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ESG Monthly (April 2022)

This month’s highlights:

The EU publishes sustainability reporting standards; the US spends $3 billion on EVs; India faces heatwaves and power crisis; China proposes strict controls on e-cigarettes; Mirae Asset insights on life cycle environmental impacts of solar panels.

Commentary on ESG news and developments:


  • In the European Union (EU), the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) released its initial draft of European Sustainability Reporting Standards, setting out sustainability disclosure requirements for companies the upcoming Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive (CSRD) (EFRAG, May 2022).
  • In the United States (US), the US Department of Energy announced a plan of more than $3 billion to develop domestic battery production, supply chain development and recycling, in support of the Biden Administration’s goal to ramp up vehicle electrification (The New York Times, May 2022).
  • In the United Kingdom (UK), the HM Treasury (HMT) formally launched a UK Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) with the objective to develop a “gold standard” for climate transition plans for UK financial institutions and listed companies in the UK (Investment Week, April 2022).

    In Asian Pacific markets…

    • India, the northern states faced the hottest pre-summer months in decades, triggering record high electricity demand due to a surge in air-conditioning use, which in turn gave rise to the worst power crisis in more than six years (Alarabiya News, May 2022).
    • India, the government evoked an emergency law to allow financially stressed idle power plants that are fired by imported coal to keep running in order to meet electricity demand (Reuters, May 2022).
    • China, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration issued draft rules to strictly control e-cigarette production, including the ban on foreign investment in the retail of e-cigarette products (Reuters, April 2022).
    • Singapore, the Green Finance Industry Taskforce (GFIT) release detailed criteria and thresholds for economic activities in the energy, transport and real estate sectors to formulate the Green and Transition Taxonomy (Monetary Authority of Singapore, May 2022).
    • Indonesia, the government announced a ban on palm oil exports, covering shipments of refined, bleached, deodorized (RBD) palm olein but not crude palm oil (ASEAN Briefing, April 2022).

      ESG Insights from Mirae Asset:

      What are the life cycle environmental impacts of solar panels?

      • Solar will likely become the most important source of energy for electricity generation in the future globally.
      • Thermal fuels like coal emit 25 times more carbon emissions compared to solar throughout their lifetime.
      • The upstream of the solar supply chain consumes considerable energy for the manufacturing of solar panels.
      • Our estimations suggest that for 1 GW of solar power, the energy generated is almost twice as much as that used to produce the associated solar panels.
      • Studies suggest the energy required to create a solar panel can be recouped in less than 2 years.

      Source: Mirae Asset Global Investments, April 2022

      Chart of the month: Historical records of climate-related disasters and associated damages

      Source: The Climate Action Tracker, EM-DAT, May 2022

      Holly So, CFA
      ESG Specialist

      May 31, 2022


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