ESG Essentials: in the news last week

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More countries hike climate pledges, piling pressure on major emitters

Just 110 out of the 197 nations met last week’s UN deadline to submit their updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Those missing include China –  the world’s largest emitter of C02 – and India. The planet’s two most populous countries are among dozens of laggards that failed to provide an update on their climate plans, and are facing global pressure to submit new pledges ahead of COP26 in November.

Global investor group begins to step up pressure on steel industry

The steel industry is “not on track” to meet the 91% reduction in carbon emissions needed by 2050. Climate Action 100+ signatory investors representing over USD $55 trillion in assets have begun to apply pressure over the industry’s failure to make progress on reaching climate change goals. A new report, Global Sector Strategies: Investor interventions to accelerate net zero steel, published by IIGCC, outlines actions steel producers must take to decarbonise in line with the Paris Agreement goals.

Brunel comments on diversity in manager selection; also launches new Sterling Corporate Bond Fund

Helen Price, Stewardship manager at Brunel, warned that diversity must count when choosing asset managers. Price is a key figure behind a new charter from a group with investments of £1tn, saying that gender and ethnic mix of workforce should be factored in when awarding contracts. Meanwhile, Brunel also launched the last of its Listed Markets funds for the year: the Sterling Corporate Bond fund. Its clients have committed approximately £2.1 billion to the Sterling Corporate Bond sub-fund, which will be managed by Royal London. The new fund enables Brunel to access a range of investment grade corporate bonds for its members, and to deliver on its aspirations to invest responsibly and sustainably.

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