Daily ESG Briefing: Singapore Finance Ministry in green bonds push

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Singapore’s Finance Ministry has established a new Green Bonds Programme Office to speed up the development of sustainable borrowing in the country. Speaking at the Singapore Sustainable Investing and Financing Conference, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said that the office would develop a framework for green bond programmes, engage with industry and manage investor relations. The Monetary Authority of Singapore will also facilitate the issuance of sustainable labelled debt by SMEs and large corporates, Wong said.

JP Morgan will require “no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation” policies from its palm oil clients as part of a number of strengthened deforestation policies, the first major US bank to do so. The bank has also strengthened requirements for soy producers outside the US and included paper and pulp producers in its timber policies.

Tikehau Capital has set a target of investing €5bn into climate-dedicated assets by the end of 2025. The alternative assets manager, which currently has €1.5bn in strategies it says pursue environmental or social objectives, has established a Climate Action Centre to “harness financial innovation” and focus on topics including decarbonisation, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity. Pierre Abadie has been appointed Group Climate Director to lead the Centre.

The Church of Ireland has said it will complete its fossil fuel divestment by the end of the year. The Church, which will ditch all companies where more than 10% of turnover comes from fossil fuel extraction, began the process in 2016 when it introduced restrictions for thermal coal and tar sands. 

Environmental law NGO ClientEarth has written to the European Commission calling on it to withdraw from the controversial Energy Charter Treaty, describing it as “irreconcilable” with EU climate objectives. RWE and Uniper are currently seeking a total of €2.4bn in compensation from the Netherlands over its coal phase-out plans, using protections provided in the treaty. Client Earth’s letter, which is supported by a number of other civil society groups including the Climate Action Network Europe and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, calls on the Commission to “urgently design a plan to leave the ECT”.

Castlefield Investment Partners and Snowball Impact Management have won the EIRIS Foundation’s £1m responsible investment mandate. Earlier this year, the Foundation launched a request for proposals based on its new responsible investment policy. After reviewing the proposals, the Foundation decided to split the mandate equally between Castlefield and Snowball, with a representative from EIRIS joining Castlefield’s external advisory committee.