1. Groundbreaking emissions disclosure legislation in California. A new law was passed through the California House of Representatives last week that mandates value chain emissions disclosures in the state. Companies operating in California with a revenue of more than US $1 billion annually would have to disclose all Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2026 and Scope 3 in 2027. Scope 1 emissions are those generated directly via manufacturing and transportation. Scope 2 covers emissions from the generation of the electricity purchased and used by the company. Scope 3 covers the broader value chain, waste management, water usage, commutes, and business trips. Disclosures would have to be vetted by third parties to ensure accuracy.
2. Mexico’s central government will soon be completely led by women. For the first time in history, Mexico will have a female president next year as both party’s presidential candidates are women. Claudia Sheinbaum is a published author, physicist, and former mayor of Mexico City. Xóchitl Gálvez, an engineer who has previously worked in tech, is the candidate for the opposition party. Regardless of who wins, after next year’s election the judicial branch, presidential office, and both houses of congress will be controlled by women. Fewer than 25 countries in the world are currently led by women, and most are in Europe. Mexico ranks fourth in the world for gender parity in government, well ahead of the United States which sits in 71st place.
3. Dr. Henning Stein on natural capital accounting. Dr. Henning Stein, Competent Boards alumnus, sat down with ESG Investor last week to discuss the importance of natural capital accounting. Natural capital refers to all of the renewable and non renewable resources and ecosystems found on this planet. Quantifying natural capital via accounting can help organisations understand their environmental impacts better and guide environmental strategies. Dr. Stein shares that asset managers are increasingly focusing on nature and biodiversity risks and companies should be aware of this and be proactive in addressing these risks. Companies must be conscious of regulatory changes like the European Union’s Nature Restoration Law and Deforestation Regulation as they may be held accountable for their biodiversity impacts. Investing in natural capital and nature-based solutions is key for asset managers, and will help ease the carbon transition as technology advances.
4. New Delhi G20 fails to make significant environmental gains. Ahead of last week’s G20 summit in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modhi emphasised that environmental issues would be front and centre. While the summit joint statement dedicates more pages to environmental concerns and sustainable development than any other topic, it still fell short in major ways. The statement sets out a number of climate pledges but is lacking any timelines or milestone targets to achieve these pledges. It also fails to discuss actions by individual countries, focusing on global climate mitigation strategies without going into detail. G20 countries have largely failed to walk the talk, as “G20 members spent a record amount on fossil fuels” in 2022. Additionally, Chinese president Xi Jinping skipped the summit, a sign of icy relations between India and China. Without global cooperation from the world’s largest emitters, little is likely to change.
5. United Nations releases stocktake on global climate action. Last week the United Nations published a report that assesses how to achieve the targets set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement and how much progress has already been made. Some of the key findings are as follows:
- The Paris Agreement has spurred climate action around the world and raised awareness for the urgency of the climate crisis.
- Governments need to embrace economic diversification, systemic transformation across all sectors, end deforestation, phase out fossil fuels, and scale up renewable energy to achieve ambitious targets.
- The window to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is rapidly closing as worldwide emissions stay high, and more meaningful actions are required.
- A just transition focusing on equity is of the utmost importance. Climate change is already impacting every country around the world, so robust and regionally tailored adaptation and mitigation measures are essential.
- More financial resources need to be mobilised to aid developing countries, and clean technology needs to be adopted around the world.
Read the full executive summary and report here.
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Ira Srivastava is Competent Boards’ Program Coordinator. Follow Competent Boards on LinkedIn.