Daily ESG Briefing: Key governments team up on plans to end OECD export financing support for coal

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The US, Canada, EU, South Korea, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK are co-sponsoring a proposal to end export financing support for unabated coal power. The proposal will be put forward at an OECD meeting today (September 15). A statement from the US Treasury said the US – which would only consider coal with carbon capture, utilization and sequestration technology attached eligible under the plans –  was also “examining ways to further support global exports related to renewable energy and climate change mitigation”. 

China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey and Bangladesh account for more than 80% of the world’s coal-fired power project pipeline, according to think-tank E3G. The remaining list of pre-construction projects is spread across a further 31 countries, 16 of which have a single project planned. Since 2015, the report says that 44 governments have committed not to pursue further coal projects, with a further 40 having no projects in the pipeline. 1,175GW of planned coal-fired power projects have been cancelled over the period, driven in part by government policy and public opposition to coal.  

Japan’s Minister of the Environment is funding research on the underlying primary and raw datasets being used to create ESG data, and their exposure to greenwashing risks. The project, titled Exogenous Data Disclosure Probability and ESG Data Risk Factor for the Sustainable Finance Sector and Green Finance Products, is being led by Dr Kim Schumacher, a lecturer in sustainable finance at Tokyo Institute for Technology’s School of Environment and Society. 

Machine learning specialists Insig AI has launched an ESG business. Insig ESG is based on 15 machine learning models that seek to find evidence of disclosure across different corporate sustainability topics. The firm, which provides tools to asset managers, says the new service maps directly to existing standards and frameworks from SASB, TCFD, GRI, S&P and MSCI. 

Liberty Mutual Insurance has committed to a 50% reduction of Scope 1 and 2 global emissions by 2030 from 2019 levels. To reach these goals, it will continue to reduce its operational carbon footprint and work to identify opportunities to use renewable energy across its real estate portfolio. The Boston-headquartered insurer has also joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), which seeks to develop methods to assess the climate impact of lending books and investments.