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.

Australian shareholders should be told of climate risk to profits, says thinktank | The Guardian

Australian companies need to start developing sophisticated scenario-based analyses of climate risks, and incorporating them into their business outlooks so shareholders know how climate change will affect profitability, a thinktank has said.

However, the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) said companies needed to do so in a standardised way, so investors and regulators were able to easily understand economy-wide risks to whole industries. More

TCFD and BoE Conference on Climate Scenarios, Financial Risk and Strategic Planning

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) held a two-day conference in collaboration with the Bank of England (BoE) discussing scenario analysis and how it can help companies assess climate risks in their strategic planning and risk management processes.

Day 1 provided a high-level overview of the TCFD recommendations with regard to the use of scenario analysis; what scenario analysis is and why it is useful for assessing climate-related risks; how climate-related scenario analysis works in practice today – who is using it; experiences; and available tools. Day 1 is was hosted by the FSB TCFD and was open to press.

Day 2 brought together business practitioners, leading researchers from academia, and finance professionals to discuss in more detail how climate-related scenarios can be used for strategic and financial risk analysis and how scenarios could be improved. The goal was to highlight successful approaches, and identify further work and collaboration needed in this area. Day 2 was hosted by the Bank of England and was held under Chatham House rules.

Stakeholder presentations, videos and photo gallery plus introductions can be found here.

A beginner's guide to China's steel and aluminium winter cuts | Andy Home

China’s winter heating season has just begun, heralding a titanic supply chain experiment as whole industrial sectors reduce capacity or close completely to comply with the leadership’s war on pollution.

The curtailments will take place across the four provinces adjacent to the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, lasting until the middle of March.

Coal is public enemy No.1 in China, making the steel and aluminium sectors -- both massive users of coal-fired power -- key targets for the winter cuts.

Neither sector has experienced supply-side adjustments of this speed and magnitude before and markets have struggled to price in expectations. Read more

Adani mine 'a financial house of cards' as coal meets its Kodak moment | ABC

The woman who led the world to a global climate change agreement has a message for Australia: "You really do have to see that we are at the Kodak moment for coal."

Christiana Figueres, until last year the executive director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, doesn't mean happy snaps for the family album.

Rather, the decimation of the once dominant photographic company Kodak by digital change — in the same way that coal-fired power is being eclipsed by renewable energy.

She hopes to see coal, like those sentimental moments in time captured in photographs, confined to history — with the world remembering the contribution the fossil fuel has made to human development, while recognising the need to retire it as a fuel source because of its contribution to global warming.

And, she says, it's happening.

Read more

A Time Machine for Climate Risk: bringing the future forward with 2˚C scenario analysis | Carbon Tracker

It has been two years since the Bank of England’s Governor, Mark Carney, cautioned London’s insurance industry and the world’s capital markets concerning the “catastrophic impacts of climate change [that] will be felt beyond the traditional horizons of most actors”.[1]

Since then, Carney’s message has been echoed by a string of financial regulators. Under his chairmanship, the Financial Stability Board established a Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (hereafter Task Force), which scrutinised the ways in which the adverse impacts from climate change might ripple across sectors to become “systemic.”

The Task Force concluded that a key forward-looking tool is scenario analysis and recommended that companies analyse the potential business impacts from a reference scenario that results in a global average warming of 2°C or lower.

Companies’ scenario analyses are now entering the market and a two-day conference on the subject hosted last week by the Bank of England and the Task Force indicates the significance of issue for the financial community. Here, we explore how the use of 2°C scenario analysis by fossil fuel companies can be made useful for investors and regulators.

Read more or download the report here.

Ice Apocalypse | Grist

In a remote region of Antarctica known as Pine Island Bay, 2,500 miles from the tip of South America, two glaciers hold human civilization hostage.

Stretching across a frozen plain more than 150 miles long, these glaciers, named Pine Island and Thwaites, have marched steadily for millennia toward the Amundsen Sea, part of the vast Southern Ocean. Further inland, the glaciers widen into a two-mile-thick reserve of ice covering an area the size of Texas.

There’s no doubt this ice will melt as the world warms. The vital question is when.  More

India's Electricity Sector Transformation | IEEFA

IEEFA's latest report entails a comprehensive analysis of India’s electricity sector transformation with a focus on the coming decade.  

The report presents a sectoral model out to FY2027 that predicts dramatic market share gain by renewable energy with a sustained deflation in renewable tariffs, premised on 50% reduction already in last two years with a record low solar energy tariff of Rs2.44/kWh (US$38/MWh) in 2017. 

With record low renewable tariffs of US$18 and US$21/MWh set in Mexico and Chile respectively this past week, further Indian cost reductions are set to continue. This translates into likely peak power sector coal usage not more than 10% above the current levels by FY2027, subsequently, import thermal coal demand in India will continue to decline as a result. 

A combination of India’s ambitious energy policy and ongoing solar and wind energy tariff deflation will enable India to catalyse US$200-300Bn of investment in renewable energy infrastructure over the coming decade. Improvements in energy efficiency and reduction in technical and commercial losses will deliver better electricity production per coal tonnage. To conclude, the transformation will ensure India can support its economic growth while keeping GHG emissions in check.

Acciona aims to more than double Australian renewables capacity | AFR

The global head of energy at Acciona, the world's biggest green utility, is undeterred by the uncertainty of Australia's future energy and climate policy and is earmarking about $600 million for new solar, wind and storage plants over the next three to four years. More