ESG Daily Briefing: Impax publishes guide for policymakers to attract Paris-aligned investment

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Impax Asset Management has published a framework “to help policymakers in middle-income countries mobilise the private sector investment needed to meet their climate goals of the Paris Agreement”. The sustainability-focused investment house has set out five steps that policymakers should take. They are: 1) Agree and publish clear sectoral objectives and investment requirements, 2) Build understanding within government of sector and project economics 3) Implement investment-grade policy at all levels: sectoral, indirect and investment climate 4) Provide implementation resources that address local circumstances and barriers 5) Initiate a clean investment dialogue with private investors and other key stakeholders at the start of the process.

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy have announced the cancellation of the contentious Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The line, set to carry natural gas across the Appalachian Trail, has faced years of intense criticism and legal challenges. Despite a victory for the project at the US Supreme Court in June, a series of further challenges caused significant cost increases and delays. Dominion Energy has also announced the sale of its gas transmission and storage assets. The announcement comes the same week that the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline was put on hold by a judge, pending a thorough environmental review.  

FTSE Russell has launched a market consultation on enhancing climate change scores in ESG Ratings and FTSE4Good Indexes. The consultation invites clients and stakeholders to provide feedback on proposed enhancements to the climate change assessment of corporate issuers in ESG Ratings. The consultation will close on July 31 and is available here.

A report from think-tank Global Energy Monitor reveals that nearly half of all infrastructure projects for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) face an uncertain future due to climate change, global protest movements and COVID-related delays. The report is available here.

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published a report assessing ESG disclosures by US firms. The independent investigative agency found that shareholder proposal numbers have declined from 2015 to 2019 and faith-based investors and socially-focused asset managers submitted the majority of environmental and social proposals in 2018 and 2019. The report is available to read here.

The International Securities and Lending Association Council for Sustainable Finance (ICSF) has welcomed two new members this month: MN Services based in the Netherlands and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in Japan. ICSF also announced two new partnerships with the Risk Management Association and BNY Mellon in North America.