Did they come true? 2019 responsible investment wishes revisited

first_imgJoshua Kendall, Insight Investment“Last year I wished for the green bond market to move beyond the concentration of issuance from governments, financials and utilities. Diversity has increased, with the telecommunication sector now part of the market through household names such as Verizon, Vodafone and Telefonica.“We also saw evolution in the types of impact bonds available. Notable here was Enel’s ‘transition’ bond, which could pave the way for issuance from petroleum companies in 2020. Whilst the growth overall has been positive, we have found the credentials of some of the issuance to be less than convincing.”Investor organisations/NGOsFiona Reynolds, CEO, Principles for Responsible InvestmentLast year Reynolds wished for investors to “step up on climate action” and this month she says she would have the same wish for 2020.“Whilst there has definitely been more climate action from the investment community and gains have been made through programmes that PRI is involved in such as Climate Action 100+ and the Investor Agenda, there is still so much more to be done. Emissions are higher than at any other time in the planet’s history, COP 25 was a disappointment and the anti-climate lobbyists are winning the day – ambition is spoken about but the action doesn’t meet the words.”For the investment community the initiative I am most proud of this year is the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance. If we can get all major funds to commit to a net zero target this will be a game changer.”Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change“A number of actors have raised their ambition on climate change during 2019. Companies are setting net zero emission targets at a remarkable rate, helped by engagement through Climate Action 100+. With over 60 of our members, we are working on how to align investment portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement. 70 countries and the EU are working to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.“Companies are setting net zero emission targets at a remarkable rate, helped by engagement through Climate Action 100+”Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, IIGCC “This momentum is significant, but not sufficient. Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, we need to see even greater ambition and bolder action in putting the global economy on a path to carbon neutrality.” Catherine Howarth, ShareActionCatherine Howarth, CEO, ShareAction“My wish for 2019 was that the impacts of investments would be recognised as relevant to meeting fiduciary duties. Well, it hasn’t quite come true! That said, 2019 witnessed the growing profile of so-called impact investing and also saw mainstream investors like pension funds asking far better questions about the impacts, both positive and negative, generated by companies in their portfolios.“My wish for 2020 remains the same. Here’s hoping every pension fund seeks to calculate and improve its impact-adjusted returns for the benefit of its members.” Christina Olivecrona, AP2“A global carbon tax is still very far away. This is sad, as it would create enormous momentum for the transition to a low carbon economy. Progress is on the way and especially the EU is moving fast. An example is the carbon border adjustment mechanism in the Green Deal, which is designed to ensure that the price of imports reflects the products’ carbon content. This is a step towards a global price!”“Our ability to improve in this area hangs on the quality of data”Nico Aspinall, CIO of The People’s PensionNico Aspinall, chief investment officer of The People’s Pension, an £8bn (€9.4bn) UK multi-employer pension provider“My 2019 wish to have mandatory Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures remains. If investment managers are to get better at investing responsibly it is imperative that we have necessary data from every stock market in the world – as much information from as many companies as possible. Our ability to improve in this area hangs on the quality of data.”Greg Haenni, CIO of CPEG, the CHF13.7bn (€12.6bn) public pension fund for Geneva“Disagreement amongst providers – different ratings for the same company – shows that ESG data remains unreliable. Much of the reporting today is either voluntary or if required by legislation not standardised, which leads to challenges when making comparisons. Also, factors such as carbon intensity vary within sectors, while measures can be volatile over time.“Going forward, we expect a better alignment across companies, sectors and regions between financial and non-financial data.”David Russell, head of responsible investment at the £70.1bn Universities Superannuation Scheme David Russell, USS“My wish was that pension fund consultants would more proactively address climate change. While it has risen up the agenda, there is still a long way to go.“2020 will see a push from both pension funds and regulators that will change how the industry as a whole reports on ESG. The past has been marked by the reporting of processes, but we want outcomes, i.e. less telling us that meetings took place and more telling us what happened as a result of them.”Asset managersClaudia Kruse, managing director, responsible investment and governance at APGLast December Kruse called for consideration of the social aspects of climate change, and for end-investors to be able to express their sustainability preferences in addition to their financial preferences. Looking back she says both of these topics were in focus in 2019.“The litmus test will be what difference this makes in the real economy”Claudia Kruse, managing director, responsible investment and governance at APG“For example, South Africa developed a Just Transition Plan and the EU has announced a Just Transition Fund. Individual pension funds like ABP committed to investing into the transition, and 159 global investors representing $10.1trn in assets now endorse the Investor Statement on a Just Transition. While demand for ESG investments is rising, the decision on how to include clients’ ESG preferences in the suitability assessment and eventual product recommendations under the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan has yet to be finalised.“All in all, there has been progress and the litmus test will be what difference this makes in the real economy.”Joshua Kendall, senior ESG analyst at Insight Investmentcenter_img This month also brought the unveiling of the Commission’s economic growth strategy – the European Green Deal – and EU endorsement of the 2050 climate neutrality goal, plus the United Nation’s climate change conference in Madrid, where it was decided to postpone to next year discussions on issues such as trading of emissions reductions between countries.How does 2019 stack up compared with the wishes expressed by investors this time one year ago? Read on to find out.Asset ownersCarine Smith Ihenacho, chief corporate governance officer at NBIM, manager of Europe’s largest sovereign wealth fundLast year NBIM’s Ihenacho emphasised the need for “standardised, concrete and relevant sustainability data”. This year she says:“We have looked at companies’ reporting on issues like climate risk since 2010. We saw some improvements in 2019, but there are large variations between companies and sectors. With investments in 9,000 companies across the globe, I remain hopeful that my wish is gradually coming true. As a long-term investor we support the companies in their journey to report more standardised, concrete and relevant sustainability data.”Christina Olivecrona, senior sustainability analyst at SEK334bn (€34bn) pension buffer fund AP2 Last December IPE asked various individuals in and around the world of institutional investment what their single biggest wish would be for the responsible investment industry/movement for 2019. This year, we asked them to revisit that wish: did it come true?Almost all of those who participated in this exercise last year responded to IPE’s new invitation. Generally, it seems 2019 has not delivered on their hopes, although several participants highlight momentum and progress. Still, the need for improvements in the availability and usefulness of data is one theme that emerges from the comments.It’s been a busy year in sustainable finance and it closes very much in this vein, in particular with a rush of developments linked to the European Commission’s action plan.These include the Council and European Parliament this week reaching a political agreement on the taxonomy and the European supervisory authorities delivering their advice to the Commission relating to “undue short-termism”. ESMA, for example, encouraged the Commission to set its sights on the achievement of a unified set of international environmental, social and corporate governance disclosure standards.last_img read more

Bolton ‘face competition from Fulham’ for Stoke City striker

first_imgFulham want to pip Bolton to the signing of Stoke City striker Cameron Jerome, according to The Sun.It is claimed that the Whites are competing with Wanderers in an effort to capture the former England Under-21 international, who has scored seven goals this season and is apparently rated at £4m.Terry is nursing an injury.The Guardian report that Chelsea’s interim boss Roberto Di Matteo may be forced to risk John Terry despite doubts over the defender’s fitness.Terry is struggling with a rib injury but with some vital matches approaching, Di Matteo is desperate to include him.The Italian said: “It all depends on how quick he can heal and the pain level he can sustain. As soon as that is possible to do he will train.”Meanwhile, The Sun declare that Di Matteo believes he needs to achieve a top-four finish and win the Champions League to be considered a success.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Eng vs Ire: Kevin O’Brien scores fastest WC ton as Ireland beat England by 3 wickets

first_imgIreland’s Kevin O’Brien scored the fastest century of the World Cup as his team caused the biggest upset of the tournament beating England by three wickets. Score | PhotosSuch was the irony of the match that saw Ireland rise above their “minnows” tag and chase down a three hundred plus total against England in their World Cup Group B match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday.Chasing 328, the Irish team started off as minnows losing wickets regularly even as the England bowlers made merry.Sitting on 111/5, Ireland had no hope of coming back into the game until, Kevin O’Brien along with Alex Cusack decided to turn the match on its head.The duo batted on to milk the English bowlers just the like the way the England batsmen had down to their bowlers earlier.It wasn’t as if the earlier Irish batsmen didn’t try. They did but failed even as Paul Stirling and and Ed Joyce, who had represented England in the last World Cup in 2007, scored 32 each – the highest till Kevin and Cusack came to the crease.Kevin’s brother Niall O’Brien had managed to scored 29 before England offie Graeme Swann got the better of him. In the 21st over Swann claimed him with a ball that skid through to crash against O’Brien’s stumps. He fell for 29 and Ireland slumped to 103/3.Swann hadn’t finished as yet and he made sure that Joyce didn’t stay on for long. His turner beat him and keeper Matt Prior removed the bails off from this stumps. Joyce fell for 32 and Ireland slumped to 106/4. In the 25th over, Swann struck again to send home Gary Wilson leg before as Ireland went down to 111/5.advertisementBut, the game was far from over for Ireland.Soon Kevin and Cusack came to the crease and did something no one could have imagined, attempt a revival. They charged down at the England bowlers with gusto and numbed their attack with their flurry of strokes.Kevin scored competed his half-century off just 30 balls. But he was hungry for more and went on hit more boundaries and over the fence shots even the once daunting target seemed gettable.Getting good support from his partner Alex Cusack, he Ireland cross 200-run mark.Post his fifty Kevin let loose a flurry boundaries and sixes taking up the England challenge in his stride. More drama followed when batting in the 90’s England skipper Andrew Strauss dropped him off Collingwood.Then it was Cusack’s turn to get a brush with luck as Michael Yardy dropped him off his own bowling. At this stage the England team seemed to come under pressure.It was then Kevin realised that the England had come under pressure and he upped the tempo to complete his ton and that too is impressive fashion. Scoring it off just 50 balls – the fasted in World Cup history.Unfortunately, Cusack got run out in Stuart Broad’s over, missing his half-century by 47. But, Kevin was still at the crease. With new man John Mooney, he brought the scores at par with the number of balls.Finally, he too was run out in the 49th over with an impressive 113 written against his name. His fine innings was decorated with 13 fours and six over the fence shots.The best part was that Ireland reached the target with five balls remaining.England inningsEarlier, Jonathan Trott put on 92 runs as England put on 327/8 on board. England skipper Andrew Strauss won the toss and elected to bat against the punching bags Ireland.Clearly England wanted their batsmen to get some good match-practice ahead of their big game against South Africa on Sunday.Captain Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen started off with all guns blazing. Clearly, the two were having a ball at the cost of the Irish bowlers, who looked like novices in front of them.After much effort Ireland managed to break their partnership with 18-year-old George Dockrell claiming Strauss. The ball crashed into Strauss’ stumps on 34.Strangely enough, Strauss fell for 34 on his 34th birthday. England were 91/1 at this stage.With Strauss gone, the other opener Kevin Pietersen too lost his rhythm and departed. Pietersen tried to play a reverse sweep on offie Paul Stirling but failed and ended up giving a top edge to keeper Niall O’Brien on 59. An England lost their second wicket on 111/2 on the last ball of the 17th over.But England were hardly concerned, no wonder that Ireland are rank outsiders in this tournament. Soon, Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell got on with a partnership milking the opposition bowlers at ease. The two put on 167 runs for the third wicket even as the Irish bowlers lost hope of producing a breakthrough.advertisementHowever, the breakthrough did come about for Ireland when on the last ball of the 43rd over Bell went for a big hit off John Mooney’s full toss. Stirling leaped and plucked the ball mid-air and Bell was walking back on 81 with 278/3 on board.There was more in store for Ireland. An over later Trott too departed with Mooney uprooting his stumps when he was just 8 runs shy of his century. He fell for 92 and England fell to 288/4.With Trott and Bell in the pavilion, Ireland pressed further and were rewarded. First Trent Johnston claimed Prior and then Mooney scalped his third wicket of the day in the form of Paul Collingwood at death.The way England were batting earlier, a 350-plus score wasn’t far, but thanks to Mooney and Johnston, who restricted them to 327/8 in 50 overs. Money finished with a four-wicket haul.last_img read more

Google bids farewell to its audio dongle Chromecast Audio

first_imgLast week, Google decided to stop manufacturing its audio dongle, Chromecast Audio that allowed users to connect speakers to their Google cast setup since the company has a variety of new audio products for users.The remaining stock of the Chromecast Audio is being sold for $15 instead of $35. The Chromecast Audio dongle is designed such that it could be plugged to a regular speaker via a 3.5 mm audio cable. The device works smoothly as it can get audio from plenty of apps at a louder volume without resorting to Bluetooth. In 2015, Chromecast Audio was launched along with the second-generation Chromecast. Over the years, the Chromecast Audio evolved and also featured multi-room support. Google will still support its Chromecast Audio users for the time being. In a statement to TechCrunch, Google said, “Our product portfolio continues to evolve, and now we have a variety of products for users to enjoy audio. We have therefore stopped manufacturing our Chromecast Audio products. We will continue to offer assistance for Chromecast Audio devices, so users can continue to enjoy their music, podcasts and more.” It seems Google is more inclined towards getting people to purchase its home products, Google Assistant or cast enabled speakers from its partners. Users are giving mixed reviews to this news. Few users are now scared to invest in Google products as they think, Google often cans its products. One of the users, commented on HackerNews, “Google is really developing a reputation for starting and canning projects. I’d recommend not getting too invested in their products when possible.” Google has previously shut down a lot of services in recent years, with the latest one being the ‘Inbox’ which will shut in March, this year. Users were also unhappy when Google decided to discontinue Google Reader in 2013. But this somewhere hints Google’s tendency of shutting down its popular products. One of the comments on HackerNews, reads, “Google Reader was damn useful and is a poster child of Google’s habit of hyping up useful products and then canning them.” Few users are still in support of Google and its decision. One of the users commented, “I don’t know who out there is heavily invested in a $35 audio dongle. I love mine, but it still works just as well today as it did yesterday and not being able to order more isn’t causing me any anxiety.” Another user commented, “The 3-something year old hardware dongle is no longer being made, that’s it. That’s the entirety of the news. The Cast project as a whole is not being canned. Cast-enabled speakers, receivers, etc… are all still widely available from a wide number of manufacturers, that’s not changing.” Read Next TLS comes to Google public DNS with support for DNS-over-TLS connections Researchers release unCaptcha2, a tool that uses Google’s speech-to-text API to bypass the reCAPTCHA audio challenge Google’s secret Operating System ‘Fuchsia’ will run Android Applications: 9to5Google Reportlast_img read more

ICANN calls for DNSSEC across unsecured domain names amidst increasing malicious activity

first_imgLast week, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided to call for the full deployment of the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) across all unsecured domain names. ICANN took this decision because of the increasing reports of malicious activity targeting the DNS infrastructure. According to ICANN, there is an ongoing and significant risk to key parts of the Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure. The DNS that converts numerical internet addresses to domain names, has been the victim of various attacks by the use of different methodologies. Last month security company FireEye revealed that hackers associated with Iran were hijacking DNS records, by rerouting users from a legitimate web address to a malicious server in order to steal passwords. This “DNSpionage” campaign, was targeting governments in the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. The Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency had warned that U.S. agencies were also under attack. In its first emergency order amid a government shutdown, the agency ordered federal agencies to take action against DNS tampering. David Conrad, ICANN’s chief technology officer told the AFP news agency that the hackers are “going after the Internet infrastructure itself.” ICANN is urging domain owners for deploying DNSSEC, which is a more secure version of DNS and is difficult to manipulate. DNSSEC cryptographically signs data which makes it more difficult to be spoofed. Some of the attacks target the DNS where the addresses of intended servers are changed with addresses of machines controlled by the attackers. This type of attack that targets the DNS only works when DNSSEC is not in use. ICANN also reaffirms its commitment towards engaging in collaborative efforts for ensuring the security, stability, and resiliency of the internet’s global identifier systems. This month, ICANN offered a checklist of recommended security precautions for members of the domain name industry, registries, registrars, resellers, and related others, to proactively take steps to protect their systems. ICANN aims to assure that internet users reach their desired online destination by preventing “man in the middle” attacks where a user is unknowingly re-directed to a potentially malicious site. Few users have previously been a victim of DNS hijacking and think that this move won’t help them out. One user commented on HackerNews, “This is nonsense, and possibly crossing the border from ignorant nonsense to malicious nonsense.” Another user said, “There is in fact very little evidence that we “need” the authentication provided by DNSSEC.” Few others think that this might work as a good solution. A comment reads, “DNSSEC is quite famously a solution in search of a problem.” To know more about this news, check out ICANN’s official post. Read Next Internet governance project (IGP) survey on IPV6 adoption, initial reports Root Zone KSK (Key Sign Key) Rollover to resolve DNS queries was successfully completed RedHat shares what to expect from next week’s first-ever DNSSEC root key rolloverlast_img read more

Ufly has new twice daily service between Toronto and Montreal – for

first_img Posted by Ufly has new twice daily service between Toronto and Montreal – for members only << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group MONTREAL — Ufly is targeting business travellers on the Toronto – Montreal corridor with two new roundtrips daily between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Montreal Saint-Hubert Longueuil Airport.Flights will be operated by Pascan Aviation on private nine-seater Pilatus PC 12 planes, equipped with large leather seats. Ticket prices will not fluctuate throughout the year but are fixed and include snacks and beverages and an unlimited number of flights.What’s the catch? Passengers have to sign up for memberships; Ufly says it has several membership types “to meet every travellers’ corporate budget allowances”, with prices starting at $35 per month. Members benefit from numerous advantages such as online booking at a fixed rate, last-minute boarding and quick and easy access to aircrafts, says Ufly.An introductory offer gives passengers a one-month free membership. The first flight is scheduled to take off April 10.“Ufly truly demonstrates a full executive treatment: comfortable, exclusive and luxurious. Thanks to its unprecedented service offering, Ufly members can take advantage of a VIP lounge, a dedicated phone reservation line, a mobile application, and free parking near the priority security checkpoint and check-in, so they no longer have to wait in line at an airport,” says the company.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA Sales“With business travellers’ needs in mind, we wanted to create a new and unique transport experience between Toronto and Montreal,” said David Brochu, Guest Experience Manager. “At Ufly, we pride ourselves on offering a top-notch business class service to all Canadian executive flyers by providing them valuable and efficient enhanced options that will save them precious time! Business travel should be about spending time with your clients and not in an airport.”Ufly also sells tickets between Saint-Hubert airport and Québec City, Val-d’Or and Bagotville. More information is at uflyexec.com. Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Sharelast_img read more