ESG was already a hot topic before the pandemic, but some commentators have since said that Covid-19 has helped to galvanise sustainable investing.
Recent weeks have seen a number of key developments and noteworthy news stories in the sustainability investing space.
In Germany, where sustainable funds reached a record €100 billion in assets at the end of the first half this year, the country’s first sovereign green ‘twin’ bond issuance has been welcomed by asset managers.
The issuance was massively over-subscribed. Fund managers have said these bonds will help deal with the problem of illiquidity and boost diversification.
Meanwhile, HSBC Global Asset Management and Pollination, a climate change advisory and investment firm, have entered a joint venture to create what they claim will be the world’s largest natural capital manager.
The joint venture will be called HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management and will invest in projects that “preserve, protect and enhance nature over the long-term”.
HSBC GAM recently appointed Rachida Mourahib as head of fixed income ESG and green research as the firm moves to integrate ESG deeper into bond investing.
UBS Asset Management unveiled a cross-asset suite of five “Climate Aware” strategies.
The strategies add to the Swiss asset manager’s Climate Aware passive equity strategy launched in 2017. The launch of the strategies marked the first time the fund manager had rolled out a cross-asset class suite of products.
Elsewhere, a Kames Capital investment manager warned in August that governments have ignored green initiatives as they rally to recover from the pandemic, spending only “miniscule” amounts of stimulus packages on a sustainable future.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic there has been an $11 trillion (€9.3 trillion) global fiscal stimulus, according to the Institute of International Finance. Less than 1% of this has gone towards projects classed as ‘green’.
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