ESG knowledge shared: March 2022

ESG knowledge shared: March 2022

Keep up to date with responsible investing through our monthly roundup of highlights – articles we’re reading, podcasts we’re enjoying, useful videos and more.

Responsible investment is continuously evolving, driven by the research and insight that fuels new discussions. Keep up to date on your responsible investing knowledge using our external ‘top picks’ of content. See what content our team have enjoyed in the last month and access thinking across third party events, articles, video and more.

Climate change

Climate Change Is Harming the Planet Faster Than We Can Adapt, U.N. Warns

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been hailed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership”. Key messages from the report include: the poorest are the hardest hit; impacts of climate change are more widespread and negative than previously thought; and human activity has changed 75% of land globally. Significantly, the report’s focus on climate justice and equity could shift the global narrative on who the vulnerable are, and who should take responsibility.

Satellites map huge methane plumes from oil and gas

Satellites can now map methane leaks from oil and gas fields. The IPCC suggests that up to 50% of the current rise in temperatures is down to methane, so plugging these leaks would be a major win against climate change. And with higher resolution sensors coming in the next few years, it will be possible to identify individual oil and gas facilities, making it more difficult for the industry to claim ignorance about leaks, unintended or otherwise.

Oil and gas facilities could profit from plugging methane leaks, IEA says

On the same topic as above, there are also financial benefits: plugging methane leaks would be free globally and actually produce a significant profit.

Force pension funds to align with net zero goal, says Richard Curtis

Film-maker and co-founder of the Make My Money Matter campaign Richard Curtis is urging UK ministers to act on the country’s legal commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, by introducing a mandatory requirement for pension schemes to align their portfolios with the target.

Biodiversity

Scotland hopes to save wild salmon by planting millions of trees next to rivers

Rivers and burns in the Scottish highlands and uplands are already too warm in summer for wild Atlantic salmon on their journey upstream to spawn, which is threatening the species’ survival. Millions of trees are therefore being planted beside these waterways to provide shade and cool them down. Such projects improve overall biodiversity in the rivers, by increasing insect life, leaf fall, managing essential nutrients and flood control.

Five ways AI is saving wildlife – from counting chimps to locating whales

Artificial intelligence is still met with suspicion by some, but perhaps not among conservationists, who are increasingly using AI to tackle biodiversity loss and manage climate change. In fact, it is one of the top three emerging technologies in conservation, helping to protect species such as humpback whales, koalas and snow leopards.

Sustainable finance

Green investing: the risk of a new mis-selling scandal

ESG funds have recently become increasingly popular – but the risk of greenwashing runs high. In August, a report by climate think-tank InfluenceMap found that 421 out of 593 ESG equity funds it assessed had portfolios that were not aligned with the Paris climate targets. New regulations are being introduced to tackle the greenwashing issue, such as SFDR, and some lawyers warn that litigation on mis-selling in Europe or the US could come, and fast.

Can bitcoin be sustainable? Inside the Norwegian mine that also dries wood

Bitcoin receives a lot of criticism over its environmental credentials – most recently its annual carbon footprint has been reported as comparable to that of the Czech Republic, and using the same energy in a year as Thailand. Norwegian company Kryptovault is trying to fight back against these claims by using renewable energy to power the bitcoin mining process, and using the waste heat emitted to dry wood for local lumberjacks to sell.

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