Daily ESG Briefing: Swap ‘ESG’ for ‘responsible investment’ to engage savers, says LGIM and Nest study

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Legal & General Investment Management and UK pension fund Nest have issued a report titled Responsible investment as a motivator of pension engagement. The document was driven by the research unit of the Nest pension scheme, Nest Insight, and found that the term ‘responsible investment’ is more likely to engage savers than ‘ESG’. It identifies five elements that need to be present when communicating with savers: relevant stories, reassurance of a lack of sacrifice, that the sustainability is a win/win, evidence backs up arguments, and language is simple.

Over 10,000 companies, cities, states and regions reported data through CDP on climate change, water security and deforestation in 2020 – the highest number the non-profit has ever seen. In the future, CDP will expand its work to cover land and oceans, as well as other environmental themes.

Rainforest Action Network has accused Barclays of providing $24.58bn in underwriting and lending to major fossil fuel companies between January and September this year, despite the bank’s commitment to align with global climate goals. The NGO claims the figure is $200m higher than the same period last year, in its new report: Barclays’ and HSBC’s $43bn fossil fuel problem, which also accuses HSBC of being responsible for $19bn of activity over the same period – a decrease from $21.58bn in 2019. 

Michael Bloomberg’s Climate Finance Leadership Initiative, in partnership with the Association of European Development Finance Institutions and the Global Infrastructure Facility, has released a working paper identifying hurdles to private climate finance in emerging markets, as well as providing starting points for public-private dialogue around such challenges, and highlighting ways for the financial sector to help strengthen investment conditions. Within Attracting Private Climate Finance to Emerging Markets, specific sectors were flagged: clean energy systems, sustainable urban transport, green buildings, and sustainable land use. The paper is open for comment until January 15, 2021

Mercer has launched its climate transition analytics and advice solution for institutional investors who want to transition to a 1.5°C scenario solution. The Analytics for Climate Transition will help investors construct climate resilient portfolios on a multi-year timeframe, according to a statement from the consulting giant. 

Climate Action 100+ has praised Hon Hai Precision Industry’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050; the electronics manufacturer’s announcement follows investor engagement through the initiative.

The Climate Bonds Initiative has published its Shipping Criteria, outlining the requirements for shipping-related green bonds that want to be certified under its Climate Bonds Standard. The NGO, whose label has now been used to certify more than $135bn in notes, provides guidance on how to evaluate whether a shipping project contributes to climate change mitigation, alongside advice on how to transition performance to zero-carbon.