Daily ESG Briefing: Carney’s carbon offsetting taskforce seeks governance body

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, set up by former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, has opened applications for a governance body to strengthen the voluntary carbon markets. The governance framework, developed by consultancy McKinsey, will include a board of independent directors comprising founding sponsors of the Taskforce, an expert panel of market participants, an executive secretariat, funders and a member-led consultation group. The deadline for application is August 9th for launch in October. The governance body will seek to set legal principles to guide the market and the criteria for carbon credit integrity, known as the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs). 

A Federal Court in Australia has ruled that the country’s Environment Minister has a “duty to take reasonable care” that young Australians won’t be harmed by carbon emissions when considering the approval of an extension to the Vickery coal mine. Climate campaigners told the Guardian that there was “no moral, legal or rational way” that the project could now be approved, and David Barnden, who represented the eight high school children and a nun who brought the case, said that the duty of care could conceivably extend to other fossil fuels projects.

Less than half of firms putting their Say on Climate proposals to shareholders have committed to holding a periodic vote, according to figures from advisory firm SquareWell. As of June 2021, 32 companies have been subject to either a management or shareholder-sponsored ‘Say on Climate’ proposal – giving investors a vote on the credibility of corporate climate strategies – but there are concerns over the lack of consistency between proposals. Management-sponsored Say on Climate proposals received on average 90% of the shareholder vote regardless of the robustness of climate plans, says SquareWell, claiming this “confirms one of the criticisms of the Say on Climate Campaign”.

BlackRock, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Fitch Ratings, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, New Forests, Nuveen and Robeco have become “strategic partners” of the Inevitable Policy Response – the PRI’s global climate policy forecast. 

Manaos, BNP Paribas Securities Services’ ESG marketplace, has announced a partnership with VE – the Moody’s-owned ESG data house formerly known as Vigeo Eiris – and sustainable investment fintech Util. VE data will be included on the platform to help investors assess their exposure to risks and opportunities, while Util's machine learning models will evaluate companies’ positive and negative impacts on the Sustainable Development Goals.

State-owned German bank BayernLB and its subsidiary Deutsche Kreditbank have signed up to the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) – a group of banks and investors seeking to develop a standardised way of measuring the emissions associated with lending books and investment products. PCAF now has 130 members across North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.