. 

Sweden’s largest buffer fund AP7 has selected ISS-Ethix to provide ESG screening, proxy research and voting services, according to a recent filing. According to the terms of the €0.5m contract, the ISS arm will provide AP7 ESG screens for cannabis, controversial weaponry and climate change.

Researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have proposed a new framework for climate scenario analysis to address shortcomings in existing climate models proposed by climate central banking group the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). According to the IIASA, the NGFS climate models do not take into account the influence of financial actors such as banks, pension funds and insurance forms, and could therefore lead to an “underestimation” of climate risk.

Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan’s largest bank, has committed to decarbonising its investment portfolio by 2050 and has signed up as the first Japanese signatory to the UN-convened Net Zero Banking Alliance. The bank is to announce an interim emissions milestone for 2030 next year, and will report on its progress annually.

Corporate heavyweights in the Nordics have thrown their weight behind the recommendations of the Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future, the Norwegian Finance Ministry and the Oslo Stock Exchange have released a joint statement backing the recommendations, along with an implementation guide to help companies in the region adopt TCFD-aligned reporting.