Daily ESG Briefing: Korea’s Green Finance Task Force meets for the first time

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The Korean Financial Services Commission has held the first meeting of its new Green Finance Task Force. The task force will work to establish a monitoring system for financial risks emanating from climate change, boost investment in green industries and consider the possibility of joining international networks on green finance. The Financial Services Commission is a government agency with the statutory authority over financial policy and regulatory supervision.

More than 80 leading fund managers, including the Church Commissioners for England, Gresham House, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Hermes Investment Management, Legal & General Investment Management and Standard Life Aberdeen have launched an initiative called #100blackinterns, to tackle “chronic underrepresentation” of black talent across UK financial institutions. The scheme will allow 100 interns to complete paid, six -week placements over the summer of 2021. Applicants must be currently studying at university, on a gap year, or graduated in either 2019 or 2020. The deadline to apply is November 13th.

Oil company Total and its partners have launched the third phase of development for the Mero deep offshore oil project off the coast of Brazil. The floating production storage and offloading vessel will have a liquid treatment capacity of 180,000 barrels per day and is expected to start operating by 2024. This follows an announcement in May by the energy group that it plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 across its production and energy products used by its customers.

The Trump administration has rolled back 2016 Obama regulations aimed at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations. US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler made the announcement during a visit to election swing state Pennsylvania, saying the new rules would save $100m a year between 2021 and 2030 and “fulfil President Trump’s promise to cut burdensome and ineffective regulations for our domestic energy industry”. The American Petroleum Institute, a fossil fuel lobby, has said it supports the EPA’s revisions.

Meanwhile, a policy briefing from the Grantham Institute has concluded that “staying in the Paris Agreement would result in significant economic benefits for the US, its trading partners and the world economy” and warned that “withdrawing is a mistake”. ‘The economic case for the United States to remain in the Paris Agreement on climate change’ argues that reaching net-zero globally is necessary to stem increasingly costly climate change impacts in the US. It says the international negotiation process initiated by the UNFCCC, in which the US is still a participant, is the best available way of achieving coordinated global action on climate change.