Here are the top news, stories, observations, white papers etc. that we hear about in the market and with relevance for selection teams within sustainable investing.
#1 Australian wildfires have little to do with climate change
According to Bjørn Lomborg (Copenhagen Consensus), the current wildfires in Australia are not as bad as the media reports. First, the fires are in the most populated areas of Australia (Sidney and Melbourne areas), which are also the places with most media coverage; hence, the massive news flow.
Secondly, wildfires in Australia are normal, and in the past 10 years, the average burn down is 4.8% of the total land in Australia, where the 2020 level is 2.5% (currently). Over the past 100 years, the level has decreased from ca. 11%, where some 2% points are in fact planned fires. According to most science, climate change does not have an impact on this situation, but other (humanmade) factors are more important, e.g. an increase in fossil fuels stored in the forests/sensitive areas, bad electrical installations, bonfires etc.
#2 More listed companies are focusing on ESG
A recent analyst survey conducted by Fidelity International shows that more and more listed companies have a focus on ESG. The trend is especially strong for 2019 and 2020 (see below)
Read the analyst survey here: https://www.fidelityinstitutional.com/en/analyst-survey-2020-a-watershed-year-for-esg-5fe27e/)
#3 Sustainable investments seen to blossom with new EU “green deal” program
Investors predict that the investment strategy of the EU’s Green Deal, which was confirmed by the European Commission on Jan. 14, will make more investment choices available to them across Europe, including, for example, more renewable energy projects, green bonds, social impact investments and new companies facilitating a transition to a green economy.
“The Green Deal will open the world of impact investing to institutional investors,” Gregoire Haenni, CIO of the $20 billion Caisse de Pre-voyance de l’Etat de Geneve and advisory board member for Global Fund Search, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a game changer.”