Finance, corporate world gives cautious support for US climate plan

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BOSTON/LONDON (REUTERS) – US President Joe Biden welcomed world leaders to a landmark climate summit this week at which the world’s biggest economy laid out a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Alongside that, Biden’s administration pledged a range of other measures including plans to increase the funding it provides to international climate efforts, and help mobilise more private finance internationally.

Below are comments on the news from financial service market participants and various trade bodies.

ERIC PAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE INVESTMENT COMPANY INSTITUTE

“President Biden’s climate finance plan along with Secretary Yellen’s remarks rightly put the United States back at the centre of international deliberations on climate change and indicates a critical understanding that companies should provide investors better, useful, and comparable information to investors such as investment funds.”

WAI-SHIN CHAN, CO-HEAD OF ESG RESEARCH AT HSBC

“We think this new pledge is a step in the right direction for the US, one which will give it clout when it comes to climate diplomacy. The pressure is on other major emitters to align their 2030 targets to a net-zero pathway. As businesses do the same, we think investors will have to look through the details to determine whether corporate strategies are properly aligned to net zero, as well as consider the carbon footprints of their own portfolios.”

REBECCA KARNOVITZ, SENIOR ANALYST AT MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE

“President Biden’s pledge at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate cements the administration’s existing targets of reaching a net-zero carbon emissions economy by 2050 and aligns US targets with those of the EU.

Over the long term, such actions are credit positive in that they should help reduce the expected negative impacts of a changing climate for a broad swathe of issuers across the globe, particularly sovereigns and regional local governments who will be at the forefront of climate adaptation and management efforts.

“Currently, the large gap between climate adaptation-related financing needs and low-cost funding sources threatens sovereigns with highly negative exposure to