The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday proposed a pair of rule changes aimed at stamping out unfounded claims by funds on their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) credentials, and enforcing more standardization of such disclosures.
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In the peak of 2020 lockdowns, giant oil companies had a wake-up call. Demand had cratered, sapping profits, and it wasn’t clear when it would end. That gave environmentally minded investors an in. The pitch: Get on the clean and green path or perish.
The industry moved quickly to capture the narrative, going from disinformation blitz to policy wins within a matter of weeks.
At Stanford University, the question is ringing loud. This month, hundreds of students, faculty members and alumni, in an open letter, called on the university’s new climate school to decline funding from fossil fuel companies.
Companies around the world are increasing alert to the climate
emergency. They face calls from a growing range of stakeholders
HSBC has suspended a senior banker after he referred to climate crisis warnings as “unsubstantiated” and “shrill” during a conference speech that has since been denounced by the lender’s chief executive.
Stuart Kirk, who has been HSBC’s head of responsible investing since last July, will remain suspended until the bank completes an internal investigation into the matter.
First, let’s talk about greenwashing — a blanket term to describe false or unproven claims in a company’s environmental records. It’s a big problem. The New Climate Institute, a research organization based in Germany, recently looked at the climate plans of 25 big multinationals and gave most of them very low marks on actually reducing emissions. The group’s report said it’s “more difficult than ever” to distinguish between real climate leadership and dubious claims.
It has long been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. By that definition, we’re the ones detached from reality if we keep accepting what the oil industry and the green movement keep telling us over and over again and expecting a different result.
When Royal Dutch Shell sold off its stake in the Umuechem oil field in Nigeria last year, it was, on paper, a step forward for the company’s climate ambitions: Shell could clean up its holdings, raise money to invest in cleaner technologies, and move toward its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
Brazilians know all about fake news. Digital hucksters have attacked the integrity of Brazil’s electronic voting system, baselessly accused adversaries of “teaching” homosexuality in the classroom and promoted faith-based covid-19 treatments, all with a nod and a wink from the presidential palace. Now the social media mobs, with the blessings of Brazil’s “cabinet of hate,” are trolling the world’s largest tropical rainforest.