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Daily ESG Briefing: EU taxonomy’s climate rules clear final hurdle in Parliament

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Members of the European Parliament rejected two objections to the EU Taxonomy’s climate rules last night, meaning the Climate Delegated Act has cleared the final hurdle in Parliament. As previously reported, the Council of EU member states have requested a two-month extension to the scrutiny period of the Act, giving them until early December to decide whether they will approve or veto the act. Meanwhile, it remains unclear when the long-awaited rules covering natural gas and nuclear – which were expected after the summer – will be published by the Commission.

Japan’s Consortium on the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures has released a second iteration of its Guidance for Utilizing Climate-related Information to Promote Green Investment – originally published in 2019. The guidance seeks to help asset owners, asset managers, banks and insurers evaluate and use TCFD-based climate disclosures to informa investment decisions.

German asset manager and ESG data provider Arabesque has kicked off its first engagement campaign, targeting six technology companies in the EU over disclosure. The firm’s investment arm is calling on other “like-minded” investors to join it in pushing SAP, SimCorp, Scout24, ASM International, Barco and Melexis to “sufficiently disclose their emissions”. So far, Investec Wealth & Investment, Velliv, Phitrust, Bayerische Versorgungskammer and BVK have agreed to participate in the initiative, according to the PRI’s website. Letters will be sent to the CEOs of the six companies, arguing that a “lack of corporate disclosure results in gaps in ESG data and analytics, which are the backbone for effective ESG integrated investment strategies”.

Meanwhile, 76 investors including Robeco, BMO Global Asset Management and NEI Investments have signed a letter to 26 technology firms, highlighting long-standing concerns over the industry’s business model. A statement from the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, which coordinated the letter, cited “a lack of transparency, accountability, and oversight structures to prevent human rights/digital rights infringements that are already having profound adverse impacts on people and society”. The companies include tech giants Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung, Vodafone, Google, Apple, Amazon and Alibaba. 

MSCI has launched a ‘Climate Lab’ to provide investors with data on carbon emissions, temperature alignment, net-zero targets and scenario analysis for portfolio companies. The product also seeks to help investors compare firms’ carbon budgets with their expected emissions and identify targets for shareholder engagement.