UN World Water Development Report 2020: Climate change worsens water supply
According to UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - climate change is worsening the global water supply and the quality of water. According to UNSCO in this year's World Water Development Report, some 2.2 billion people already have no regular access to drinking water. In addition, 4.2 billion people - more than 55 percent of the world's population - have no safe sanitation facilities. At the same time, according to UNESCO, global water consumption today is six times as high as it was 100 years ago and is increasing by one percent every year. According to the authors of the report, climate change will lead to an expansion of arid areas, among other things.
CDP: German companies invest most in climate protection
A total of 124 billion euros was invested or announced by around 900 listed companies in Europe last year in reducing their CO2 emissions. This is the result of a recently presented analysis by the organization CDP (formerly: Carbon Disclosure Project). Of this amount, 65 billion euros were invested in research and development, 59 billion euros in low-carbon technologies. According to the report, almost 90% of the reported investments were made in the transport, energy and raw materials sectors, especially for renewable energies or e-vehicles.
According to the CDP, German companies were particularly active. The 69 companies included in the analysis reported investments totalling 44.4 billion euros, which represents a share of around 36 percent of total investments. Spain (37.9 billion euros) and Italy (24.3 billion euros) rank second and third among the European countries.
According to the CDP, the current level of investment is not sufficient to achieve the goal of greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. To achieve this, investment spending on low-carbon technologies would have to be more than doubled.
BayernLB one of world’s most sustainable banks
Munich – BayernLB has again reached the top-10 list released by independent rating agency ISS ESG (formerly oekom research) as part of an international sustainability ranking of public and regional banks. Among the 252 scrutinised institutions, BayernLB came out in 8th place, thereby defending its top-10 positioning (as at 30 January 2020) attained repeatedly over the past years. The sustainability analysts at ISS ESG gave the Bank especially good marks for its performance in corporate governance and environmental management. Another regular on the top-10 list is BayernLB’s most important subsidiary, Deutsche Kreditbank AG, or DKB.
BayernLB has been consistently meeting the rating agencies’ tough ESG standards for many years and is one of the most sustainable banks in the world. Back in 2001 ISS ESG began awarding BayernLB its “Prime” status on a regular basis for the Bank’s above-average commitment to sustainability. This rating signals to investors that BayernLB tackles the challenges associated with ESG systematically and taps into new business potential in the process. ISS ESG is one of the most renowned rating agencies around the globe when it comes to sustainable investing. A partner to institutional investors and financial service providers, ISS ESG spots those issuers of stocks and bonds that are exceptional for the responsibility they demonstrate towards the environment and society at large.
FebrClimate Bond Initiative: Investors prefer green bonds from the real economy
Investors who buy green bonds pay particular attention to so-called green integrity, pricing and post-issuance standards when making investment decisions. This is the result of a survey conducted by the Climate Bond Initiative among the largest European fixed income managers. According to the survey, just under four out of five respondents (79%) would not buy a green bond if the proceeds from the issue of the bond were not clearly and comprehensibly used to finance green projects. If there is insufficient reporting after a bond is issued, 55% would sell the bond. The study also shows a positive correlation between the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by certain economic sectors and the interest in bonds from these sectors. Preference is given to Issuers from the real economy (93%), followed by development banks (76%) and states or quasi-governmental organisations (57%). The most popular investment sectors are energy, transport and buildings.
World Economic Forum: Climate Change Largest Global Risk
For the first time in the history of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risk Report, the dangers of climate change and related environmental risks occupy the top five places among the most likely threats over the next ten years. The ranking is led by the risks of extreme weather events such as floods and extreme droughts, which are currently causing the devastating bush fires in Australia. Second most likely to occur are the failure to combat climate change, followed by natural disasters and loss of biodiversity and man-made environmental disasters.
BayernLB arranges first blue social bond for DKB
ABN Amro, BayernLB, DZ Bank, Natixis and UniCredit joined forces to place a blue social bond for BayernLB subsidiary DKB. The Pfandbrief is part of DKB’s social bond programme and fulfils both the Social Bond Principles (SBP) and the UN’s Social Development Goals (SDGs). The EUR 500 million in funds raised will be used to finance water supply and the disposal of effluents. The order book stood at over EUR 2 billion.
The social Pfandbrief is underpinned by a “blue” lending pool of EUR 1.3 billion from DKB’s social bond programme. Around 90 investors contributed to an order book that was four times oversubscribed. The blue social bond has a maturity of 10 years and a coupon of 0.01 percent. 62 percent of the bond’s subscription came from Germany, with 38 stemming from foreign investors. The share of ESG investors was 30 percent.
Institutional investors want to invest climate-neutrally
The combined pension funds and insurers within the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance have agreed at the climate summit in New York to make their investment portfolios, totalling USD 2.4 trillion, climate-friendly. By 2050, these portfolios are to be completely climate-neutral; the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance has set milestones for 2025, 2030 and 2040. In order to achieve their goal, investors are looking to persuade emitters of harmful greenhouse gases, such as coal-fired power plant operators, to switch to a more environmentally friendly production, but also to dispose of their shares if necessary.
The Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance was initiated at the beginning of 2019 by Allianz, Caisse des Dépôts, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Folksam Group, PensionDanmark and Swiss Re. Since then, Alecta, AMF, CalPERS, Nordea Life and Pension, Storebrand and Zurich have come aboard as founding members. The Alliance, convened by the UNEP Financial Initiative and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), is also supported by WWF. It is part of the Mission 2020 Campaign, an initiative led by Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
BayernInvest, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BayernLB, already announced last week at its first-ever Economics Investor Summit 2019 that it will conform all its own-managed portfolios to the 1.5-degree target set by the Paris Climate Agreement by no later than 2025 – in line with the individual customers’ investment strategies. Moreover, BayernInvest as a company itself is setting the course for climate neutrality by 2022.
Climate protection pays off
Investing in climate protection is not only necessary in view of the consequences for people and the environment, but is also economically attractive. This was the finding of a recent study by the Global Commission on Adaptation. The Commission estimates that investments of USD 1.9 trillion by 2030 in measures to adapt to climate change can generate a net profit of USD 7 trillion. The study focuses on how the economy can be protected against loss caused by climate change and, at the same time, realise opportunities. According to the Commission, this entails such measures as improving the early warning systems for natural disasters, which are becoming increasingly frequent, cultivating useful plants that are more drought-resistant, and improving flood protection.
BayernLB assists with dual tranche green hybrid bond for EnBW AG
BayernLB has acted as joint lead manager in arranging a green hybrid bond for EnBW, the proceeds of which will be used solely to fund climate-friendly projects. The rating agency ISS-oekom, which specialises in sustainability matters, has confirmed that the EnBW bond complies with the Green Bond Principles. In addition, the green hybrid bond has been certified in accordance with the high standards of the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI). The tranches have a volume of EUR 500 million each and maturities of around 60 years.
BayernLB, ING and LBBW place record-breaking green Schuldschein for Porsche AG
BayernLB, ING and LBBW have joined forces and arranged a green Schuldschein for Porsche AG. ING furthermore served as “green advisor” in the transaction. This is not only the first green Schuldschein to be issued for an automobile manufacturer but also the biggest green Schuldschein ever. It was placed in tranches of five, seven and ten-year terms, with both fixed and variable interest rates. The investor base ended up being highly diversified, as was desired, and, thanks to the strong interest of the 100 or so investors in Germany and around the world, the originally planned amount of EUR 300 million was raised to EUR 1 billion.
Porsche AG will be using the capital towards its green finance framework project for researching, developing and producing electric cars (Porsche Taycan) and to invest in efficient factories that manufacture battery-run vehicles only. That the plans are aligned with the Green Bond Principles was confirmed by independent agency ISS-oekom.
IPCC calls for overhaul of land use
In its latest special report on the interplay between agriculture and climate change, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is calling for a radical reform of global land management. According to the scientists’ analyses, the land surface air temperature has already risen by around 1.5 degrees Celsius since the end of the 19th century. Just under a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the temperature increase comes from land use, especially forest-clearing and farming. If the planet continues to heat up, the scientists fear, food production could be so negatively impacted that supply bottlenecks ensue. The IPCC recommends drastically reducing deforestation, protecting wetlands better and moving away from meat.
Earth Overshoot Day was 29 July
Our reserves of wood, agricultural land, fish and other natural resources needed to last a whole year if the Earth is to be kept in a state of natural equilibrium, were already used up by 29 July. The date was arrived at by some number crunching by think tank Global Footprint Network.
In 2017, humanity needed another three days to consume its natural resources for the year, while the year before it was seven.
Earth Overshoot Day has been calculated since 1970. That year it fell on 29 December.
CEOs see climate change as biggest threat
Climate change and other environmental risks pose the greatest threat to company growth, according to CEOs around the world. Of the roughly 1,300 executives surveyed by KPMG in its 2019 Global CEO Outlook, 22% deemed these risks to be the most troubling. Ranking second were the resurgence of protectionism and the uncertainties associated with disruptive technologies, each considered by 18% as the biggest cause for concern.
More information (in German)
Global reforestation can stop climate change
Planting around 900 million hectares of forest could be an effective way of combating climate change and staying under the 1.5°C cap set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This was found in a new study carried out by researchers at the science and technical university ETH Zurich. Some 2.8 billion hectares of land worldwide is currently covered by forest, and the proposed reforestation would be possible without negatively affecting cities or agricultural areas. The new forests, cumulatively around the size of the USA, could store 205 billion tonnes of CO2. That’s about two thirds of the roughly 300 billion tonnes of CO2 that humans have been releasing into the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Finland to be carbon neutral as early as 2035
Finland is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2035 – sooner than any other industrial nation. The government is namely looking to offset CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions mostly through absorption by its forests. Following the year 2035, Finland’s target balance will even be negative: more CO2 is to be captured and sequestered from the atmosphere than emitted by Finnish companies and private households. The 2035 target makes Finland an EU pioneer, leading Iceland, which plans to become carbon neutral by 2040, and Sweden, which wants to do the same by 2045. Germany’s target year still stands at 2050.