ESG International Weekly News 3/11-3/17

March 18,2024
Green and White Minimalist Earth Day Instagram Post-42
Resource:ESG TODAY

1.EU Parliament Adopts Rules Targeting Fast Fashion by Making Producers Pay to Recycle Textiles

The European Parliament has taken a significant step towards environmental sustainability by voting 514-20 to adopt comprehensive proposals designed to tackle waste in the textiles and food sectors. Under the new legislation, fashion brands and textile producers are mandated to bear the financial burden for the collection, sorting, and recycling of their products, marking a shift towards extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes. This initiative aims to address the 12.6 million tonnes of textile waste generated in the EU annually, of which only 22% is currently recycled or reused.

Furthermore, the legislation sets ambitious food waste reduction targets for EU member states, demanding a 20% decrease in waste from food processing and manufacturing, and a 40% per capita reduction in retail, restaurants, food services, and households by 2030. These targets exceed the European Commission's initial proposals, reflecting the Parliament's commitment to significantly curtail food waste, which currently stands at nearly 59 million tonnes annually across the EU, with an estimated market value of €132 billion.

The legislation also extends to a broad spectrum of textile products including clothing, accessories, bed linen, and mattresses, and emphasizes the need for consumer education and changes in consumption patterns to support a more sustainable and circular economy.



2.U.S. Invests $750 Million in Projects to Accelerate Clean Hydrogen Production

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a significant investment of $750 million towards advancing the production of clean hydrogen. This initiative, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aims to slash the costs associated with clean hydrogen through advancements in electrolysis technologies, and by enhancing the manufacturing and recycling capabilities for hydrogen systems and components. This move aligns with the Biden administration's broader ambition, as outlined in the U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap released in June 2023, to escalate the nation's clean hydrogen production to 10 million metric tonnes by 2030 and 50 million tonnes by 2050.

The focus on clean hydrogen is strategic, given its potential to decarbonize sectors where renewable energy alternatives like wind or solar are less feasible. Currently, the U.S. produces approximately 10 million metric tonnes of hydrogen annually, predominantly through fossil fuel-based processes that contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Transitioning to green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy, necessitates substantial investments in infrastructure, electrolysis, transportation, and storage solutions.

The DOE's funding will support 52 projects across 24 states, with allocations including $316 million for low-cost electrolyzer manufacturing, $150 million for advanced manufacturing of fuel cell assemblies, and smaller allocations for supply chain development, component innovation, and a recovery and recycling consortium. These projects collectively aim to bolster the U.S.'s annual fuel cell manufacturing capacity by 14 gigawatts and increase electrolyzer production to support an additional 1.3 million tons of clean hydrogen annually.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized that these investments, part of the President’s Investing in America agenda, will catalyze the nation's clean hydrogen sector and secure its leadership in this critical area for future generations.





3.Canada Releases Proposed IFRS-Based Sustainability Reporting Standards

The Canadian Sustainability Standards Board (CSSB) announced the release of new proposed standards for companies to report sustainability and climate-related information, aligning with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) under the IFRS Foundation. This development may lead to mandatory climate-related reporting for Canadian companies, following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's 2021 direction for reporting based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The ISSB, launched at COP26 in 2021, aims to develop global baseline disclosure standards. The new Canadian standards, CSDS 1 and CSDS 2, correspond to IFRS S1 and S2 but include "Canadian-specific modifications," delaying the effective date to January 1, 2025, and extending certain disclosure requirements. The CSSB is seeking feedback on these proposed standards, emphasizing alignment with financial reporting and climate resilience. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) are considering incorporating these standards into Canadian securities legislation, signaling a significant step towards embedding sustainability in Canada's economic framework.

加拿大可持續發展標準委員會(CSSB)宣布發布新的標準草案,要求公司報告可持續發展和氣候相關信息,這些標準與國際財務報告準則基金會(IFRS基金會)下的國際可持續發展標準委員會(ISSB)保持一致。這一發展可能導致加拿大公司必須進行氣候相關報告,這一要求源於賈斯汀·特魯多總理在2021年針對基於氣候相關財務信息披露工作組(TCFD)報告的指示。ISSB於2021年COP26氣候會議上成立,旨在開發全球基線披露標準。新的加拿大標準,CSDS 1和CSDS 2,分別對應於IFRS S1和S2,但包括“加拿大特有的修改”,將生效日期推遲到2025年1月1日,並延長某些披露要求。CSSB正在尋求對這些標準草案的反饋,強調與財務報告的一致性和氣候韌性。加拿大證券管理員協會(CSA)正在考慮將這些標準納入加拿大證券法,這標誌著將可持續發展深植於加拿大經濟架構中的重要一步。

4.KKR Launches $3 Billion Takeover Offer for German Renewable Energy Platform Encavis

KKR, an alternative asset and private equity investor, announced its plan to launch a takeover bid for Encavis, a German renewable energy platform, at a valuation of €2.8 billion. This acquisition aims to enhance Encavis' growth and development, capitalizing on clean energy expansion opportunities globally. Encavis, with its extensive portfolio of wind farms and solar parks across Europe, aligns with the EU's clean energy targets, including achieving 42.5% renewable energy by 2030. The deal is supported by Encavis’ boards and significant shareholders, with the Viessmann Group joining a KKR-led consortium. This transaction is part of KKR's focus on energy transition, following investments in Smart Metering Systems, Zenobē, and the creation of clean energy platforms like Virescent Infrastructure. KKR's strategic investment is poised to bolster Encavis' position in the energy transition, providing long-term capital to expand its project pipeline and market presence.

替代資產和私募股權投資者KKR宣布,計劃以28億歐元的估值發起對德國可再生能源平台Encavis的收購提議。此次收購旨在促進Encavis的成長和發展,並利用全球清潔能源擴張的機會。Encavis擁有廣泛的歐洲風電場和太陽能公園組合,符合歐盟的清潔能源目標,包括到2030年實現42.5%的可再生能源比例。這筆交易得到Encavis董事會和重要股東的支持,維斯曼集團將加入由KKR領導的財團。這次交易是KKR關注能源轉型的一部分,繼對智能測量系統、Zenobē的投資,以及創建Virescent Infrastructure等清潔能源平台之後。KKR的戰略投資有望加強Encavis在能源轉型中的地位,提供長期資本以擴大其項目管道和市場影響力。

5.Shell Sets 2030 Goal to Reduce Emissions from Customers’ Use of Gasoline and Diesel

Shell has unveiled its "Energy Transition Strategy 2024," updating its 2021 "Powering Progress" roadmap with new climate goals, including a Scope 3 emissions reduction target for its oil products by 2030, a move prompted by shareholder pressure. This step marks Shell’s commitment to addressing its entire carbon footprint, particularly Scope 3 emissions, which constitute the majority of its emissions due to the use of sold products. Despite setting Scope 1 and 2 targets earlier, Shell had hesitated on a Scope 3 target due to the challenge it poses to its oil and gas sales. The strategy outlines a 15-20% reduction in emissions from oil products by 2030 from 2021 levels. Additionally, Shell plans to invest $10-15 billion in low-carbon solutions by 2025, focusing on electric vehicle charging, biofuels, renewable power, hydrogen, and carbon capture. However, it has also removed a 2035 emissions intensity goal and revised down its 2030 intensity goal, drawing criticism from shareholder activists for potentially backtracking on climate commitments. Shell aims to balance energy supply with the low-carbon transition, maintaining its role in providing today's energy needs while fostering a sustainable future.