Science based targets driving ambitious corporate climate action.

Midweek ESG HIghlights – January 31, 2024
Highlights from Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) news coverage from around the globe curated by Sally Duros for John Lothian News.
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) reports a doubling in corporate climate validations to 4,204 companies within a year, reflecting escalating demand for decarbonization standards. Formerly a collaboration among CDP, We Mean Business Coalition, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the UN Global Compact, SBTi’s independent launch was facilitated by a $36 million donation, split between the IKEA Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund. Priorities for 2024 include updating SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standards and Financial Institutions Net-Zero Standards. Explore SBTi’s initiatives here.

Great Lakes ReNEW Receives NSF Recognition; Corporate Climate Initiatives Surge; The National Science Foundation (NSF) names Great Lakes ReNEW, a six-state coalition, as one of its 10 inaugural Regional Innovation Engines. A project of Current, Chicago’s water innovation hub, Great Lakes ReNEW stands to receive up to $160 million to accelerate technologies extracting valuable minerals and toxic chemicals from the region’s wastewater. For more information, read the announcement and watch a short video.

In other news:

  • A London Business School professor advocates renaming ESG to “rational sustainability,” aiming to depoliticize the term amidst ongoing controversies (Bloomberg).
  • Newly unearthed documents reveal fossil fuel industry funding pivotal climate science as early as 1954, including Charles Keeling’s research on rising carbon dioxide levels (The Guardian).
  • The U.S. Department of Energy selects a consortium to accelerate the clean hydrogen economy and launch Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (DOE).
  • European leaders test positive for cancerous ‘forever chemicals,’ sparking calls for an EU-wide ban (Bloomberg).
  • Global clean energy spending hits record highs, yet insufficient for net-zero emissions targets (Bloomberg).
  • EU climate chief refutes concerns that green policies jeopardize European business competitiveness (Financial Times).
  • Sales of climate-focused mutual funds drop 75% in two years amidst challenges and political campaigns (Financial Times).
  • Michael Mann’s defamation case against climate deniers finally reaches trial, highlighting attacks on climate science (Inside Climate News).

Furthermore, global watchdogs propose new ethics codes to combat greenwashing (Reuters), while Japan plans a $20 billion hydrogen program (Bloomberg). Activist investors pressure BP to abandon clean energy pledges (Financial Times), while banks like JPMorgan and Lloyds add senior ESG roles to address biodiversity and nature loss (Bloomberg). Additionally, the U.S. witnesses a 16% growth in fast-charging EV stations since 2023 (Bloomberg).

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