APRA names panel, deadline for enforcement strategy review | The Australian

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has advised that deputy chairman John Lonsdale will head an advisory panel that will review its enforcement strategy. The members of the advisory panel are former judge Robert Austin, the ACCC’s Sarah Court and University of New South Wales professor Dimity Kingsford Smith. The review has been commissioned in response to criticism of APRA in the financial services royal commission’s interim report, which noted the regulator’s reluctance to prosecute banks and insurers for misconduct.


Climate Alliance National Conference and Leadership Award presentations

Don’t forget to book your seat - only 2 weeks to go!

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This year's conferences will focus on three areas:

  • Leading edge insights into EU public policy changes that may soon impact Australian businesses.

  • Power generators’ insights into navigating the changes in markets and regulations.

  • The challenges equities investors face in managing their portfolios, in the face of these changes.

The 2018 Business Leadership Award winners will be announced at the conclusion of the conference. Tickets are $150 inc GST and you can get your tickets here: Melbourne 27th November and Sydney 29th November.


We also have a few seats left at an exclusive private dining experience at the RACV Club in Melbourne on Monday 26th November, where you will have the opportunity to meet other like-minded senior executives and participate in a thought provoking conversation with Dr Paul Fisher, former executive director at the Bank of England.

Tickets are $220 each and are all inclusive (dinner and a selection of fine wines). Tickets can be booked here.

SBA relaunched as the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia

Sustainable Business Australia has been relaunched as the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (BCSD Australia). The new BCSD Australia can be found at here.

Established in 1991, Sustainable Business Australia (SBA) has been the peak body for Australian businesses committed to sustainability and acting on climate change. It is a CEO-led coalition of leading corporate names and organisations. It was recently announced that Dr John Hewson from the Australian National University had joined the SBA Board of Directors and Dr Hewson is the Chair-elect for the newly named BCSD Australia.

“The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement signal the need for a deep change in the way our economies work, and in the way our energy, mobility, urbanisation, food and social systems contribute to planetary and societal well-being. We advocate that business has a leading role to play as the world embarks upon this vital journey,” said Mr Bakker, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Below is Mr Bakker’s excellent presentation: Fiona Wain Oration 2018

AICD Director Sentiment Index Survey H2 2018 | Minter Ellison

Directors want action on climate change and renewable energy: For the first time directors nominated climate change as the number one issue the federal government needs to address in the long-term.

 Download the full report  here

Download the full report here

Read Minter Ellison’s post which covers the key points identified in the survey and contains links to related media.

You can also download the summary report from AICD’s website.

Key takeouts

Directors want action on climate change and renewable energy: For the first time directors nominated climate change as the number one issue the federal government needs to address in the long-term. 

In agreement on the need for stronger governance: Directors across all industries are focused on governance practices and acknowledge the need for changes to deal with current governance issues.  There is strong support (52%) for an increase in penalties for misconduct and for an increase in funding for regulators (57% support). 

Less optimistic overall: Director sentiment has declined for the first time in 18 months (and was down 8.5 points on the last survey) although it remains positive at +4.2.  The AICD attributes the decline largely to directors feeling more pessimistic around regulation, legal issues and directorship conditions more broadly.

PRA ‘expects’ banks and insurers to report climate risks | Gibson Media

"Insurers and banks are to be expected to manage and report their climate-related risks, according to a draft supervisory statement from the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

The consultation paper, which was described as “a major step for a regulator of a global financial centre”, says the risks from climate change are far-reaching and foreseeable and require a strategic approach." Read More

Australia's first Business Renewables Centre to help Australian businesses to switch to renewables | ARENA

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced it will help build Australia’s first Business Renewables Centre to encourage Australian businesses to make the switch to renewable energy.

“The Business Renewables Centre will help in that transition by using its expertise in running programs, entrepreneurship, innovation, education and other sustainability objectives to make it easier for companies and councils to enter the renewables market.”

Business to go it alone on climate policy | AFR

In a salutary indicator of how our politicians have created a vacuum in climate change policy, the Business Council of Australia feels it must provide leadership.

"The nation's energy companies and biggest electricity users have given up on politics and begun backroom talks about a self-regulated package of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, restore energy reliability and improve investor stability.”

Sudden tightening of financial conditions poses a risk for financial stability | De Nederlandsche Bank

The budding economic crises in a number of emerging countries, like Turkey and Argentina, illustrate that a sudden tightening of financial conditions constitutes one of the major risks to financial stability.

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Financial conditions in the developed countries have remained accommodative to date, but a turnaround is possible in these countries, too. The trigger for such a turnaround may be a quicker than anticipated tightening of monetary policy in the United States, but it may also be further escalating trade tensions, or a hard Brexit. These developments are discussed in our Autumn 2018 Financial Stability Report (FSR), published today.

Accommodative financial conditions are fuelling vulnerabilities

Ten years after the crisis, financial conditions in most developed countries are accommodative. Prolonged accommodative financial conditions fuel financial stability risks, however, as they lessen the incentive to pay off debts and stimulate risk-seeking behaviour on the financial markets. If financial conditions were to tighten suddenly, debtors will be severely hit by rising financing costs and financial markets may experience sharp corrections, which may in turn translate into heavy losses in the investment portfolios of financial institutions.

Risks are already surfacing in a number of emerging countries

Particularly in emerging countries with large financial and macroeconomic imbalances, financial conditions have been tightening over the past few months. This has painfully revealed the vulnerabilities that have been building up over time, such as high corporate debts denominated in foreign currencies. All emerging countries may be faced with ongoing capital outflows if investor confidence deteriorates and investors at the same time do not differentiate between vulnerable and less vulnerable countries. In due course, a budding economic crisis in emerging countries may also hit the Dutch financial sector through direct exposures and negative confidence effects.

Rising real estate prices demand attention

Real estate markets in the Netherlands are running at full steam, especially in prime locations. House price rises are driven by the insufficient supply of homes, low interest rates and vigorous economic growth. Easing of the borrowing capacity relative to the borrower’s income is undesirable as this would only serve to fuel overheating in the market. In order to ease the pressure on house prices, the housing supply must be increased, particularly in the middle segment of the rental market. The price increases on the commercial real estate market are being driven mainly by the search for yield among investors. As a result, this market is more sensitive to a turnaround in sentiment. As vulnerabilities often build up in times of economic boom, financial institutions must pay extra attention to monitoring and managing the risks associated with commercial real estate in the period ahead.

Further efforts by insurers remain necessary

This issue of DNB's FSR also discusses the vulnerabilities in the Dutch insurance sector. Although insurers are making progress in developing a future-proof insurance sector, further efforts of insurers, supervisors, and policymakers remain necessary, including successful implementation of the recovery and resolution framework.

Disruptive energy transition stress test

DNB developed a targeted stress test in order to quantify the possible effects of a disruptive energy transition on the Dutch financial sector. The stress test revealed that a disruptive energy transition may induce severe losses for Dutch financial institutions. Governments can prevent unnecessary costs by implementing timely and effective climate policies, while financial institutions should include energy transition risks in their risk management process.

Addressing Climate Change within Disaster Risk Management | Inter-American Development bank

Extreme weather events and climate variability, whether occurring under present or future climate conditions, can have severe consequences for development and pose risks to human health and safety and the environment......Climate change is expected to exacerbate flooding, hurricanes, prolonged drought periods, shifts in precipitation patterns, and extreme heat conditions. Social, ecological, and economic vulnerabilities to such weather events currently exist across LAC. 

ASX Social Licence to Operate | PRObono Australia

“Greater proposed guidance on the disclosure of climate change risk (also referred to as “carbon risk”), includes explaining the different types of climate change risk, and that listed entities with material exposure to climate change risk implement the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.”

Special Report of Global Warming to 1.5°C | IPCC

One can only hope that governments will start acting with urgency to avoid this fast moving train crash and the scientists writing the reports are not suffering from “conservative bias”.

In order to achieve the 1.5°C target, we have the enormous challenge of reducing net emissions to ZERO by 2050!

Below are the links to the report published by the IPCC. It assesses the impact of not achieving the 1.5°C target of global warming. We have also included the reporting from some of the major newspapers.

 b) Stylized net global CO2 emission pathways.  Billion tonnes CO2 per year (GtCO2/yr)

b) Stylized net global CO2 emission pathways.

Billion tonnes CO2 per year (GtCO2/yr)

IPCC

Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C approved by governments.

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2°C.

Associated Press

UN report on global warming carries life-or-death warning.

“Preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet, an international panel of scientists reported Sunday. But they provide little hope the world will rise to the challenge.”

The Guardian

Huge risk if global warming exceeds 1.5C, warns landmark UN report.

“The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5°C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.”

The Washington Post.

The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say.

“There is no documented historic precedent” for the sweeping changes required to hold the planet’s warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found.”

NY Times

Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040.

“A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”


Shell pension fund challenged to disclose response to climate risk | Financial Times

“As the financial impacts and risks of climate change on pension fund portfolios become ever clearer and their investment regulations are updated, trustees have no excuse for failing to examine this topic and disclose their risk management of it.”

Super fund alleged to have breached duties over climate change risk | SMH

“A new amended concise statement, lodged in the federal court late last month, alleges REST failed to discharge its duties as a trustee to act with "care, skill and diligence" in relation to the impact of climate change, which it argues posed "material or major risks" to "many" of the super fund's investments.”

UNEP Financial Initiative Publications

UNEP FI’s work includes a strong focus on policy – by fomenting country-level dialogues between finance practitioners, supervisors, regulators and policy-makers, and, at the international level, by promoting financial sector involvement in processes such as the global climate negotiations. Useful publications from the Finance Initiative can be found here.