Daily ESG Briefing: UK Treasury seeks evidence on whether Covid recovery should favour green firms

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The UK’s Treasury Committee is relaunching a call for evidence on whether, and how, the Government’s response to coronavirus should incorporate the UK’s net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 target. Specifically, it is asking for input on “whether HM Treasury’s support packages to business should distinguish between companies based on how much they pollute”, whether it should “be directly funding green infrastructure as part of its coronavirus spending package”, and what policies it should “change due to coronavirus in order to facilitate the transition to meeting net zero”. The inquiry was launched more than a year ago, but has been reopened due to the pandemic. 

Around three-quarters of respondents to The Financial Stability Board’s recent survey on climate risks and financial stability consider, or are planning to consider, climate-related risks as part of their financial stability monitoring. Most focus on the implications of changes in asset prices and credit quality, while a minority of authorities also consider the implications for underwriting, legal, liability and operational risks. These results are part of the FSB’s stocktake of financial authorities’ experiences, and draw on information provided by FSB member national authorities, international bodies and a workshop with the private sector. By October, the monitoring body will conduct further work to assess the channels through which physical and transition risks could impact the financial system and how they might interact. 

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult have launched a five-year collaborative initiative, the Energy Transition Alliance, to develop technologies required for the UK's transition to net zero. Initially, the alliance will focus on five areas linked to renewable energy supply chains and decommissioning of wind projects. 

German development bank KfW has issued a €3bn, 8-year green bond. The bank’s bond has received a AAA rating from Moody’s, and is jointly managed by Commerzbank, Credit Agricole, and NatWest Markets.

Cargill, the US’ biggest privately-held company, has pledged to restore 600 billion litres of water as part of its sustainable water management targets for 2030. Alongside this aim, the food and agribusiness heavyweight has committed to cutting 5 million kilograms of pollutants, improving access to safe drinking water and implementing a Water Stewardship programme.

Robeco is the latest organisation to join the Investment Leaders Group, a bod convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership to create environmentally, socially and economically sustainable investment chains. that prioritises economic, social, and environmental sustainability.