Banks told to come clean as Abundance offers 9% bond

Written by Lori Campbell on 19th Apr 2021

A group of investors managing £11 trillion in assets is urging banking giants to stop financing fossil fuels, as ethical crowdfunding platform Abundance launches a nine per cent interest bond to fund new electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Meanwhile, a wildlife expert warns that plastic rain is the new acid rain, the ‘whitest-ever’ paint has been developed to help tackle climate change, and pop giants including Coldplay, Hot Chip and alt-J have launched playlists designed to spark environmental action. It’s the Good With Money weekly newsbrief. 

Investors with $11tn in assets demand banks stop fossil fuel financing

A coalition of major investors managing a combined $11 trillion in assets worldwide is calling on banks to stop financing fossil fuels, deforestation and land-use change.

Aviva Investors, Legal & General Investment Management, Sarasin & Partners, and the Church Commissioners for England are among nearly three dozen investors which have joined together to urge major banks to set “enhanced net zero targets”.

These include emission reduction goals, commitments to scale up green finance, and pledges to withdraw funding from companies that show no evidence of transitioning towards a low carbon future.

The group, convened by European membership body the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), is targeting 27 of the world’s largest banks including Barclays, HSBC, BNP Paribas, Groupe Credit Agricole, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America.

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Abundance launches 9% bond to fund EV charging network

Ethical crowdfunding platform Abundance has launched a bond offer to fund the roll out of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

The bonds will enable Iduna Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure plc (Iduna) to accelerate the switch to EVs across the Greater Manchester area.

Iduna is aiming to raise £4 million through an offer of five-year secured debentures (regulated and tradable bonds) which pay investors nine per cent interest per year over the life of the investment. Iduna will install 50 new EV chargers in Greater Manchester, in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). The bonds from Good With Money ‘Good Egg’ firm Abundance are eligible to be held in a tax-free ISA (individual savings account) or SIPP (self-invested pension).

Remember, as with any investment there are risks. Part or all of your capital may be at risk and any return on your investment depends on the success of the project it is invested in.

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Plastic rain is the new acid rain, warns wildlife expert

Plastic rain is the new acid rain, with microplastics from the sea polluting our soil, a top wildlife expert has warned.

Tiny particles of plastic, from bottles and other waste, are falling on Earth from the sky after degrading to microplastics in the oceans.

A new study in the journal Science found that over 14 months, more than 1,000 metric tons of microplastic particles fell into 11 protected areas in the western US each year, the equivalent of over 120 million plastic water bottles.

Craig Bennett, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, said if the world does not stop using plastic we will see major implications for human health.

He said: “This will be taken as seriously as we have taken fossil fuels and acid rain. The real story that we’re going to be talking about five to 10 years from now, is the impact of plastics and particularly microplastics on human health.”

‘Whitest-ever’ paint could help cool heating Earth, study shows

The ‘whitest-ever’ paint has been produced by academics in a bid to boost the cooling of buildings and help tackle the climate crisis.

The new paint reflects 98 per cent of sunlight as well as radiating infrared heat through the atmosphere into space. In tests, it cooled surfaces by 4.5C below the ambient temperature, even in strong sunlight. Its developers said the paint could be on the market in less than two years.

“Our paint can help fight against global warming by helping to cool the Earth – that’s the cool point,” said Prof Xiulin Ruan at Purdue University in the US. “Producing the whitest white means the paint can reflect the maximum amount of sunlight back to space.”

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Pop giants launch Playlists For Earth

Pop giants including Coldplay, Hot Chip and alt-J have launched playlists designed to spark environmental action.

Playlists For Earth, a new initiative by non-profit ClientEarth, sees acts and festivals sharing playlists that spread messages about saving the planet. The song titles on each playlist communicate important notes when they are read in order as a full sentence.

More than 60 acts, music industry figures and organisations have pledged their support, with other playlists coming from Tom Misch, Milky Chance, Francisca Valenzuela, All Points East festival and British Summer Time.

Anna Calvi said: “We should be talking about the climate crisis now more than ever, and taking action to protect the planet we love. We need to see a massive cultural change and an immediate government response.”

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