ESG Watch – March 2020
9 March 2020
As I’m sure many of you are aware, this is the first year that the top 5 most likely long-term global risks in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2020 Global Risks Report relate to environmental issues. These are extreme weather, climate action failure, natural disasters, biodiversity loss, and human-made environmental disasters. Climate action failure, biodiversity loss and extreme weather also appear in the Report’s top 5 most impactful long-term risks.
In this spirit, Kigoda’s ESG Watch for March 2020 focuses on three environmental issues:
Biodiversity performance of JSE-listed companies – the National Biodiversity and Business Network’s Biodiversity Disclosure Project recently launched the 2019 Biodiversity Performance Rating of South African Companies, which shows that, while disclosure has improved since 2018, biodiversity has not been recognised as a material risk for the majority of South African companies.
Environmental policy implications of the 2020 budget – Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni’s budget speech and budget review on 26 February 2020 included a number of ESG policy issues. In addition to a commitment to publish a paper in 2020 on financing a sustainable economy, these include developments relating to the carbon tax, the plastic bag levy and climate change.
Self-generation to support energy transition – President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 13 February 2020 included several positive statements on energy policy. One of the key developments is the move to reduce restrictions on self-generation. The move towards self-generation will have important implications for companies. Not only will it reduce reliance on Eskom’s unreliable supply, but, depending on the technology used, it could also reduce electricity costs and cut GHG emissions.
For analysis on these issues, please download the full version here.
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