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ESG roundup: ShareAction, ERIN, CDP, cement industry, carbon emissions

UK campaign organisation ShareAction today launched a civil society organisation that aims to promote responsible investment in Europe.

The European Responsible Investment Network (ERIN) is made up of 25 organisations – including think tanks, campaign groups, NGOs, trade unions and faith groups – from nine European countries.

ShareAction has led the creation of the network, which Friederike Hanisch has been building over the past year in her capacity as European outreach officer at the UK campaign organisation.

“We have a range of projects lined up,” she said, “and we are looking forward to using this collaborative approach to secure change in investment practices across Europe, and at a policy level.”

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Thomas Meinert Larsen, spokesperson for Denmark’s Ansvarlig Fremtid, which has been leading local campaigns for Danish funds to divest fossil fuel holdings, said his campaign group hopes the network would encourage pension funds to divest projects reliant on “morally unacceptable and financially risky” fossil fuel extraction.

Meinert Larsen included coal projects, exploration of tar sands, and Arctic and deep sea drilling, within projects the group was against, as these contravened the aim of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris at the end of last year.

The ERIN members are:

  • International: Banktrack, Business & Human Rights Research Centre, E3G, Greenpeace, IndustriALL Global Union, UNI Global Union, WWF
  • Belgium: Réseau Financité
  • Denmark: Ansvarlig Fremtid
  • France:  2° Investing Initiative, Réseau Action Climat-France
  • Germany: Brot für die Welt, Facing Finance, Fossil Free Berlin
  • Italy: Fondazione Culturale Responsabilità Etica
  • Netherlands: Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO), FossielVrij
  • Norway: Framtiden i våre hender, Save the Children Norway
  • Switzerland: Fossil-free.ch
  • UK: Asset Owner Disclosure Project, Carbon Tracker, Community Reinvest, InfluenceMap, ShareAction

In other news, CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, has published a report arguing the cement industry “in its current form” was not compatible with the binding global agreement signed at COP21.

Key findings include that the cement industry has a significant potential carbon cost exposure, with the 12 largest cement companies risking losing $4.5bn (€3.9bn) in earnings from a $10 carbon price, and that only three of the 12 companies covered by the study “have targets aligned with global carbon budgets which are deemed as science-based”.

”The cement industry is responsible for 5% of global emissions, said CDP, “so will need to deploy highly innovative product and process technologies, and new business models, in order to meet the Paris Agreement objectives.”

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