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Renewable energy investment; wind farm opposition; sustainable finance – Quote Bank: June 9-15



Photo: quinn.anya via Flickr

A good quote makes all the difference. Here’s the pick of the past week.

“Even if we do increase agricultural output by 60%, the world would still have 300m people hungry in 2050” - Jose Graziano da Silva, FAO director-general. Sustainability at the heart of food and agriculture.

“Socially responsible investing can create sustainable long-term wealth for all stakeholders. We need to learn to appreciate that doing business better will ultimately make for better business. Responsible investment is no longer a niche: it makes good business sense” - Neville White, senior socially responsible investment analyst at Ecclesiastical. Ecclesiastical report maps historic sustainable investment progress.

It’s not a case of profit at all costs, which can damage the environmentPeople are looking for socially responsible investments, where they’ve got a feel-good factor about them” - Andrew Steel, CEO of the Treedom Group. New forestry fund is out to benefit people, planet and profit.

“Whatever the drivers, the strong and sustained growth of the sector is a major factor that is assisting many countries towards a transition to low-carbon, resource efficient green economyAchim Steiner, UN under-secretary general and UNEP executive director. Record-breaking year for renewable energy investment.

Environmental business delivers value to our clients, return for our shareholders, and helps strengthen the economyWe met our prior goal in about half the time we set for ourselves, so more than doubling our target is ambitious but achievable” - Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America. Bank of America pledges $50 billion worth of sustainable investments.

“There is a school of thought that says if we cannot sort out this global climate change risk, then temperatures are going to rise, water is going to become scarcer, there is going to be more flooding and society as we know it on a global basis will change very radically. There needs to be investment on a massive scale in goods and services that are going to help mitigate and adapt to it” – Gordon Morrison, managing director at FTSE. FTSE’s ESG unit can “shed light” on responsible investment.

With the global economy in turmoil, and the plight of many vulnerable parts of society worsening, there is a unique opportunity for sustainable finance institutions to shape the response of governments and influence corporate behaviour in resolving our most pressing global problemsNena Stoiljkovic, a vice president at the IFC, and Lionel Barber, FT editor. Inspiring innovation in sustainable finance: FT/IFC Conference.

As a start we hope to see shareholders given a binding vote on executive remunerationWe’re also pushing for mandatory voting disclosure from investors on the way they voted on executive pay packagesThis increased transparency would ensure that investors can be held to account over their voting records” - Matthew Butcher, media and communications officer at FairPensions. Pay-packets of top FTSE executives increase by 12%.

“People enjoy living in Lincolnshire because we have a great way of life, not because of landscape’s blighted by wind farms. On top of that, there are also issues around the damage caused by roads during the construction and decommissioning of turbines” – Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire county council. Wind farm storm in Lincolnshire as county council says, “Enough is enough”.

“The fact that the Scottish government had continued with its policies of promoting renewable energy has provided the industry with confidence” - John Wilson, deputy head of Holyrood’s energy committee. Scotland surges on in renewable energy investment.

There are two main challenges in tourism; the economic and the environmental, and the ‘centre of gravity’… The nature of our industry is that it is sensitive, but it is absolutely resilient” - Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UN World Tourism Organisation. Sustainable tourism: an essential link in the world’s ‘value chain’.

The winners of this year’s awards should be congratulated as they stand out from a very strong group of financial institutions that are leading the way on making environmental and social considerations a major part of their business” – Martin Dickson, deputy editor of the FT. FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Awards: the winners.

“We have embarked on a once off transition to a sustainable economy. All forms of renewable energy, from solar energy to tidal energy, will contribute to delivering this transition in the UK” - Eddie O’Connor, chief executive of Mainstream Renewable Power. Report forecasts big economic rewards from UK offshore wind investment.

Today’s defeat of WPP’s remuneration report is unsurprising given shareholder comments in the last few monthsIt is difficult to know whether the WPP board underestimated the level of shareholder anger or simply chose to ignore it” - Louise Rouse, director of engagement at FairPensions. WPP ‘unsurprisingly’ loses vote over Sir Martin Sorrell’s pay.

“In a fast changing world, I believe it is important to understand both the forces behind today’s headlines as well as underlying trends that are shaping the new energy landscape that our children and grandchildren will inherit” – Bob Dudley, BP chief executive. Continued exploitation of fossil fuels sees global carbon emissions rise.

Further reading:

Banks creating money; Islamic investments; sustainable agriculture – Quote Bank: June 2-8

Guide to Sustainable Tourism; climate change reporting; German solar – Quote Bank: May 26-June 1

Energy bill; unethical investments; Delingpolegate – Quote Bank: May 19-25

Solar in Suffolk; Marks and Spencer; SRI+20 – Quote Bank: May 12-18

World’s largest solar project; sustainable fashion; Olympic sponsorship – Quote Bank: May 5-11

Royal Society; European Commission; UNWTO – Quote Bank: April 23-May 4


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