Oil giant ExxonMobil is captured on camera lobbying against climate change legislation as carmaker Nissan announces a major expansion of its electric vehicle production in Sunderland. Meanwhile, regulators propose tighter scrutiny of asset managers to stop ‘greenwashing,’ Wellcome pledges to make its investment portfolio – worth £29 billion – carbon neutral by 2050, and ethical financial advisers The Path are shortlisted for a £1 million Sky Zero Footprint Fund prize. It’s the Good With Money weekly newsbrief.
ExxonMobil lobbied against climate change legislation
A senior ExxonMobil lobbyist has been caught on camera revealing how the oil giant is using its power and influence to water down US climate legislation.
The footage was obtained by Greenpeace UK’s investigative platform, Unearthed, who posed as head-hunters to meet with ExxonMobil’s most senior Washington lobbyists.
The recordings appear to reveal the behind-the-scenes activities of a lobbyist for a company that claims in public to support action on climate change, while secretly fighting against legislative attempts to tackle it.
ExxonMobil say they “have supported climate science for decades” and accuse Greenpeace of “waging a multi-decade campaign” against their company and industry.
Nissan announces major UK electric car expansion
Nissan has announced a major expansion of electric vehicle (EV) production at its car plant in Sunderland, creating 1,650 jobs.
The Japanese carmaker will build its new-generation all-electric model at the site as part of a £1 billion investment that will also support thousands of jobs in the supply chain. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called it a “pivotal moment.”
Meanwhile, Nissan’s partner Envision AESC is to build an electric battery plant.
Of the £1 billion investment, Nissan said it would invest up to £423 million to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK, building on the success of its existing electric car, the Leaf.
Production of the new model will create 909 new jobs and more than 4,500 in its UK supply chain.
It comes as Gridserve, a company backed by British billionaire Richard Branson, plans to build electric-vehicle charging hubs across the UK that can fuel a car with enough power in five minutes to drive 100 miles.
Regulators to tighten scrutiny of asset managers to stop ‘greenwashing’
Global securities regulators have proposed a stricter approach to stopping asset managers from overstating the climate-friendly credentials of their products to investors – known as ‘greenwashing.’
IOSCO, which groups securities regulators from the United States, Europe and Asia, has set out how regulators can better protect investors from greenwashing, and what sustainability-related standards the authorities should expect from asset managers.
The volume of money flowing into funds that tout their environmental, social and governance (ESG) attributes has risen sharply, but regulators worry about the lack of reliability and comparability of ESG data that asset managers disclose.
While many asset managers have backed the voluntary sustainability disclosures from the global Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), it was not an indication of “real action” by the sector, IOSCO said.
Wellcome pledges £29bn investment fund will be carbon zero by 2050
Wellcome has pledged to make its investment portfolio – worth £29 billion – carbon neutral by 2050.
The charity said that it will be engaging with both asset managers and directly with the companies in which it invests, to encourage them to move away from operations which harm the environment.
To achieve net zero across the portfolio, the companies in which the charity is invested will need to balance greenhouse gas emissions with the amount removed from the atmosphere.
Currently around a third of Wellcome’s investments by value are in companies that have declared their own carbon neutrality targets. The charity warns that it will consider divesting from companies if they fail to take steps to improve their environmental impact.
Climate-focused financial advisor makes Sky Zero shortlist for £1m prize
The first financial advisers in the UK set up specifically to tackle the climate crisis has been shortlisted for the Sky Zero Footprint Fund.
The Path is the only financial firm to have made the 10-strong shortlist, which includes Eden Project, Ocean Bottle, OVO, Tesco, Brewdog, Unilever (Persil), OLIO and Pura.
The fund was set up by Sky as part of its Sky Zero campaign to reach Net Zero by 2030. It aims to support brands that are committed to driving positive behavioural change, amplify their environmental messages and accelerate their missions of creating a more sustainable future – all through the power of TV and advertising. The winner will receive £1 million in advertising support.
The Path earned its spot by helping clients to put their money where their values are and move their pensions and investments from conventional funds, that could be propping up exploitative and damaging industries, to portfolios that are actively supporting solutions to the world’s biggest problems.