INTEGRITY RISK – Businesses are talking about a big climate game. Over 3000 are committed to reducing emissions and glossy sustainability reporting has become routine. But to what extent is this just speech?
A lot. In the United States, 60% of the largest companies have not engaged directly with lawmakers to lobby for climate change mitigation policies. This is the conclusion nonprofit sustainable finance Ceres, which has listed the activity of nearly 100 of the country’s largest and most influential companies.
Almost all of the companies reviewed by Ceres have pledged emission reductions. But more than one in five people have lobbied against science-based climate policies. Others are silent. Ceres called this a “disturbing inconsistency”.
Less than two weeks ago, while Ceres was preparing his report, a lobbyist for Exxon Mobil Corp. made the headlines for privately calling the oil giant’s support for carbon pricing a “talking point.”
“The Exxon video represents our biggest fear, that companies will pretend to be for something and then argue for the exact opposite,” said Anne Kelly, Ceres vice president of government relations.
Ceres gave special attention to the American Chamber of Commerce, one of the biggest stores in the lobby in Washington and a longtime obstructionist on climate policy. The trade group has successfully fought a cap-and-trade bill and methane regulation over the years, and raised other obstacles to action.
Seventy companies reviewed by Ceres are members of the Chamber; only eight say they pressured the trade group to change its positions on climate policy. Among them: Ford Motor Co. and UPS Inc.
Kelly says she is cautiously optimistic and gives the House credit for some of her recent activity and rhetoric.
Does she trust the House? “I am tempted to say that trust is a luxury we cannot afford. I trust the individual members who are trying to change them from the inside out, ”Kelly said. “Professional associations must catch up.
The Chamber says it is catching up. “Judge us on what we do,” said Marty durbin, Chairman of the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute. “The only measure that matters here is what is being done to move towards meaningful climate policy. “
In January, the group approved carbon taxes and other market-based climate policies. This year he joined an effort to regulate methane emissions, a radical departure from previous positions. In 2020, he helped negotiate a deal to phase out hydrofluorocarbons and pushed for a $ 35 billion energy package.
The political about-face has arrived with a new leadership of the House and a radical change of mentality among the members of the group.
“We are an organization of members – insurance companies, energy companies and others,” Durbin said. “Look at what’s going on with American businesses today. They are all under external pressure from investors, labor and the public.
But, Exxon. How will the House gain confidence? “We earn trust by what we do,” said Durbin.
WHILE WE ARE HERE – Members of CEOs climate dialogue, a coalition that includes leaders in oil, utilities, agriculture and chemicals, will make its third virtual trip to Washington on Wednesday to meet with lawmakers.
Requirement : A “significant” reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a carbon price.
They will share the Hill with some 150 members of America Is All In, a coalition of businesses, local governments and institutions that will advocate for a clean electricity standard.
Why is everyone (virtually) in Washington? It’s infrastructure time, which means a time of crisis over climate-related infrastructure provisions. Democrats want a bill by August, but lawmakers still don’t have a proper piece of legislation.
Connect to a Brookings Institution panel on ESG and regulations at 2 p.m. today, for which Lorraine will lead a team of experts. What else is going on? E-mail [email protected] and [email protected]. We are on Twitter at @ceboudreau and @Woellert. FOMO? Register for the long game.
THINGS ARE MOVING FAST – As Washington bickers, the European Central Bank said last week it would integrate climate change into its decision-making.
Don’t doze off! It is important. The ECB is almost as big than the US Federal Reserve. Depending on the evolution of the rules, European banks could be pushed to reduce loans to projects emitting greenhouse gases. Fossil fuel companies might find it more expensive and more difficult to borrow.
The pressure is coming. Lenders invested in fossil fuel companies or exposed to risky real estate could see credit defaults skyrocket due to the weather, ECB President Christine Lagarde said.
“While the costs of transition may be higher in the short run, they are much lower in the long run than the costs of unbridled climate change,” Lagarde said on Sunday at a G-20 climate conference. The central bank will assess the carbon in its assumptions and rethink its modeling of extreme weather effects.
“The depth and breadth of the things they advertised – we’ve never seen this anywhere,” said Justin guay, Director of Global Climate Strategy at The Sunrise Project, an Australia-based non-profit organization. “The ECB announcing this now and setting a pretty solid bar means the US is going to look very out of step.”
The US Federal Reserve does not have a mandate to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, but under President Jerome Powell, it is examining their risk to the economy.
“He’s not exactly a friend of climate action,” Guay said, noting that Powell’s term ends in February. “If he doesn’t do more, the threat of a left flank attack on him because of the weather seems real.”
Fun fact: Central Bank of China gets better grades as the Fed and the ECB in a climate dashboard from the nonprofit climate advocacy group Positive Money.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MONEY MOBILIZATION – US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, also at the G-20, has said she will push the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to align their funding with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Jinx: BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink – yes, also at the G-20 – has said the World Bank and IMF must be prepared to lose money, at least initially.
“If we are to attract the hundreds of billions of dollars of private capital for brownfields and other sustainable projects in emerging markets, we need more solutions like those used in mortgage-backed securities, where a certain degree of losses are absorbed before they impact private investors, ”said Fink.
And private companies must be required to disclose climate risks to avoid a “massive push” for public companies to transfer dirty assets to owners with less control, he said. Oil and gas companies are expected to sell more than $ 100 billion in assets by the end of the decade.
Catherine addressed this issue earlier this year.
ELSEWHERE: The G-20 and Lagarde have also approved a carbon tax.
AND AFTER: The EU’s Fit for 55 climate framework falls on Wednesday. The gigantic and long-awaited policy aims to cut emissions to 55% of 1990 levels by 2030 and will launch tough negotiations between the 27 EU countries and the European Parliament. Reuters has more.
Companies will burn their carbon budgets by 2026 despite hundreds of promises to limit greenhouse gas emissions, MSCI calculates in its first net-zero tracker. The laggards: Coal India, Surgutneftegas in Russia and Shaanxi Coal Industry in China.
Net zero asset managers initiative added 41 signatories, bringing its ranks to 128 investors. The group now manages a total of $ 43 trillion, nearly half of the world’s total assets, reaching what it called a net zero tipping point. Franklin Templeton, MFS Investment Management, HSBC Asset Management, Willis Towers Watson and International Business of Federated Hermes are among the participants.
And there is a new alliance in town. The UN convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance brings together eight insurers and reinsurers who have committed to purifying their greenhouse gas emissions portfolios by 2050. The founding members: AXA, Allianz, Aviva, Generali, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich.
ENDLESS SUMMER – Farmers are uproot almond trees because there is not enough water. Washington and Oregon issued emergency protections for agricultural workers. Millions of clams, mussels and other creatures have been cooked to death. Death Valley had his hottest 24 hours on record. Governor of California Gavin Newsom issued a prescription to relieve stress on the power grid. Since June 1 at least 67 weather stations signaled the fall of decades-old records. There is more, but you see the picture.
NOURISHING NATURE – The UN wants to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and seas by 2030. The first draft of the agreement of the Convention on Biological Diversity also proposes to halve food waste. The draft agreement will be discussed in August ahead of a meeting in China in October.
– Some high-ranking black managers at Walmart do not recommend working at the retail giant, Bloomberg Reports.
– Environmentalists enter the glaciers for summer, BBC reports.
– How Lego perfected the recycled plastic brick, by WIRED.