Daily ESG Briefing: Singapore prepares for ESG retail fund disclosures

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Singapore’s Monetary Authority is due to set out regulatory expectations for ESG retail fund disclosures at the beginning of next year, its Managing Director has said. Ravi Menon said in a speech that investors will be able to obtain more information on fund investment processes, as well as risks and limitations associated with the fund’s ESG strategy, under the new rules. Investors will also receive periodic updates on whether the fund has met its ESG investment objective.

Insurance giant Zurich has released its latest Climate Change Scorecard, showing a positive trend for the first time since it was created. The scorecard is part of the firm’s 2021 Climate Change Reporting and tracks progress towards a 2°C scenario across 12 climate metrics including carbon pricing, the uptake of electric vehicles and overall emissions. “The scorecard became greener in 2020, mainly due to the pandemic,” the report explained. “Energy demand fell due to the collapse in economic activity, which was combined with an improvement in energy efficiency. Carbon emissions fell by more than energy demand, due to a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Fossil fuel subsidies slumped, though this largely reflected a collapse in both oil prices and demand, requiring less subsidies to be paid out. As the global recovery has been swift and strong, and oil prices have recovered, we suspect most of these green developments will be reversed in 2021.”

The Global Principles for Sustainable Securities Lending has launched an updated version of the principles, which aim to promote ESG and SDG considerations in securities lending. Signatories to the revised principles, which include values-based short selling and increased transparency, include BNP Paribas Securities Services, NN IP, PGGM and Standard Chartered.

PwC’s climate targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative, as it reaffirms its commitment to reach Net Zero by 2030. The firm has committed to reduce Scope 1, 2 and its largest Scope 3 emissions by 50% by 2030 against a 2018 baseline, which is in line with a 1.5°C scenario. 

Responsible investments in New Zealand rose 28% in 2020 to NZ$142bn (€85bn), according to the Responsible Investment Association Australasia’s annual benchmark report. Responsible asset inflows are growing at more than twice the rate of overall professionally managed investments, with responsibly managed funds now representing 43% of the total AUM in New Zealand.