ESG International Weekly News 10/23-10/29

October 30,2023
Green and White Minimalist Earth Day Instagram Post-28
Resource:ESG TODAY,

1.Coca-Cola Launches 100% Recycled Plastic Bottles in Canada

ecycled plastic in Canada by early 2024. This initiative encompasses all 500 ml sparkling beverage bottles, such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Fanta, though it excludes caps and labels. The company expects this move to prevent the production of 7.6 million pounds of new plastic in 2024, in addition to cutting CO2 emissions by nearly 7,000 metric tons yearly. This plan aligns with Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste goal, set in 2018, which includes ensuring 50% recycled content in bottles by 2030, attaining 100% recyclable packaging by 2025, and recycling an equivalent amount of cans or bottles to what they sell globally by 2030. Currently, over 40 markets offer these recycled bottles. The "Recycle Me Again" slogan will be highlighted on these bottles to promote recycling.


2.New York Announces Largest-Ever State Renewable Energy Investment

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has declared awards for renewable energy projects that sum up to 6.4 GW, including 3 prominent offshore wind projects and 22 terrestrial ones. This represents the most significant investment in renewable energy by a U.S. state thus far. Once finalized, these projects will potentially produce electricity for over 2.5 million homes, supply 12% of New York's energy requirements, and decrease GHG emissions by 9.4 million metric tons yearly. This initiative puts New York ahead of its target of having 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Governor Hochul emphasized the importance of the initiative in maintaining New York's commitment to environmental sustainability. The awarded projects include a major investment in offshore wind projects and are anticipated to collectively mitigate over 7 million tons of CO2 every year and generate over $15 billion in regional expenditure. On the other hand, the terrestrial awards will likely prompt over $4 billion in direct investments. U.S. Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm, commended the initiative, highlighting its potential in bolstering the offshore wind energy industry in the U.S.

紐約州州長Kathy Hochul宣布了總計6.4 GW的可再生能源項目獎勵,包括3個主要的離岸風電和22個陸上項目,這是迄今為止美國州政府在可再生能源上的最大投資。這些項目預計將為超過250萬戶家庭提供電力,滿足紐約州12%的能源需求,並每年減少940萬公噸的GHG排放。這一舉措使紐約州提前達到其2030年70%的電力來自可再生能源的目標。Hochul州長強調了這一舉措在維持紐約對環境可持續性承諾中的重要性。獲獎項目包括對離岸風電項目的大量投資,預計每年將減少超過700萬噸的CO2排放,並產生超過150億美元的地區支出。而陸上獎項則可能促使超過40億美元的直接投資。美國能源部長Jennifer M. Granholm讚揚了這一舉措,強調了其在加強美國離岸風能產業方面的潛力。

3.UK Carbon Credit Scheme, ETS, Under Fire for Profitable Plant Closures

A loophole in the UK Emissions Trading System (ETS) enables companies to profit substantially from unused carbon credits after shutting down factories. For instance, the US firm CF Industries earned over £32 million from carbon credits after closing a fertilizer plant in Cheshire. Other companies, like Mitsubishi Chemical and Cemex, have also gained from this loophole, leading to calls for urgent regulatory modifications. The UK government's carbon trading scheme provides industries with free emission allocations to remain competitive internationally. Yet, companies can sell unused credits, and there's no time constraint on when these credits can be sold. An investigation by Greenpeace's Unearthed revealed that several firms benefitted from this system after shutting down plants and subsequently selling their carbon credits at high prices. The ongoing concern is that this loophole prioritizes monetary gains over environmental and societal responsibilities. There are growing demands for a solution to this issue. The UK government is currently revisiting its rules on free carbon allowances, but any proposed changes will only come into effect by 2026.

英國排放交易制度 (ETS) 中的一個漏洞使公司在關閉工廠後可以從未使用的碳信用中獲得巨大利潤。例如,美國公司CF Industries在柴郡關閉一家化肥廠後,從碳信用中賺取了超過3200萬英鎊。其他公司,如三菱化學和Cemex,也從這個漏洞中獲益,這導致了對緊急監管修改的呼籲。英國政府的碳交易計劃為重工業提供了免費的排放分配,以保持國際競爭力。但是,公司可以出售未使用的信用,而且這些信用的出售沒有時間限制。綠色和平組織的“Unearthed”調查揭示,幾家公司在關閉工廠後受益於此系統,隨後以高價出售碳信用。人們越來越擔心,這個漏洞優先考慮金錢收益而不是環境和社會責任。對此問題有越來越多的解決方案的需求。英國政府目前正在重新審視其對免費碳配額的規定,但任何擬議的更改只會在2026年生效。

4.$1 Trillion Business Coalition Calls for Plans to Phase Out Fossil Fuels at COP28

Over 130 companies, collectively representing about $1 trillion in worldwide revenue, have released an open letter prior to the UN COP28 climate conference. The letter, managed by We Mean Business, a climate-centered nonprofit, was endorsed by major companies like IKEA, Nestlé, Ørsted, Unilever, and Volvo Cars. It appeals to governments to set plans for the elimination of fossil fuel use and production and to vastly boost the global introduction of renewable energy in this decade. While recognizing the growth of clean energy, the letter emphasized that global emissions are still rising due to the ongoing burning of fossil fuels. Previously, UN climate conferences failed to reach an agreement on phasing out fossil fuels. The letter urges countries attending COP28 to set 1.5°C-aligned objectives, invest in renewables, decarbonize power systems by 2035 (or 2040 for certain nations), aid the Global South in the energy transition, and repurpose fossil fuel subsidies. It also encourages financial institutions and fossil fuel producers to play their parts in supporting the energy transition.

超過130家公司,總共代表了約1萬億美元的全球收入,已在聯合國COP28氣候會議之前發布了一封公開信。該信由專注於氣候的非營利組織We Mean Business管理,並得到了IKEA、Nestlé、Ørsted、Unilever和Volvo Cars等主要公司的支持。信中呼籲政府制定消除化石燃料使用和生產的計劃,並在這十年內大幅度增加全球可再生能源的導入。儘管認識到清潔能源的增長,但信中強調由於持續燃燒化石燃料,全球排放仍在上升。先前,聯合國氣候會議未能就逐步淘汰化石燃料達成協議。信中敦促參加COP28的國家制定與1.5°C相符的目標,投資於可再生能源,到2035年(或某些國家的2040年)使電力系統去碳化,協助全球南方進行能源轉型,並重新指定化石燃料補貼。它還鼓勵金融機構和化石燃料生產商在支持能源轉型中發揮自己的作用。

5.EU Council Adopts New European Green Bond Standard

The Council of the European Union has adopted a regulation to establish a new European Green Bond Standard, introducing the European Green Bonds (EuGB) label. This move is intended to combat greenwashing and foster the growth of sustainable finance within the EU. Besides specifying requirements for issuers seeking the EuGB designation, the regulation also provides voluntary disclosure guidelines for other sustainable bonds in the EU. Green bond issuances have grown in popularity recently, with the European market comprising almost 60% of the global volume. The European Commission initially proposed the EuGB regulation in 2021 to set a high standard for green bonds. The EU Council approved it in 2022, and after discussions with the EU Parliament, they agreed to make the EuGB standard voluntary. The new regulation mandates that proceeds from the EuGB-designated instruments should align with the EU Taxonomy. Furthermore, companies issuing these bonds must adhere to strict transparency rules, and an oversight system for external reviewers of European green bonds has been introduced. Following its adoption by the EU Parliament, the regulation will be formalized and come into effect within a year.


6.Powering the Future: US Government’s $3.5B Bet on Sustainable Energy Solutions

The Biden-Harris Administration has invested in essential grid infrastructure upgrades and clean energy projects to combat climate change and cater to rising power demands. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has allocated $3.5 billion for 58 projects across 44 states to strengthen the U.S. power grid against climate disasters and integrate renewables. This funding is part of the larger $10.5 billion grid resilience and innovation partnerships (GRIP) program. Moreover, federal agencies, including the US Department of the Treasury (USDT) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), have introduced tax bonuses for clean energy projects and retrofit funding for buildings. The goal is to promote renewable energy, enhance climate resilience, and support sustainable housing. These financial commitments underscore the administration's dedication to sustainable energy solutions, grid resilience, and a more eco-friendly future.