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Sustainable Switch: Cleaning up your act

Sharon Kimathi
Energy and ESG Editor, Reuters Digital
Energy giants across the globe are cleaning up their act this
week. Oil and gas executives see the incoming U.S. climate and
tax bill as a means to kickstart carbon sequestration projects https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/oil-industry-gears-up-tap-us-climate-bill-carbon-capture-projects-2022-08-15
 to offset emissions; BP is expanding its solar venture with two
new solar farms in Australia https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/bp-solar-joint-venture-expanding-australia-with-two-new-projects-2022-08-16;
 Japan's biggest power generator JERA will spend about 15
billion yen ($112 million) https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/japans-jera-buy-35-stake-vietnams-renewable-energy-firm-y15-bln-2022-08-16
 to buy a 35.1% stake in a Vietnamese renewable energy company;
South African coal producer Seriti will invest $730 million in
building a 450-megawatt wind farm https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/safrican-coal-producer-seriti-acquires-renewable-energy-firm-windlab-2022-08-15;
 and Norway phases out some of its old oil and gas fields
prematurely to achieve its 2030 climate goals https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/norways-climate-choice-old-oil-gas-fields-switch-green-power-or-close-early-2022-08-15.
* Carbon capture and storage hubs that take gases from chemical,
power and gas producers and oil refineries  https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/oil-industry-gears-up-tap-us-climate-bill-carbon-capture-projects-2022-08-15have
 become the energy industry's preferred way to combat climate
warming. The tax credits in the $430 billion U.S. climate and
tax bill set to be signed into law this week aims to expand on
those carbon sequestration projects, say oil and gas proponents,
offsetting startup costs for some of the anti-pollution

* While oil and gas executives in America turn to carbon
capture, Lightsource bp, a solar developer and company
half-owned by BP, is expanding its solar projects https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/bp-solar-joint-venture-expanding-australia-with-two-new-projects-2022-08-16.
 The firm is set to reach financial close later this year on two
new solar farms in Australia for a total cost of A$800 million
($560 million). Australia is expected to make a "significant
contribution" to the company's global target of 25 GW of solar
power by 2025, Lightsource bp managing director Adam Pegg said
in a statement.
* Also expanding its clean energy footprint in the Asia-Pacific
region is Japan's power generator JERA, which will spend about
15 billion yen ($112 million) to buy a 35.1% stake https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/japans-jera-buy-35-stake-vietnams-renewable-energy-firm-y15-bln-2022-08-16
 in Vietnamese renewable energy company Gia Lai Electricity JSC
to expand its overseas business. The deal is aimed at
contributing to both economic growth and decarbonisation in
Vietnam, JERA said in a statement.
* Over in South Africa, coal producer Seriti Resources said it
planned to invest $730 million in building a 450-megawatt wind
farm in Mpumalanga https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/safrican-coal-producer-seriti-acquires-renewable-energy-firm-windlab-2022-08-15,
 following its proposed acquisition of Windlab Africa.
Privately-owned Seriti, a major coal supplier to South Africa's
state power utility Eskom, plans to buy a 51% stake in Windlab
Africa's wind and solar energy assets for $55 million. Windlab
Africa is currently owned by Australia's Windlab Pty Ltd and has
3.5 gigawatts of renewable energy projects at different stages
of development in South Africa and East Africa.
* Elsewhere in Europe, Norway will have to phase out some of its
old oil and gas fields prematurely to achieve its 2030 climate
goals https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/norways-climate-choice-old-oil-gas-fields-switch-green-power-or-close-early-2022-08-15,
 unless it can use carbon-free power on more offshore platforms
to cut their emissions, the country's Climate Minister Espen
Barth Eide said. Norway, western Europe's largest petroleum
producer, aims to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gasses by
55% by 2030 from 1990, but as of 2021 the reduction achieved was
only 4.5%, preliminary official statistics showed.
 Talking Points 
    * Ben & Jerry's legal battle with Unilever sheds light on an
affecting a growing number of purpose-led brands https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/ben-jerrys-unilever-fight-shows-risks-ceding-control-2022-08-16:
 how to maintain their identity after being bought by a major
consumer company.
    * Swedish fashion giant H&M's official store on Alibaba's
e-commerce platform  https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/hm-returns-alibabas-tmall-16-months-after-xinjiang-controversy-2022-08-16has
 re-opened, 16 months after the Chinese site took it down
following the brand's criticisms of human rights abuses in
    * Investors deposited $120 million into U.S. sustainable
last month, a "tepid" https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/tepid-demand-us-sustainable-funds-july-report-says-2022-08-15
 amount of inflows that coincided with a broader retreat from
mutual funds and ETFs, researcher Morningstar Inc said.
    * Agricultural seeds and chemicals maker Bayer AG launched a
digital farming platform that it says will help U.S. growers https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/bayer-launches-sustainable-ag-hub-connect-us-farmers-food-fuel-makers-2022-08-15
 enact environmentally friendly practices and connect them with
companies seeking more sustainable food, feed and biofuel
    * Breakingviews: Bluebell Capital’s campaign for corporate
governance changes at Richemont looks like an uphill struggle. https://www.reuters.com/breakingviews/richemonts-governance-armour-is-hard-pierce-2022-08-12
 Under pressure from the activist investor, the $63 billion
Cartier owner will allow listed A shareholders to designate a
board representative at a September shareholder meeting.  

In Conversation
Rebecca Lovelady, senior social innovation & sustainability
manager at multinational food-products corporation, Danone
    “We want to encourage more healthy and sustainable
consumption practices, enabling more people to make choices
considering environmental and nutritional impacts. We know that
consumers are keen for simple, accessible information that
supports them to make these choices – and providing them with
environmental impact information through labeling can be part of
    “We believe any environmental labeling scheme must be
consumer friendly, while also being strongly backed by
independent scientific data and accepted measurement methods.
    “It is also important that environmental labeling schemes
are holistic in the factors they reflect including carbon impact
as well as water usage, biodiversity or pollution risk etc. They
must incorporate a range of relevant indicators, which can also
help to incentivise and accelerate more sustainable sourcing,
farming, producing and transporting of food and drinks.”
ESG Lens
ESG Movers and Shakers
* Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) has appointed three new
members to its North American diversity advisory board (DAB).
Robert C. Davidson Jr., CEO of Surface Protection Industries,
Domenika Lynch, executive director of the Aspen Institute
Latinos and Society Program, and retired Army Major General
Tammy S. Smith joined the company's DAB. The team will be
working closely with the organization's advisory board - led by
former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman.    
* Multinational investment manager Brookfield Asset Manager has
appointed Mark Carney as chair of the manager, Connor Teskey as
president of the manager and Anuj Ranjan as president of the
private equity group. Teskey will continue his role as head of
Europe and CEO of its renewable and transition group. Ranjan’s
role is an expansion of the role he held as head of PE for
Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It is also in addition to his
role as head of business development for the manager.
* Multinational professional services network KPMG International
hired Anish De as global head of energy natural resources &
chemicals (ENRC). With more than 25 years’ experience, he joins
the global organization from KPMG in India where he held a
number of key roles including national head of ENRC, and head of
strategy and transformation, leading the firm’s successful
infrastructure advisory practice in areas including energy,
mining, transport, aviation and defense. 
* U.S.-based consulting company Arabella Advisors has appointed
Andrew Plumley its new head of diversity, equity, and inclusion
(DEI). Plumley brings over a decade of expertise in diversity
and inclusion strategy. Prior to joining Arabella, he was the
senior director of equity and culture at the American Alliance
of Museums. He also served as a director in the non-profit
Equity in the Center (EIC).
Quote of the Day
    “When energy bills rocket in the Autumn, families who
already have it tough are going to find things even harder. At
the very least, the government should double the emergency
support package announced in May to ensure families are shielded
from a catastrophic winter.”
Dan Paskins, director of UK impact at international children’s
charity, Save the Children

Looking Ahead
    * A feature that will be published later today will show how
support for the sweeping U.S. climate and tax package has
exposed a rift in the environmental movement that had been
unified under the Trump administration.
    * Australia's competition regulator is expected to issue a
decision on Qantas' proposed takeover of charter operator
Alliance Aviation on August 18.
    * A Reuters report on August 21 reveals how mangoes in
Ismailia, known to be grown in large numbers, have been
suffering in recent years from black mold due to increasing
heatwaves, leaving farmers to fend for themselves to limit the
effect of climate change on their crops. 
    * A years-long fight over U.S. investor voting rights is
for a legal showdown on August 22 after the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) dashed investor hopes by failing to
overturn rules they say damage corporate democracy.

Macro Matters https://www.reuters.com/markets/macromatters
Brazil's central bank chief on Monday defended policymakers'
focus on 12-month inflation  https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/brazil-central-bank-chief-sees-jobless-rate-falling-about-85-2022-08-15through
 March 2024 over the 2023 year-end rate due to one-off tax
changes, contributing to signals that the bank may be done
raising interest rates.
Central Bank President Roberto Campos Neto said the slightly
longer horizon improved policymaking, as tax breaks on essential
goods this year are expected to create an "inflation remnant" in
2023 when they expire.
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EIA projects renewables as fastest-growing U.S. power source
through 2050    https://tmsnrt.rs/3T2HVRM

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