Daily ESG Briefing: Harry and Meghan become ‘impact partners’ for ESG investment platform

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have joined $1.3bn ESG asset manager Ethic as ‘Impact Partners’. The pair had previously invested in the platform, which screens companies for retail investors based on ESG criteria such as racial justice and climate. “My husband has been saying for years, ‘Gosh, don’t you wish there was a place where if your values were aligned like this, you could put your money to that same sort of thing?’”, Meghan told the New York Times.

Amundi, State Street and BNY Mellon are among those to have recommended that Ireland create an International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence, as part of a new roadmap developed by public- and private-sector players. The roadmap sets out the measures the country should take to become a leading centre for sustainable finance by 2025. 

Investors Allianz and Union Investment are among a group of companies publicly calling on the future German Government to make climate neutrality the “central economic project of the coming legislative period”. Since winning the election last month, the Social Democratic Party has been in talks with the third-place Greens and fourth-place Free Democratic Party on forming a government. Among the six demands from the German companies is that the new government simplifies “the approval of climate-friendly infrastructures”.

40 of the world’s biggest cement and concrete manufacturers have today committed to Net Zero emissions by 2050, with an interim target of a 25% cut in emissions – representing 5 billion tonnes of CO2 – by the end of the decade. The members of the Global Cement and Concrete Association, which represent 80% of total production outside China, have also published a seven-point roadmap to achieve their “ambitious” Net Zero goal.

Indian bank Federal Bank Limited has reportedly agreed to stop financing new coal projects. The move comes just months after the International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank, acquired a 4.99% stake in the bank. Federal Bank signed up to the IFC’s new Green Equity Approach, which supports clients to reduce coal exposure to zero, or near zero, by 2030.