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ESG Monthly (October 2021)

This month’s highlights:

  • COP15 and COP26;
  • China updates NDCs;
  • Australia sets net-zero targets;
  • The UK introduces climate disclosure law.


  • Phase 1 of the UN Biodiversity Conference, also known as COP15, took place from 11 to 15 October in Kunming, China. Governments around the world gathered to agree upon the development and execution of a post-2020 Global Biodiversity framework. (Credit Suisse Research, October 2021)
  • The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, commenced on 31 October in Glasgow, Scotland (United Nations Climate Change. October 2021)
  • The latest Emissions Gap Report shows the latest Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) only further reduce 7.5% of predicted 2030 emissions, whilst 55% is needed to meet the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C. (United Nations Environment Programme, October 2021)
  • The United States released a revised “Build Back Better” framework which cut the originally proposed $3.5 trillion climate and social infrastructure package to $1.85 trillion. (The White House, October 2021)
  • The United Kingdom announced plans to introduce legislation requiring mandatory climate-related disclosure by companies and financial institutions, expected to be effective in April 2022. (HM Treasury, October 2021

In key Asian markets…

  • China updated its NDCs ahead of COP26, backed up by a guiding document and an action plan on how the country will peak its carbon emissions by 2030 (UN NDC Registry, October 2021). The action plan included some new industry targets such as bringing its total installed capacity of wind and solar power to over 1.2 billion kilowatts by 2030. (Morgan Stanley, October 2021)
  • China issued biodiversity and green development guidelines following COP15, establishing environmental commitments for the next 15 years which included placing 55% of its wetlands, 35% of its natural coastlines, and 77% of its wildlife species under key state protection. (The State Council of China, October 2021)
  • In India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) proposed new requirements that ESG funds should have at least 80% of total assets in sustainable themes. (Regulation Asia, October 2021)
  • In Australia, announced a new target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and outlined a decarbonization plan that relies heavily on technology investment and development, rather than legislation and taxes. (Australian Government, October 2021)

Holly So, CFA
ESG Specialist

December 02, 2021

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