Daily ESG Briefing: Ontario pension investor ‘to establish global platform for battery storage assets’ with UK acquisition

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO) has acquired UK-based power generator firm, Green Frog Power, in a deal it says will enable the pair “to establish a global, utility-scale platform focused on battery storage assets”. IMCO was set up by the Ontario government to offer economies of scale to the province’s public-sector pension plans, and its clients include the Ontario Pension Board and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. As part of the new deal, it said it would invest up to C$500m in the Green Frog Power over coming years.

Australia’s Origin Energy has announced it will offer shareholders a vote on its climate change reporting at next year’s annual meeting. “The non-binding, advisory vote will complement the continuing conversations we are having with our shareholders and stakeholders about the risks and opportunities climate change presents for the business,” said Chairman Scott Perkins.

The Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility has filed a resolution with BHP Group, asking it to strengthen its review of industry associations to ensure that lobbying is consistent with the Paris Agreement. The resolution also requests that BHP suspend memberships to associations found to have advocacy inconsistent with the Paris Agreement’s goals.

In an attempt to address confusion around impact labeling, investment consultant Tideline has published a Framework for Impact Labeling. The tool, launched alongside a how-to guide on sustainable investing, compares and contrasts different investment approaches according to the degree to which they integrate three core pillars of impact investing: Intentionality, Contribution and Measurement.

Senior executives and investment management teams at Spain’s MAPFRE Asset Management have been accredited as ESG Analysts as part of the firm’s efforts to apply ESG criteria across all liquid and illiquid assets. MAPFRE’s “top asset management leaders, together with their teams” completed a European ESG course by the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies. 

The Parliament of Australia is expected to pass new legislation requiring oil and gas producers to pay the costs for decommissioning their offshore rigs. Resources Minister Keith Pitt said that the total bill would hit $60bn by 2040 and that the laws would require previous owners of an asset to fund the removal of rigs if the current owner cannot. The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association is opposed to such trailing liabilities, saying that they could “encourage the final titleholder … to walk away from the property and reallocate decommissioning costs to former titleholders.” In a compromise with the industry, trailing liabilities will be limited to transactions made from January 2021.

US President Joe Biden signed an executive order yesterday seeking to make half of all new vehicles sold in the country electric by 2030. The order, which is not legally binding, was backed by the US’ biggest automakers Ford, General Motors and Chrysler – all three Detroit auto giants had announced similar targets ahead of the President’s briefing, Reuters reported.