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The news that shaped the week in responsible investing
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Dear SRI reader,

What a very dynamic week this has been! In Europe, we have witnessed a strong determination to align climate policy with the Paris agreement targets and further boost social infrastructure investments. In the meanwhile, Italy is gearing up to take on green bonds as part of its commitment to scaling up the country’s green portfolio.
European MPs have supported the Commission's proposal to reduce the number of carbon credits by 2.2% each year and intend to work towards doubling the capacity of the 2019 market stability reserve. The agreement was for the establishment of two funds to be set up and financed by auctioning ETS allowances. One fund would help to upgrade energy systems in lower-income member states, and the other is set to provide financial support for renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and low-carbon innovation projects. MEPs will now enter into negotiations with the Maltese Presidency of the Council in order to reach an agreement on the final shape of the legislation, which will then come back to Parliament.
More efforts from the Commission as it convenes a High-Level Task Force on Social Infrastructure (HLTF SI), with the aim of boosting investment in European social infrastructure such as education, health and social housing. Chaired by Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission and Italian Prime Minister, the Task Force is due to prepare recommendations on promoting the financing of social infrastructure sectors.
Finally, Italy’s environment ministry has called for a national committee on green bonds, tasked with increasing issuance and directed at helping the country deliver its climate change ambitions. Let’s keep a close eye on future developments as Italy joins London, Paris, Hong Kong and
other financial centres across the globe, in taking the lead towards building a low-carbon economy.
 
Happy reading,

Flavia Micilotta
- Eurosif's Executive Director
ESG
MEPs back plans to cut carbon emission allowances and fund low-carbon innovation: Plans to boost greenhouse-gas emission curbs through the EU carbon market (EU ETS), so as to bring EU climate policy into line with the aims of the Paris agreement, were backed by Parliament on Wednesday. 
Corporate procurement officers say sustainability now key criteria for purchases: Almost all procurement managers now look for sustainably-produced material in their purchases, according to a new survey – which also comes as analysis of corporate deforestation commitments showing a dramatic rise.

A progress report on the Luxembourg Green Exchange: Since its launch in September, the exchange has already listed €47 billion of green bonds, say Chiara Caprioli and Julien Froumouth.
UK corporate governance code set for ‘fundamental’ shake up: Executive pay, stakeholder engagement and disciplinary procedures are set to come under the spotlight as the Financial Reporting Council launches a “fundamental review” of the UK Corporate Governance Code.
Swiss reject corporate tax overhaul: Swiss voters have rejected a plan to tighten rules on tax breaks for multinational companies. Fifty-nine percent voted against the measure in a referendum on Sunday.

 
INVESTORS
European long-term investor group sets up social infrastructure taskforce: Romano Prodi, the former President of the European Commission and Prime Minister of Italy, is chairing a new task force set up by the European Long-term Investors Association (ELTI) to boost investment in European social infrastructure, such as education, health and social housing.
Italy’s environment ministry calls for national committee on green bond development: Italy’s environment ministry has called for a national committee on green bonds, tasked with increasing issuance from the country. The committee was suggested as part of a report looking at scaling up green.


Ethical investment demand outstrips adviser interest: A survey by Aviva found that 81 per cent of financial advisers believed that fewer than 10 per cent of their clients had a genuine interest in the issue. This figure was in stark contrast to a consumer survey, also conducted by Aviva, that found around half of consumers took ethical issues seriously when considering whether to use a company's products.
Investor group to fight suspension of Dodd-Frank Act’s conflict minerals rule: A group of investors is calling on their peers to support continued implementation of Section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Act, which requires US listed companies to trace and disclose the origin and supply chain of certain commodities mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) region.
€58bn insurance giant launches ‘good governance’ fund: The asset management arm of insurance giant MAPFRE has launched a new equity fund designed to tap ‘good governance’ through its latest addition to its Luxembourg Sicav range.
ASSET MANAGERS

Trade bodies in call for international regulatory standards: Trade bodies are teaming up with lobbyists TheCityUK to produce a report on international regulatory standards after Brexit. The report, to be finished by the end of April and carried out by law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, will look at firms’ options for international regulations once the UK leaves the EU, and how these will work.
A purpose-driven performance metric for asset management?: The Center for Applied Research (CAR), a think tank linked to State Street, and the CFA Institute claimed this was “a hidden variable of performance”, and named it ‘phi’.



How to solve the imbalance in ESG investing: During a GreenBiz 17 program, Dimitri Sedov, the vice president of innovation and digital strategy at S&P Global, said the acquisition of Trucost will help solve a gap between the demand for sustainable investing and the supply of these investments. Sedov said one of the first steps to help solve this imbalance is to create a unified system that looks at environmental risks similar to the way S&P’s global indices look at credit risk.

 
Quote of the week
"'We have sent a strong signal to the European Council that we are serious about the fight to stop global warming."

- MEP Ian Duncan, Rapporteur for the Parliament's ENVI Committee in
a press release on Wednesday, after MEPs back plans to cut carbon emission allowances and fund low-carbon innovation.
Copyright © 2017 Eurosif, All rights reserved.


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