Daily ESG Briefing: Head of French central bank urges ECB to ‘green’ its collateral requirements and bond purchases

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Banque de France, has said the European Central Bank (ECB) should consider climate in its collateral framework as well as in its own asset purchases, favouring Paris-aligned companies in its QE programme. In a speech yesterday (Thursday), he said that “all corporate assets, whether they be held on the central bank’s balance sheet as purchases or taken as collateral,” should integrate climate risks, but noted that sovereign bonds, which make up the majority of assets held by the ECB, should be exempt. Most central banks lend money to commercial banks in return for loans to improve their liquidity. 

Investors including the Church of England Pensions Scheme, Legal and General Investment Management and the Comptrollers for both New York State and New York City, have warned Amazon not to interfere in its employees’ unionisation efforts. 74 investors signed the letter to the online retail titan after it was accused of waging an anti-union campaign ahead of a ballot on the topic among 5,800 employees in Alabama.

Bank of America has become the latest bank to commit to net-zero by 2050, following an announcement in July 2020 that it would disclose its financed emissions through the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials. The announcement comes as a result of engagement by As You Sow and Arjuna Capital, who have now withdrawn a shareholder proposal asking the bank if and how it planned to align its financing with the Paris Agreement.

The Moroccan Capital Market Authority and IFC have joined forces to promote the development of sustainable finance in the Moroccan capital market. In particular, the collaboration will focus on improving ESG reporting.

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Shell can be sued in the UK for alleged environmental breaches in Nigeria. The court said there is a “good arguable case” that Royal Dutch Shell is legally responsible for the systemic pollution of the Ogale and Bille communities by its Nigerian subsidiary, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria. Daniel Leader, a Partner at law firm Leigh Day, which represents the claimants, said the verdict marked “a watershed moment in the accountability of multinational companies”.