Daily ESG Briefing: Oil majors face mass downgrade by S&P

The latest developments in sustainable finance

S&P Global Ratings has cranked up its risk warning for oil and gas producers, putting Exxon, Total, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Woodside Petroleum, Canadian Natural Resources and China Petroleum on watch – along with some of their subsidiaries – ahead of a possible downgrade in credit rating. S&P described “the energy transition, price volatility, and weaker profitability” as growing risks for the industry, adding: “To factor this into our ratings, on Jan. 25, 2021, we revised our industry risk assessment to moderately high risk from intermediate risk”.

Data house Refinitiv has become the latest provider to free up its company ESG scores. More than 10,000 scores, based on public data, will be available on the firm’s website. Refinitiv has also launched a new ‘ESG voice app’, which allows users to access ESG scores via Alexa or other voice assistants. 

Data from the Science Based Targets initiative has shown that companies with science-based emission reduction targets have reduced their combined emissions by 25% since 2015. Analysis of 338 companies including Mastercard and UK retailer Tesco showed that on average, scope 1 and 2 emissions were falling 50% faster than needed to meet the 1.5°C target.

ESG data software company Diginex Solutions has launched a new ESG reporting product which it claims will enable companies with limited reporting experience to easily start reporting ESG data. 

Rabobank has expanded the use of its sustainability framework by launching a green deposit programme. The bank, which already issues green and social bonds under the framework, has secured Dutch-US publishing house Wolters Kluwer as the first client of the new programme, which will use deposits to finance renewables and green real estate.

Derivatives marketplace CME Group will launch a Global Emissions Offset futures contract in March. The contract, which was jointly developed with Xpansiv market CBL, is based on the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation.