Daily ESG Briefing: US ESG disclosure bill advances

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation that would require public companies to annually disclose certain ESG metrics and “their connection to the long-term business strategy”. The ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2021 passed narrowly with 215-214 votes and now moves to the US Senate.

No major Eurozone bank meets European Central Bank expectations on climate-risk assessment, ECB board member Frank Elderson has said. Elderson said that more than half of ECB supervised banks have no approach for assessing the impact of climate risk, and that the ECB would be “following up with supervisory requirements where needed”. 

The UK has officially launched its infrastructure bank, which aims to drive £22bn of funding into clean energy and transport as part of the government’s planned £100bn expenditure on infrastructure this year. The bank will be able to issue £10bn in guarantees for infrastructure projects, and has a further £5bn of equity and £7bn of debt investment available for private companies and UK local authorities. 

Only 13% of general partners have an investment team that is more than 25% female, according to a survey by PineBridge. However, most general partners have taken steps to address diversity issues within their own and portfolio companies. Three-quarters of North American firms had taken steps to support the advancement of women and employees from other underrepresented groups, compared with 66% of European and 57% of Asian firms. A further 48% of all the general partners surveyed had taken steps to promote and track board level diversity in portfolio companies, while 38% incorporated diversity and inclusion related questions during their due diligence processes.

Moody’s ESG Solutions has launched a new dataset to help market participants meet the requirements of the EU SFDR. The initial dataset covers 2,500 entities across 11 of the mandatory Principle Adverse Impact indicators, with plans to add more entities and the remaining seven indicators over the course of 2021. Moody’s also said that it would launch SFDR portfolio reporting tools later this year.