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ESG Monthly (September 2021)

This month’s highlights:

  • Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis;
  • US sets sustainable aviation fuel targets;
  • UK publishes signatories to Stewardship Code;
  • China launches green electricity trading scheme; Hong Kong and Guangzhou plans carbon derivatives market.


  • A group of 587 investors, representing $46 trillion in assets, issued the 2021 Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis urging global governments to raise climate ambitions and to implement mandatory climate disclosures (The Investor Agenda, September 2021).
  • The World Meteorological Organisation published a report highlighting that the COVID-19 pandemic had little impact on climate change as global industrial emissions were at similar levels in the first half of 2021 when compared to the same period in 2019 (World Meteorological Organisation, September 2021).
  • The United States announced a target for all jet fuels to be replaced with sustainable alternatives by 2050 (The White House, September 2021). Aviation currently accounts for approximately 3% of total US greenhouse gas emissions and 11% of transport-related emissions (JP Morgan Research, September 2021).
  • The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), financial regulator in the United Kingdom (UK), published signatories to the recently revamped UK Stewardship Code. A third of financial institutions who applied failed the review process (Financial Times, September 2021).
  • Carbon Tracker published a report that found over 70% of the world’s heaviest emitting companies failed to adequately disclose climate risks in their 2020 financial statements (Carbon Tracker, September 2021).
review financial statement climate issues

In key Asian markets…

  • In China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), who oversees the smart car industry, now require smart vehicle makers and telecom operators to carry out data and network security risk assessments on a regular basis (SCMP, September 2021).
  • In China, the State Grid Corporation of China and China Southern Power Grid launched a trial of a national-level green electricity trading scheme. The launch included the participation of 259 entities in 17 provinces amounting to up to 8 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity (Seneca ESG, September 2021).
  • In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on its strategic collaboration with Guangzhou Futures Exchange (GFEX) to develop a cross-border carbon derivatives market in the Greater Bay Area region (HKEx, September 2021).
  • In India, the government approved a $3.5 billion incentives scheme to boost green hydrogen production. The $3.5 billion will be given to the automobile sector to promote the production of electric and hydrogen fuel-powered vehicles and drones manufacturing over a five-year period (Reuters, September 2021).
  • In Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) published disclosure standards for retail ESG funds that financial institutions must meet by early next year (The Business Times, September 2021).
  • In Australia, the Clean Energy Regulator plans to launch a carbon exchange for purchase, clearing and settlement of Australian carbon credit units, which is expected to operate in 2023 (Regulation Asia, September 2021).

Holly So, CFA
ESG Specialist

November 19, 2021

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