February 20, 2024

ESG in 5: 20 February 2024

By Anthony Walters

– United Airlines Takes Flight to Green Skies with $200M Sustainable Fuel Boost

– Microsoft’s Green Deal: Turning CO₂ into Concrete Solutions with Neustark

– Aussie Economists Spice Up the Carbon Debate with $100bn Tax Proposal

– Maersk Sets Sail as First Maritime Player with Science-Backed Climate Goals


Market Recap

The MSCI ACWI index increased by 0.59%, while the MSCI ACWI ESG Focus Index saw a 0.43% gain.


Google and Embraer Join Sustainable Aviation Fund

United Airlines have announced the addition of several new corporate partners to its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)-focused investment fund, the United Airlines Ventures (UAV) Sustainable Flight Fund, bringing the capital committed to the fund to over $200 million.

The new partners include Aircastle, Air New Zealand, Embraer, Google, HIS, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking, Safran Corporate Ventures, and Technip Energies.

Sustainable aviation fuel is seen as one of the key tools to help decarbonize the aviation industry, which currently accounts for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. SAF is generally produced from sustainable resources, like waste oils and agricultural residues. SAF producers estimate the fuels can result in lifecycle GHG emissions reductions of as much as 85% relative to conventional fuels.


Microsoft Signs Deal to Capture and Store Carbon in Recycled Concrete

Microsoft and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) solutions provider Neustark announced today a multi-year offtake agreement, with Neustark providing Microsoft with credit from the removal of biogenic carbon from biogas plants for storage in recycled construction materials.

Founded in 2019, Switzerland-based Neustark’s technology uses recycled materials such as concrete from demolished buildings as permanent storage for the CO₂ removed from the atmosphere. Neustark currently operates at 14 sites with an aggregate capacity of over 5,000 tons of CO2 per year, with a goal to scale to capture one million tons of CO2 in 2030.


Australian fossil fuel tax could raise $100bn in first year alone

A tax on fossil fuel production could help fund Australia’s transition to becoming a carbon-free energy giant, lower the cost of living and assist the world to cut greenhouse emissions, according to two veteran economists.

Ross Garnaut, a leading economist during the Hawke government, and Rod Sims, a former head of the competition watchdog, say a so-called carbon solution levy would raise $100bn in its first year alone if introduced in 2030-31 and set at Europe’s five-year average price of $90/tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent.


Maersk Sets Sail as First Maritime Player with Science-Backed Climate Goals

Logistics company Maersk announced that its greenhouse gas emissions targets, including its aim to achieve net zero by 2040, and a series of new goals to reduce emissions have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The announcement makes Maersk the first company to have its climate targets validated under the SBTi’s Maritime Guidance, launched in late 2022, and aimed at enabling companies in the maritime transport sector to set near-and long-term science-based targets in line with 1.5°C



Anthony Walters – Head of ESG at Clever Adviser Technology Ltd (Clever)
Market recap – Data sourced from FE FundInfo & Koyfin (quoted in Pounds Sterling).
Google, Embraer Join United Airlines’ $200 Million Sustainable Aviation Venture Fund by ESG News, 15/02/24
Microsoft Signs Deal to Capture and Store Carbon in Recycled Concrete with Startup Neustark, by Susan Lahey, 14/02/24
Australian fossil fuel tax could raise $100bn in first year alone, Rod Sims and Ross Garnaut say by Peter Hannam, 13/02/24
Maersk Sets New Series of SBTi-Approved Climate Goals, by Susan Lahey, 13/02/24

Risk Warning: These are Anthony’s views at the time of writing and should not be construed as investment advice. The opinions expressed are correct at time of writing and may be subject to change. Capital is at risk. The value and income from investments can go down as well as up and are not guaranteed. An investor may get back significantly less than they invest. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future performance and should not be the sole factor considered when selecting funds.

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Anthony Walters

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