Daily ESG Briefing: Singapore Monetary Authority to pump $1.8bn into climate

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The Managing Director of Singapore’s monetary authority, MAS, has said that plans are being made for mandatory TCFD disclosures for financial institutions and listed companies. Ravi Menon made the announcement at the launch of MAS’ inaugural sustainability report, saying that “the lack of consistent climate disclosure standards has resulted in selective reporting against different frameworks, impeding the growth of sustainable finance globally”. He also announced that the authority would invest $1.8bn from its foreign currency reserves in climate-related investments. The investments will be made through five undisclosed asset managers who will establish their APAC sustainability hubs in Singapore, and establish ESG thematic funds in the region. 

Japanese companies with credible decarbonisation plans will be given tax breaks by the government under rules due to come into effect this summer, according to reports by Nikkei (in Japanese). Investment plans must be approved by the government, but 10% of spending on emissions reductions could be knocked off company tax bills. 

Australian accountancy groups have hit out at the government’s plans to weaken the power of proxy advisors. In a submission to a government consultation, CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, which between them represent more than 200,000 accountants, criticised proposed rules requiring proxy advisers to give their advice to company management for comment before providing it to clients. The pair said it could force not just proxy advisers, but accountants, legal advisers and taxation specialists to disclose confidential advice. 

A coalition of European NGOs has urged members of European Parliament to reject the EU’s current plans for a climate taxonomy. Greenpeace, WWF and others single out provisions on forestry and bioenergy for criticism, asking MEPs not to pass the Delegated Act until the details of amendments to bioenergy and forestry legislation have been made public.

The New Zealand Climate Change Commission has recommended that the country cut its GHG emissions by 78% by 2035, and tripled the 2025 target included in previous public drafts to 18%. Other recommendations include only importing electric vehicles after 2035 and either introducing a separate carbon pricing scheme for agriculture or including it in New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme. The government has until the end of the year to respond to the Commission with an emissions reduction plan.