ESG 國際新聞週報 9/18-9/24
1.SEC Adopts Rule Requiring ESG-Labelled Funds to Invest 80% in Alignment with Theme
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has updated its “Names Rule” requiring funds with names implying a focus on ESG or sustainability-related factors to invest at least 80% of their assets in line with those factors. Originally established in 2001 to prevent misrepresentation in fund names, the amendment now covers funds that suggest particular investment characteristics. The decision, which doesn't solely target ESG funds but emphasizes them, aims to combat the growing risk of greenwashing. The SEC acknowledges that ESG terminologies can be potent in attracting investors and believes this move ensures consistency between a fund’s name and its portfolio. SEC Chair Gary Gensler highlights the need for such truth in advertising for maintaining fund integrity.
2.EU Lawmakers Ban Generic and Emissions Offsetting-Based Green Product Claims
The European Parliament and EU Council have reached a provisional agreement on regulations to safeguard consumers from misleading sustainability claims and greenwashing. The action comes after the EU Commission found in March 2022 that over half of the green claims made by EU companies were either ambiguous or misleading, and 40% were baseless. Alberto Garzón Espinosa emphasized the importance of providing consumers with accurate information for making environmentally conscious decisions. The updated rules will prohibit broad environmental claims like “climate neutral” unless supported by concrete evidence. Claims based on emissions offsetting will be disallowed, and sustainability labels must originate from approved certification schemes. The new regulations, which will also tackle early obsolescence, will undergo formal approval by the Council and Parliament.
歐洲議會和歐盟理事會宣布，他們已就保護消費者免受誤導性可持續性聲明和綠色洗牌做法的新規則達成暫定協議。該行動是在2022年3月歐盟委員會發現超過一半的歐盟公司提出的綠色聲明要么模棱兩可，要么誤導，40%完全沒有根據之後採取的。Alberto Garzón Espinosa強調提供消費者準確信息以作出有利於環境的決策的重要性。更新後的規則將禁止如“氣候中立”之類的廣泛環境聲明，除非提供具體證據支持。將禁止基於排放抵消的聲明，且可持續性標籤必須來自經批准的認證計劃。新規則還將解決過早的過時問題，並將由理事會和議會正式批准。
3.Pacific island nations to hold second summit with Biden next week
Next week, Pacific island nations will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden for their second summit, announced by Henry Puna, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, and Richard Verma, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. The announcement took place during an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in New York. Puna highlighted the Pacific region's current challenges, including climate change and economic recovery post-COVID-19. He also emphasized the strategic attention the region is receiving due to the geopolitical rivalry between the U.S. and China. Puna stated that the Pacific island nations would collaborate with any partner willing to work directly with them. Mark Brown, the prime minister of the Cook Islands, stressed the need for tangible U.S. engagement for economic growth and climate change advocacy. Richard Verma reiterated the U.S.'s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region's vision of freedom, resilience, prosperity, and security.
太平洋島國將於下週與美國總統喬·拜登進行第二次峰會，太平洋島國論壇秘書長Henry Puna和美國國務院高級官員Richard Verma於星期一宣布。此消息在紐約的卡內基國際和平基金會的一個活動中宣布。Puna強調太平洋地區目前面臨的挑戰，包括氣候變化和後COVID-19的經濟復蘇。他還強調了該地區因美中地緣政治競爭而受到的戰略關注。Puna表示，太平洋島國將與任何願意直接與他們合作的夥伴合作。Cook群島的總理Mark Brown強調了經濟增長和氣候變化倡導的具體美國參與的需求。Richard Verma重申了美國對印度-太平洋地區的自由、韌性、繁榮和安全願景的承諾。由於氣候變遷是低地國家所面臨的「最大生存威脅」，他們呼籲美國發揮倡導力和領導作用，並於10月德國的會議上向綠色氣候基金（GCF）提供關鍵性的投資。
The U.S. has seen a significant boost in investments towards decarbonization, with a total of $213 billion invested in clean technologies and infrastructure in the past year, as revealed by a new database, the Clean Investment Monitor, developed by Rhodium Group and MIT’s CEEPR. This amount represents a 37% rise from the previous year and a 165% increase from five years ago. The investments largely went to sectors like manufacturing, especially in EV and solar manufacturing, and retail, predominantly in zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and heat pumps. Over the past two years, clean energy production investments have surged to $80 billion, marking a fivefold growth. Recent legislative measures, including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act 2021, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) 2022, and the CHIPS and Science Act 2022, have offered subsidies and tax incentives, propelling this growth. The U.S. aims to cut carbon emissions by 50%-52% below 2005 levels by 2030.
5.Microsoft Signs Deal to Buy Biochar Carbon Removal Credits
Carbon Streaming, a carbon credit streaming company, has announced a partnership with Microsoft. Through this agreement, Microsoft will receive up to 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide removal credits annually from the Waverly Biochar project in Virginia. Biochar is a type of biological charcoal produced by heating biomass without oxygen; when buried in soil, it becomes a stable form of carbon that can sequester carbon for centuries and also improves soil fertility. The Waverly Biochar project aims to remove over 262,000 tCO2e of emissions over 25 years. This collaboration is a part of Microsoft's strategy to become carbon negative by 2030 and remove all of its historical emissions by 2050. Microsoft has been expanding its carbon removal initiatives recently, signing multiple agreements with various companies for different carbon capture and storage technologies.
碳信用流動公司Carbon Streaming宣布與Microsoft合作。通過此協議，Microsoft每年將從維吉尼亞的Waverly Biochar項目獲得最多10,000噸的二氧化碳去除信用。生物炭是一種通過在無氧的條件下加熱生物質製成的生物炭；當它被埋在土壤中時，它會成為一種穩定的碳形式，可以長時間固碳，並改善土壤肥沃度。Waverly Biochar項目旨在在25年內減少超過262,000 tCO2e的排放。此次合作是Microsoft策略的一部分，該策略旨在到2030年成為碳負面，並到2050年去除其所有歷史排放。近期，Microsoft一直在擴大其碳去除計劃，與多家公司簽訂了不同的碳捕捉和存儲技術協議。
6.TNFD Releases Framework for Reporting on Nature-Related Risks and Opportunities
The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has published its final recommendations on managing and disclosing nature-related risks. The objective is to better guide companies and financial bodies on risks, opportunities, dependencies, and impacts related to nature and biodiversity. This move also seeks to encourage a financial shift towards positive nature outcomes and global preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. The new framework is an essential advancement for corporate sustainability reporting, and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and the environmental disclosure platform CDP have both shown intent to align their practices with TNFD's guidelines. David Craig, Co-Chair of the TNFD, emphasized the accelerating nature loss and the necessity for businesses to address nature-related issues. Established in June 2021, the TNFD based its publication on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) model, featuring 14 disclosure suggestions under four pillars: Governance, Strategy, Risk and impact management, and Metrics and targets.