ESG Essentials: in the news last week

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Something new to listen to on the daily commute.

ESG Comms just moved office to Holborn in central London, so we’re glad to have a new podcast to listen to from our friends at the Coller Foundation. ctrl alt meat is a new weekly podcast that explores the issues transforming the business of putting food on our plates. 
Guests include Ethan Brown, founder of  Beyond Meat and Andrew Wasley from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Well worth a listen. 

80% of cities not yet 1.5C-aligned; more government support needed for local climate action

Cities are a critical part of climate action. They produce 70% of the world’s carbon emissions and are  home to more than half (55%)  of its  population. 93% of cities are facing significant climate hazards that put their people and infrastructure at risk, from flooding to heatwaves, yet new CDP research last week found that just 20% of cities can say their climate plans are aligned with a 1.5c pathway. 

Glasgow, the host city of COP26, is setting a good example CDP found, by incorporating the Scottish Government’s energy efficiency target in its city master plan. 

How development finance can damage nature

A new report from Finance for Biodiversity found that the potential damage to nature from Public Development Banks such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank and China Development Bank, could cost society $800 billion annually, equivalent to 7¢ for every dollar invested. 

The research reveals G20 countries have a collective stake in 28 development banks worth nearly $7 trillion – governments like the UK own $154 billion of assets in development finance institutions. The report calls on every PDB to publish, within the next twelve months, a whole balance sheet stress test for nature-related financial risk and impacts. Jeremy Eppel, Finance for Biodiversity Ambassador said: 

“These publicly-owned banks should be fulfilling their mandate to foster development in a way that protects the environment. But without adequate measurement and reporting of biodiversity risks, how can their shareholder governments or their citizens know what development banks are not damaging the biodiversity and other natural resources that they committed to protect? 

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