July 16, 2021
Weekly Media Roundup – July 16
Welcome to this week’s Media Roundup: a curated digest of top stories and major developments in the climate finance space.
Read on below.
Approvals for companies to drill for oil and gas on U.S. public lands are on pace this year to reach their highest level since George W. Bush was president, underscoring President Joe Biden’s reluctance to more forcefully curb petroleum production in the face of industry and Republican resistance. The Interior Department approved about 2,500 permits to drill on public and tribal lands in the first six months of the year, according to an Associated Press analysis of government data. That includes more than 2,100 drilling approvals since Biden took office January 20.
The Boston Globe – Efforts to pursue climate goals in Mass. clash with incentives offered that promote fossil fuels
Massachusetts has ambitious climate goals, and not a lot of time to achieve them, which has some clean energy and climate experts questioning why a state program continues to promote fossil fuels with cash incentives for oil and gas home heating systems. The state’s climate plan demands that 1 million households be converted from fossil fuels to electric heat by the end of the decade, part of a sweeping transition meant to help stave off the worst of climate change’s consequences. And yet the state’s only incentive program, and its best tool for helping convince businesses and homeowners to make that switch, is sticking with rebates for new carbon-emitting systems likely to remain in service long past that deadline.
As climate change worsens extreme weather events like the record-breaking heat in the Pacific Northwest last month, another concern looms — that the impact on companies from global warming could incinerate people’s retirement savings. Pensions and 401(k) plans are “vulnerable,” along with the rest of the global economy, to climate risks, the Government Accountability Office told Congress in a recent report that looked at the potential threat to federal employees.
Energy News Network – Massachusetts cities try new legal path towards banning new fossil fuel hookups
Eight of the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance companies on Sunday launched an alliance to help speed up a transition to a net zero emissions economy. The companies, which include Europe’s top three insurers by premiums – Allianz, AXA and Generali – said the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) would work to shift underwriting portfolios towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
WSHU – N.Y. Comptroller: Companies Making Environmental Commitments Following Pension Fund Divestment Plan
New York made the commitment last year to use the state pension fund to divest from companies that worsen climate change. This year’s portfolio contains a few climate-related agreements. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who manages the New York State Common Retirement Fund, said six companies agreed to reduce their impact on the environment.