Daily ESG Briefing: Steve Waygood calls for global climate finance panel for COP26

The latest developments in sustainable finance

ESG heavyweight and Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva Investors, Steve Waygood, has called for the establishment of a climate finance body to push the agenda at the COP26, the global climate summit to be held in the UK in November. He said many negotiators at the summit felt “blind-sided” by the role of the capital markets, and were much better informed on climate and policymaking. “We need to create an international panel on climate finance at COP26,” he told the audience at an event held today by the Principles for Responsible Investment in London.

Californian public pension giant CalSTRS, which has recently faced protests over its fossil fuel holdings, has reportedly approved new ESG guidelines aimed at targeting companies it can have the greatest influence on. The $248bn fund’s investment committee approved the policy, which focuses on measurable outcomes, at a meeting last month. It also approved a new investment principle requiring investment staff to consider investment risks associated with climate change.

Dutch investment manager APG is part of a coalition of 122 large institutional investors, representing €6.4trn in assets, calling on the aviation sector to reduce its net CO2 emissions to zero by 2050. The initiative is an off-shoot of Climate Action100+, the investor engagement monolith targeting the world’s dirtiest companies. “We’re talking about net emissions here. A portion of the emissions will have to be compensated by, for example, planting new trees”, said APG’s Team Manager, Lucian Peppelenbos. But “the sector must strive to make this compensation portion as small as possible”.

Kent Pension Fund, a local government pension fund in the UK, has reportedly announced a review of its ESG policies. The review, which is expected to result in a draft by the summer, could eventually see the £6bn fund introduce carbon footprinting and consider thematic opportunities.

Index provider MSCI and Bloomberg have expanded their Bloomberg Barclays MSCI ESG Fixed Income Index suite with the launch of nine new ESG high yield indices, designed to incorporate ESG considerations in underlying fixed-income indices, includes three variants across US, Pan-Euro, and Global.

New York-based advisory ICR has launched a new ESG service to help private equity and venture capital firms identify and assess corporate ESG issues during the investment due diligence process.