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ESG Monthly (December 2021)

This month’s highlights:

US federal government announced net zero plans, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) published 2021 environmental scores, EU Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act approved, Singapore and Malaysia progressed with climate mandatory reporting requirements.

A brief commentary on environmental, social, governance news and developments globally and in key Asian markets in this month:

    Globally…

    • In the US, the US government released plans to achieve its own net zero ambition by 2050: goals for its federal operations include 100% zero carbon electricity by 2030, 100% zero-emission light duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027 (all vehicles by 2035), and a net zero buildings portfolio by 2045 (The White House, December 2021).
    • In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced mandates for Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to disclose whether they are owned or controlled by a government entity (Reuters, December 2021).
    • In the EU, the EU Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act was approved by member states of the EU Council and will take effect as of January 1, 2022 (UNPRI, December 2021).
    • Climate research provider and environmental disclosure platform CDP announced its company scores for 2021; in summary more than 13,000 companies reported environmental data through CDP this year, an increase of over 37% compared to 2020 (CDP, December 2021).
    • A research study from Nature Communications found that global warming of 3°C could cost as much as US$1.6 trillion each year for the global economy due to losses in labour productivity (Nature Communications, December 2021).

    In key Asian Pacific markets…

    • In China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced a five-year plan aimed at the green development of its industrial sector, calling to reduce carbon emissions by 18% and to achieve US$1.7 trillion of economic output in the environmental sector by 2025 (SCMP, December 2021).
    • In China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology removed more than 100 apps from Chinese app stores due to violations of privacy law (Reuters, December 2021).
    • In Hong Kong, up to 90 ESG bonds were issued this year, raising up to HK$270 billion (US$34.62 billion), four times the HK$67 billion raised in 2020 (SCMP, December 2021).
    • In Singapore, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) introduced mandatory climate reporting on a ‘comply or explain’ basis for all listed companies for reports from the financial year commencing 2022 (Reuters, December 2021).
    • In Malaysia, Bank Nagara Malaysia and Securities Commission Malaysia announced plans to issue climate disclosure guidelines in 2022 as Malaysia moves towards mandatory climate disclosures from 2024 (Securities Commission Malaysia, December 2021).
    • In China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced a five-year plan aimed at the green development of its industrial sector, calling to reduce carbon emissions by 18% and to achieve US$1.7 trillion of economic output in the environmental sector by 2025 (SCMP, December 2021).
    • In New Zealand, health officials proposed to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes every year beginning in 2023, effectively a permanent ban on cigarettes for those aged 14 or younger (Reuters, December 2021).

    AUTHORED BY
    Holly So, CFA
    ESG Specialist

    Date
    December 15, 2021

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