ESGByte, Headline Content

ESGByte: Issue 13

April 14, 2021

COMPANIES IN NEWS >> #NorgesBank #BlackRock #EDFRenewables #Chevron

IN SHORT

In this issue of ESGByte – Clean energy seems to be the buzzword courtesy Norges Bank, EDF and Saudi Arabia(!) as BlackRock increases thrust on diversity. President Biden, meanwhile, continues with his climate agenda. Another oil major faces shareholder activism…

THE BYTE…

Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund invests in renewable energy 

Norges Bank Investments, the sovereign wealth fund of Norway and the investment arm of Norway’s Central Bank, is planning to acquire a fifty per cent stake in Borssele offshore wind farm in Netherlands from energy firm Ørsted A/S. The farm has installed capacity of 752 megawatts. 

BlackRock to conduct racial audit 

Investment management company, BlackRock Inc. plans to have a racial audit conducted by a third party, starting in 2022 on the request from a section of shareholders. The racial audit will help the company understand how it may have contributed to racial inequities and to improve its policies.  

EDF Renewables to build solar plant in France 

EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of French utility, EDF Group, has announced plans to build a 60 MW solar photovoltaic farm at the Deauville-Normandie airport in France. The plant is expected to start operations in mid-2024 and to save around 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide during its 30 year lifespan.   

ESG guidelines for leveraged loans  

The European Leveraged Finance Association and the Loan Market Association are planning to develop a guidance for incorporating ESG criteria into leveraged loan terms.  

Saudi Arabia to develop seven solar plants  

Oil rich middle eastern country, Saudi Arabia has signed up to develop seven solar power plants across the country. The plants together will have an installed capacity of 3,670 megawatts and are expected to cut green house gas emissions by seven misslion tonnes. 

Biden’s budget proposes a boost for climate action  

US president, Joe Biden and his administration’s federal budget proposal has raised the planned discretionary spending by 8.4% and part of this focuses on environment and climate. It proposes an increase of 20 per cent for the Environment protection Agency and the National Science Foundation which translates into a $14 billion boost.  

Shareholders at Chevron have a chance to bring in climate change related policies 

American multinational energy company, Chevron Corp’s shareholders are set to vote on climate related proposals. These proposals, if passed can require Chevron to reduce its Scope-3 emissions (emissions from the use of its products), and for the company to disclose impact of net zero emissions under various scenarios.  

New York based Insurers may be required to plan for managing climate related risks 

Insurance companies domiciled in New York state may need to take climate change seriously, if they have not done so already. The New York State Department of Financial Services has proposed guidelines that will that will require life, health and annuity insurers in the state to assess the impact of more frequent extreme weather incidents such as hurricanes and wildfires on their portfolios.  

***