• Gustavo Bernal Torres

Congo's Cobalt, ESG Book, Private Debt, and Scorpions


Source: Pixabay



Here are 5 ESG insights you might have missed this week:


1. Hunt for the ‘Blood Diamond of Batteries’ Impedes Green Energy Push-

  • Dangerous mining conditions plague Congo, home to the world’s largest supply of cobalt, a key ingredient in electric cars. A leadership battle threatens reforms.

  • Batteries containing cobalt reduce overheating in electric cars and extend their range, but the metal has become known as “the blood diamond of batteries” because of its high price and the perilous conditions in Congo, the largest producer of cobalt in the world. As a result, carmakers concerned about consumer blowback are rapidly moving to find alternatives to the element in electric vehicles, and they are increasingly looking to other nations with smaller reserves as possible suppliers.

  • But to many in Congo and the United States, Mr. Yuma himself is a problem. As chairman of Gécamines, Congo’s state-owned mining enterprise, he has been accused of helping to divert billions of dollars in revenues, according to confidential State Department legal filings reviewed by The New York Times and interviews with a dozen current and former officials in both countries.

  • Link to Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/29/world/congo-cobalt-albert-yuma-mulimbi.html


2. Biotech startup RWDC Industries raises US$95.1m in Series B2 funding-

  • A special highlight for our Singapore edition this week.

  • The injection of funds, which takes total funding in the sustainable materials developer to US$208 million, will help the firm scale up in the US and start production in Singapore to speed adoption of its biodegradable biopolymer material for consumer packaged goods.

  • The firm is currently in discussions with Singapore authorities to secure a site, it pointed out. When ready, the plant here will be the first of such facilities in the region, it added.

  • Link to Source: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/garage/biotech-startup-rwdc-industries-raises-us951m-in-series-b2-funding


3. World Bank Group Climate Change Action Plan 2021–2025-

  • Given that the World Bank is the world’s largest multilateral provider of climate finance to developing countries, this strategic plan is significant.

  • In the Action Plan, we will support countries and private sector clients to maximize the impact of climate finance, aiming for measurable improvements in adaptation and resilience and measurable reductions in GHG emissions.

  • The new Action Plan represents a shift from efforts to “green” projects, to greening entire economies, and from focusing on inputs, to focusing on impacts. It focuses on (i) integrating climate and development; (ii) identifying and prioritizing action on the largest mitigation and adaptation opportunities; and (iii) using those to drive our climate finance and leverage private capital in ways that deliver the most results.

  • Link to Source: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/35799


4. ESG in Private Debt: Rising to the Challenge-

  • Arcmont Asset Management launches ESG whitepaper in conjunction with KKS Advisors.

  • The paper serves as an introduction to ESG integration viewed through the lens of a mid-market private lender. Section one discusses some of the key definitions and characteristics of effective ESG integration, and highlights the challenges of its implementation in private credit markets.

  • It also offers a framework for integrating ESG into the Private Debt asset class. Section 2 discusses ESG integration in Private Debt across four Competencies and three Phases using Arcmont’s practices to give tangible examples of advanced practices that other market participants might work towards.

  • Link to Source: https://arcmont.com/news/esg-in-private-debt-rising-to-the-challenge/


5. ESG Book Aims to 'Disrupt' Sustainability Sector with Free Data-

  • Arabesque president Daniel Klier said the cloud-based ESG Book aims to be a disruptor in the same way streaming service Spotify has shaken up the music industry, to provide real-time ESG information in a common, consistent format.

  • HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Swiss Re have thrown their support behind ESG Book, a new environment, social and governance (ESG) data platform launched on Wednesday to 'disrupt' the market with a free "public good" service for companies and investors.

  • The ESG information sector has become a money spinner as asset managers increasingly rely on providers of such data to meet demand from sustainability focused investors. But it is also coming under closer scrutiny from regulators and governments as trillions of dollars flow into the asset class.

  • Link to Source: https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/esg-book-aims-disrupt-sustainability-sector-with-free-data-2021-12-01/




One more thing: From Bloomberg Green, a story on unmentioned secondary effects from climate change. Quick: What do Thanksgiving blackouts in Southern California, anticipated shortages of Christmas trees and an explosion of scorpions in Egypt have in common?


Find the story here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-30/climate-change-brings-insect-plagues-and-christmas-shortages


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