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Daily ESG Briefing: Bloomberg group to pilot green investment programmes in developing markets

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Michael Bloomberg’s Climate Finance Leadership Initiative has said it will create a series of “country pilots” to stimulate private investment in green projects in developing markets. Starting with India and Indonesia, the group will bring together local governments, and global and domestic financial institutions from the private sector to “drive forward capital mobilisation to accelerate the energy transition”. 

The Investment Consultants Sustainability Working Group has endorsed the new Impact Investing Principles for Pensions. The Principles, developed by a partnership between the UK’s Impact Investing Institute and Pensions for Purpose, encourage schemes to set impactful objectives, appoint investment consultants and managers with “impact integrity”, use their voice to make change via engagement and voting, and to manage and review their impact.

Aviva Investors voted in favour of 98% of the most significant climate and social shareholder proposals in 2020, according to its annual responsible investment review. The asset manager carried out more than 1,500 engagements with companies, with 90 successes including at AT&T, Glencore and Equinor, and voted against 43% of remuneration proposals. 

Finance for Tomorrow has published a report that outlines how 40 French entities contribute to financing sustainable infrastructure projects in the developing world. The report, based on a questionnaire and interviews with the players, which include BNP Paribas, Descartes Underwriting, Société Générale and CNP Assurances, maps the location of projects and the SDGs they seek to support. 

The US Impact Investing Alliance, B Lab and a coalition of more than 50 impact-oriented organisations have called on the Biden administration to create an “initiative on inclusive economic growth”, to coordinate policies promoting a just recovery from Covid in the US. Among the group’s recommendations is “a shift from shareholder primacy to stakeholder capitalism”.

An alliance of clothing retailers and shipping companies has pledged to avoid using new arctic shipping routes, citing concerns over increased emissions and risks to marine life and biodiversity. Signatories to the pledge include retailers Nike, H&M, and Gap, as well as ocean carriers CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd and the Mediterranean Shipping Company.

Campaign group Law Students for Climate Accountability has written to Gibson Dunn, calling on the law firm “to commit to a publicly available ethical standard that articulates its protocol for representation of the fossil fuel industry”. Gibson Dunn was named in the 2020 Law Firm Climate Change Scorecard as having conducted the second largest amount of anti-climate litigation of any firm. The letter claims that the firm has “consistently and actively used its legal skills to advance the interests of high-paying companies that cause immense harm to the climate and frontline communities, particularly Indigenous communities”.