Daily ESG Briefing: SASB strengthens APAC investor advisors with Temasek, Cbus and Dai-ichi

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Note: This article has been corrected to state that Bernard Sharfman was Chair of the advisory council of Main Street Investors Coalition, not Chair of Main Street Investors Coalition.

Investment company Temasek, Australian superannuation fund Cbus and the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company of Japan have joined the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s Investor Advisory Group (IAG) – established in late 2016 to provide investor feedback and guidance to the organisation, especially around standardised disclosure. It now has 54 institutional members, with over $41trn in assets under management.

Coastal flooding will put 20% of the global economy at risk by 2100 if no action is taken, according to a report by the University of Melbourne. The research, entitled ‘Projections of global-scale extreme sea levels and resulting episodic coastal flooding over the 21st Century’ concluded that by 2100 the impact could reach $14.2trn worldwide – approximately one-fifth of global GDP. North-western Europe, Southeast and East Asia, the US and Northern Australia are notably at risk, it said.

Bernard Sharfman, former Chair of the advisory council of Main Street Investors Coalition, has written a letter supporting the Department of Labour’s controversial proposals on ESG rule. In a post on LinkedIn, Sharfman said: “I strongly support the Department of Labor's approach to ESG investing. This is not because the approach matches my personal desires, but because it is what the very defined fiduciary duties of ERISA require of plan managers.”

Seven private equity investors including Coller Capital, ICG, Palatine, Triton, and HG have joined forces to create the 'first' international network under the Initiative Climat International, a PRI-backed coalition originally launched in 2015 by French private equity firms. The corporations have pledged to actively engage with companies they invest in to encourage carbon reduction and incorporate climate risk management into decision making.

The UK’s Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has published guidance to help DB and DC trustees navigate the new requirements to publicly disclose their investment and responsible investment activity over the previous year.  The guidelines, entitled ‘PLSA IMPLEMENTATION STATEMENT GUIDANCE FOR TRUSTEES’, build on the new duties from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which require trustees to disclose how and to what extent their investment action over the course of the previous year follows the investment intent, as set out in the scheme’s Statement of Investment Principles. 

The EU Commission’s roadmap for its Methane Strategy is open for feedback until midnight on 5 August. The strategy outlines how the EU plans to reduce methane emissions, the second largest contributor to ground-level ozone, focusing on three main sources of man-made methane emissions: energy, agriculture and waste.