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Daily ESG Briefing: Canada’s banks put money behind sustainable finance project

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Canada’s largest five banks, TD, Scotiabank, CIBC, BMO and RBC, have put $5m behind the national Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF), which describes itself as “the first-ever collaborative hub in Canada that brings together academia, the private sector, and government with the singular focus of increasing Canada’s sustainable finance capacity”. TD, Scotiabank and CIBC have each pledged $1.25m, while BMO will put down $1m and RBC $250,000. The funding will finance education, professional training, research, collaboration and outreach work.

ASEAN has released a long awaited report exploring the role of Asian central banks in combating climate-related risks. The report makes a number of non-binding recommendations which include the development of a regional principles-based green and transitional taxonomy and green lending guidelines, the integration of climate factors into supervisory assessments and the creation of a common data collection framework. However, it concludes that “a broader climate mandate for monetary policy may not be necessary, effective nor credible”.

Swiss voters will next week vote on a proposal to ban investments in arms companies, an outcome which could force the Swiss National Bank to dump an estimated $100bn of US defence stocks. The proposal is opposed by the government, who allege that divestment won’t stop arms manufacturers and will reduce pension returns, but is supported by 54% of voters, according to reports.

The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has released its report on Sustainable investment in the European asset management industry: defining and sizing ESG strategies, reiterating its call for better ESG data and warning against the proliferation of national levels, favouring a single EU label for funds and products.

The International Council on Mining and Metals has launched a Closure Maturity Framework to help companies address the need for sustainable mine closures. 

Calvert Research and Management, the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer and As You Sow have submitted a joint shareholder proposal at Californian utility Sempra Energy, asking it to “describe the alignment (or lack thereof) of its lobbying activities with the Paris Agreement”. The resolution centres on what the trio describe as Sempra’s “pro-gas” stance.