Gustavo Bernal Torres
Insuring Biodiversity, Consultants, Texas, Balloons, and Gravity
Here are 5 ESG insights you might have missed this week:
1. Insuring Nature's Survival-
The role of insurance in meeting the financial need to preserve biodiversity.
This paper explores how and to what extent insurance can play a role in meeting the increasing financial needs to protect biodiversity. It outlines how the insurance sector, as underwriters, may impact and protect against biodiversity risks, leveraging approaches to climate change and catastrophe risk to highlight key opportunities and challenges that exist for insurance-based solutions for biodiversity.
Insurance companies will be impacted by biodiversity risks in several ways: as underwriters, as investors, and as corporate citizens. Insurers will be impacted both by changes in climate and biodiversity and by transition risks affecting the risks they insure or the investments they make.
Link to Source: https://www.financialprotectionforum.org/publication/insuring-natures-survival-the-role-of-insurance-in-meeting-the-financial-need-to
2. Consultant Working Group Supports Private ESG Reporting Project-
The project was adopted last year by major private equity firms and investors.
The Investment Consultants Sustainability Working Group, or ICSWG-US, a group of 17 U.S. investment consulting firms, was founded last year to promote sustainable investing. Its members include some of the largest names in the industry, including Aon, WTW, Meketa Investment Group, Callan and Russell Investments, among others.
The group announced its support for the ESG Data Convergence Project, an initiative led by the Institutional Limited Partners Association, or ILPA, intended to enlist private equity firms and investors to “streamline” the industry’s “historically fragmented approach to collecting and reporting ESG data.”
Link to Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220426005563/en/ICSWG-US-Votes-to-Support-the-ESG-Data-Convergence-Project
3. Texas Plans to Punish Companies That Move Away From Fossil Fuels-
The state is going after banks that might be "selling the hope of a 'green' tomorrow."
Bloomberg reported this week that Texas’s state comptroller is starting to double down on demands that financial companies tell the state more details about their climate policies, in accordance with a law passed last June that forbids the state from doing business with corporations that “boycott energy companies.”
The law gives the state comptroller broad discretion to assemble a list of companies and allows the comptroller to decide which companies to actually contact—and, as Bloomberg reports, it seems that Hegar is casting a very wide net with the types of corporations and financial firms he is choosing to target. The letter states that if these companies don’t respond within 61 days, it “will result in the presumption under Texas law that your company is boycotting energy companies.”
Link to Source: https://gizmodo.com/texas-plans-to-punish-companies-that-move-away-from-fos-1848860653
4. Construction of First Chinese Deployment of Gravity-Based Energy Storage System-
Construction underway since March 2022 for the first 100 MWh EVx system to support grid resiliency and delivery of renewable energy to the Chinese national grid.
The 100 megawatt-hour system is being built adjacent to a wind farm in the Jiangsu province outside Shanghai. The system raises 30-ton composite bricks so that "potential energy is stored in the elevation gain of the brick," their site notes. When power is needed, it "releases kinetic energy back to the grid via controlled lowering of the bricks using gravitational force."
The project is the first utility scale gravity-based storage deployment between a U.S. and Chinese company and was approved by the local city government and provincial government with support from the central government agencies within the People's Republic of China.
Link to Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220505005467/en/Energy-Vault-Atlas-Renewable-and-China-Tianying-Begin-Construction-of-First-Chinese-Deployment-of-EVx%E2%84%A2-Gravity-Based-Energy-Storage-System
5. Israeli Balloon Tipped as World’s 1st Affordable, Scalable Method for Carbon Capture-
High Hopes Lab, in central Israel, which captures frozen carbon 9 miles above Earth, aims to catch 1,000 metric tons per balloon per day, for less than $50 a ton.
The population of the world emits around 50 billion tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) each year, mainly through burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. This is the main driver of global warming and climate change.
According to Nadav Mansdorf, CEO of High Hopes Lab, based in Ramat Gan in central Israel, around half of the GHG are absorbed by nature each year, while the rest will have to be removed by humanity just to keep the pace of climate change where it is.
Link to Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/balloon-tipped-as-worlds-first-affordable-scalable-method-for-carbon-capture/
One more thing: 8 data visualizations from McKinsey on the opportunities and risks of the net-zero transition.
Find the charts here: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/charting-net-zero-insights-on-what-the-transition-could-look-like
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