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Daily ESG Briefing: Credible corporate Net Zero targets double over 12 months, says asset owner group

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The number of companies with credible Net Zero targets has doubled in the past year, according to the Transition Pathway Initiative – an asset-owner led climate project. While only 50 of the 292 companies tracked by the Initiative are on track to keep temperature rises below 2℃, the number of companies with a ‘credible’ Net Zero target has risen from 14 to 35.

Meanwhile, a report from the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the EU’s Climate-KIC has said that regulators should define and enforce Net Zero targets. The study identifies several financial policies and regulations it claims would have a large impact on climate change, including adjusting capital requirements to account for climate risk and signing a non-proliferation treaty on fossil fuel and deforestation finance by central banks and regulated banking institutions.

Campaign group Justice for Myanmar has called on S&P to axe all companies with commercial links to the Myanmar military from its influential Dow Jones Sustainability Index, following its decision this week to delist Adani Ports from the index. Fellow NGO Market Forces has called for BlackRock, JP Morgan and Barclays to cut ties with Adani Ports over its alleged involvement with the Myanmar military and support for the controversial Carmichael thermal coal project in Australia. S&P, Barclays and BlackRock declined to comment on the issue, and JP Morgan did not respond to requests for comment.

S&P Global has launched a ‘data solution’ to help investors meet the requirements of the EU’s new Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). The tool will use Trucost data, ESG scores and sovereign carbon exposure data to map the relevant adverse impacts of investments, as required by the law. Meanwhile, MUFG Investor Services has launched an ESG reporting solution for private markets, which includes SFDR consulting.  

Apple has called on the US Securities and Exchange Commission to introduce rules requiring companies to disclose their carbon emissions. In a statement, Apple, which has disclosed its own emissions for 10 years, said: “Disclosure can serve to create a baseline of comparable, consistent and reliable information, help establish best practices, and promote competition — all critical steps to combating climate change”.

Franklin Templeton will expand its reporting on Scope 3 emissions and establish an Environmental Committee, according to its latest Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The firm says Scope 1 and 2 emissions have fallen by 26% since 2007 and that it will publicly disclose gender and ethnicity representation data and invest in female and black entrepreneurs.