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Post #COP21 Test: ANZ Let Off Hook On Climate By Institutional Investors



The Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) has today questioned global pension funds for their failure to follow through on their own climate change commitments, after the ANZ Bank climate resolution failed to pass yesterday.

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, commonly called ANZ, is the fourth largest bank by market capitalisation in Australia, after the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac Banking Corporation and National Australia Bank. It has over 50,000 employees, 10 million customers and A$772 (£371b) billion in total assets

The lack of support seemed to contradict a range of existing policies and commitments made at the Paris COP21 summit. The climate resolution received only 5.38% in favour, despite US giant CalPERS, Australian Ethical Investment’s Advocacy Fund and Vision Super backing the proposal.

“With the ink not yet dry on the investor commitments from COP21, I imagine that UNFCCC and the investor groups are scratching their heads today. COP21 was packed to the rafters with investors talking up climate risk but give them their first chance to prove they can actually follow through and they fall dramatically short.” said AODP CEO Julian Poulter.

The ANZ vote was given specific focus in Australia with a massive campaign against the Australian superfunds with thousands of members contacting every one of the largest 100 funds to urge action against ANZ.

“The responses from funds back to members before the meeting shows we have a major accountability problem and an even worse climate risk issue. Some of the same funds who were in Paris told their members they wouldn’t reveal how they voted and some actually had the nerve to tell members they didn’t want to impact ANZ’s competitive advantage in lending to dirty industries!” added Poulter.

“What is the point of investors saying one thing and then doing another? They’ve actually voted for less disclosure and allowed ANZ to increase its emissions intensity in the face of warnings from the Bank of England and a host of other regulators.”

“ANZ still thinks it can ride a climate crisis and retain all the profits it has made for pension and superfund members around the world but the evidence is clear that they could lose a great deal – it is a disgrace that the current board get renumerated so heavily for leaving future retirement beneficiaries with a massive headache in later life.”

AODP revealed earlier this week that only two Australian asset owners along with CalPERS have confirmed they will vote in favour. Local Government Super and QSuper indicated to their members that they would refuse to support the resolution, with all other super funds refusing to disclose or ignoring their members’ requests entirely.

“I think we need a complete overhaul of how pension and superfunds disclose their voting intentions. Regulators can’t allow them to deceive their members over climate change by creating promises and then voting in the other direction or worse still making poor excuses for the banks. For some funds to argue it is unfair on ANZ is ludicrous – why don’t they raise resolutions on every single bank then? After all they are supposed to be responsible owners aren’t they?”

To see who owns the big four banks in Australia read this.



A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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