A new climate research organisation is being established to address a perceived gap in the market for independent, in-depth research and analysis on industrial sectors that deemed critical to economies and a key component of the pathway towards achieving net zero emissions.
Industry Tracker is being launched by the team that set up Carbon Tracker, the think tank that popularised concepts such as the carbon bubble and stranded assets, and Carole Ferguson, who was previously at CDP, the environmental disclosure system operator.
Ferguson will lead the new research group, which has absorbed the investor research team from CDP as part of an agreement between the two NGOs.
According to Ferguson, there is a role for Industry Tracker because “despite the massive growth of the sustainable finance industry and more and more countries committing to ambitious net zero targets, capital is not currently being directed to the type of real-economy transformation that is required”.
“That is where Industry Tracker comes in,” she added, “to provide investors with detailed bottom-up research that links financial and climate metrics, and to support the reallocation of investment towards vital solutions for these critical sectors.”
In addition to philanthropically funded research, Industry Tracker will offer a subscription-led research and analytics service for investors.
The organisation will be looking at sectors that are critical to low-carbon solutions but are hard to decarbonise, such as cement, steel and chemicals. Capital goods, technology, health and other consumer sectors are also on the agenda, with the team due to conduct bottom-up analysis to assess alignment with 1.5°C pathways and the implications for business models, earnings and balance sheets.
It sees itself as providing independent research because the team will write reports based on the data they compile from a range of sources, including from companies, but this will be cross referenced and fact-checked so they are not relying on any one source. They also will not be conducting research for companies.
The organisation’s first piece of research will be published this summer, focussing on the European steel industry and its scope to adopt hydrogen technology to move away from carbon-intensive blast furnace plants.
Industry Tracker is the third not-for-profit company in the Investor Watch Group, which also includes Planet Tracker.
Mark Campanale, founder and executive chair of Carbon Tracker, said: “With this launch, I’m confident that between the three sister organisations, we now cover all of the major investment sectors of interest to the financial community, and can accurately track the environmental footprint of companies across the entire value chain.
“I very much look forward to working with the team and building on our essential work in providing systems-wide solutions to address the climate crisis and wider degradation of the world’s natural capital.”