Closing the Bankers’ Loophole in Emissions Reporting

first_imgIn 2007, Citi changed its reporting methodology from reporting based on a proportion of the total debt capitalization of a project, to reporting based on a proportion of the total capitalization of the project. The 192.8 million metric tons of CO2 reported in 2007 is based on the Citi’s proportion of total debt capitalization over the 60 year lifespan of the projects. Based on the new methodology, the proportional share of total capitalization is 79.5 million metric tons, or ~1.3 million metric tons annually. While lower, this is still close to Citi’s reported operational emissions for the entire year. [edited 10/2] ↩︎ Better accounting is also smart for business. By fully tracking “investment related emissions,” these institutions can manage their climate-risk exposure and become more aware of carbon-intensive holdings and potentially bad investments. It’s important for an institution to have a clear picture of its total emissions, especially if pending legislation puts a price on carbon. According to Courtney Lowrance, Vice President of Environmental and Social Risk Management at Citi, “A big business case for [reporting] is that it really gets the institution thinking about carbon risk. And the first step in doing that is understanding how to calculate it.”“Standard guidelines would absolutely help,” adds Eliza Eubank, Assistant Vice President of Environmental and Social Risk at Citi. “It always helps to be able to make apples to apples comparisons. If everyone is finding their own way and designing their own methodology, then you really don’t know how to compare different numbers that different people are putting out there.” Without guidelines, deciding what and how to report, “can be a very dicey issue.”As consensus grows for the need for updated guidelines, WRI’s next step is to convene stakeholders (including banks, accounting firms, consultants, NGOs, and funders) and develop a strategy for implementing more specific GHG reporting standards. The success of the GHG Protocol shows that this approach can work, and WRI hopes these next steps will keep the GHG Protocol tools and standards relevant and effective for a broader range of organizations. A big business case for [reporting] is that it really gets the institution thinking about carbon risk. And the first step in doing that is understanding how to calculate it.—Courtney Lowrance, Citigroup But using “operational control” as the institution’s boundary for measuring its emissions could be problematic or even misleading. For example, by using this reporting method, emissions from investments in coal plants, or lending to oil and gas companies would not be reported, giving investors an incomplete understanding of the institution’s carbon impact.Citigroup, one of the few companies that reports on emissions from some project financing, gives us a rare glimpse into just how much other companies could be underreporting. In 2007, Citi reported its total environmental footprint (scope 1 and 2) at about 1.4 million metric tons of CO2, but estimated its share of CO2 emissions from financing just two thermal power plants to be almost 200 million metric tons of CO2 (~3.3 million metric tons on an annual basis based on a 60 year life) [edited on 10/2]. That’s a big difference, and, like Citigroup, most other financial institutions’ traditionally reported scope 1 and 2 emissions will be tiny when compared to their share of emissions from investments.1These discrepancies show why it’s necessary to develop specific guidelines to help financial institutions report their full GHG emissions consistently and accurately. The World Resources Institute has taken the first steps with Accounting for Risk, a new issue brief that gives an overview of options for companies looking for better reporting options.The report makes a strong case for why financial institutions should both measure and report the GHG emissions in their investment portfolios. One is the matter of reputation. Institutions can get a lot of mileage from being leaders in GHG accounting, and proactively branding themselves as transparent and eco-conscious. In general, stakeholders have applauded institutions that allocate less capital to dirty sectors and more capital to clean sectors. In a conversation with representatives from Citigroup, Valerie Smith, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability, told us that their decision to report “really came out of stakeholder requests, and there has only been positive feedback.” Financial institutions are learning to protect investors–and themselves–from investments exposed to risk from climate change.As the country reflects on the anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent bailouts of major banks, pressure is mounting for financial institutions and companies to more fully disclose their investment risks, especially those risks from climate change.Investments in carbon-intensive projects are no longer a safe bet. Companies, under pressure from shareholders, have been pulling support and cancelling plans to construct new coal plants. Two years ago, in a move that showed increasing concern for investments in heavily polluting industries, top investment banks participated in a leveraged environmental buyout of TXU, a major Texas power company, which meant dropping 8 out of 11 planned coal plants. New York has required energy companies to disclose their climate change risk exposure to investors, and The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has adopted new mandatory requirements that insurance companies disclose the financial risks they face from climate change as well. And in the U.K. banks are under pressure to report their emissions from investments after revelations that taxpayer dollars were potentially bankrolling highly polluting projects.As WRI’s new issue brief Accounting for Risk shows, there are powerful incentives for financial institutions to manage their environmental risk, whether it’s for reputational reasons or to insulate their shareholders from climate change risks.But before a company can reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it must first know what those emissions are and where they come from. That’s the idea behind the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the most widely used accounting tool for companies to track, quantify, and then manage their GHG emissions.The GHG Protocol has become the international standard, used by top corporations, NGO’s, government agencies, and other organizations. However there is one sector that can fall through the cracks: financial institutions.Here’s how it happens. Per the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, companies can choose whether to report emissions (1) based on their ownership in a company or project, or (2) based on companies that they financially or operationally control. Most financial institutions choose to report emissions only from entities or projects that they operationally control, including emissions from sources like purchased energy for building operations or company-owned cars. For a typical financial institution these emissions are relatively insignificant.Operational Boundaries of GHG Emissions Credit: New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Developmentlast_img read more

Read More →

Brentford’s Thomas Frank: ‘No dickheads. We want people who care’

first_img Read more Football League Football League blog Share via Email Reuse this content Share on LinkedIn Twitter Share on WhatsApp On Wednesday Smith returns to Griffin Park with Aston Villa, and Frank hopes Smith will be given a warm reception. But you still get the sense a victory would mean just a little bit more: he recently noted that football is “90% suffering, 10% joy”, but a win in this game would probably be in the top one per cent.“The feeling after the Stoke game [a 3-1 win in January], when we’d been through such a bad spell, we flipped it around for the perfect performance … wow. That 10%: you can’t get that feeling anywhere in the world.”Talking points• Despite being bottom of the Championship having lost 15 of 19 games in charge, Paul Lambert remains remarkably popular among the Ipswich support. He’s been smart about his relationship with fans, from attending supporters’ meetings to paying for travel for the recent trip to Blackburn. You’d imagine wading into a scrap with some Norwich players and getting himself sent off in Sunday’s East Anglia derby, despite the result going the way you’d expect, won’t hurt either. Twitter Frank looks a bit like Filippo Inzaghi, if he had spent his 20s in academia rather than riotously celebrating three-yard tap-ins. Actually that isn’t just a flippant line: Frank studied sports psychology before getting his first youth coaching jobs, eventually taking care of various Danish national team youth groups, before taking over as Brøndby head coach in 2013.His departure three years later is quite a story in itself. At the end of the 2016 season it emerged that the club’s chairman Jan Bech Andersen had been criticising Frank on a fans’ forum, under his son’s username. Frank promptly resigned. He pauses and sighs when asked about it, not wishing to pick at old scabs. “It’s one of those where it’s in the past. It was very, very unusual. He stepped over the line – I thought that was too disrespectful, so for me there was only one option.”That pause isn’t unusual: Frank is a thoughtful talker, carefully considering every answer, the sort of calm presence that could easily turn around a calamitous run when others might have panicked.“As a person I’m very open, very human-minded,” he says. “That’s one part: the other is I love details in football. I want to develop a style of play. I want to create a beautiful game but I’m very focused on how you can create a fantastic culture, a fantastic environment. I’m very happy I’m at a club who want to do both.”That’s the pro of managing at Brentford. The con is that you have to work with a squad that you know will, sooner or later, have its best players picked off, not just because that’s how modern football works but because it’s their business plan. Chris Mepham was the latest to be sold on at a profit, to Bournemouth in January, and realistically Frank knows players such as Ollie Watkins and Neal Maupay will follow soon.Frank concedes it’s not ideal. “But I know it’s part of the strategy and I buy into that. Part of my challenge is to always prepare the next player to come in. But that’s part of who we are. To earn the profit we have done in the last few years and still progress is unique. So far, we’ve been good at doing that.”Personality, as much as playing ability, is a big part of that. “It’s so important for us to have good people.” He pauses, and expresses concern about the Guardian’s language policy. “‘No dickheads’, only good people. It’s not because we don’t want personality, or an edge, but we want people who actually care.” Facebook Paul Lambert’s behaviour at Norwich, where he was ushered away by a police officer, will have done nothing to harm his popularity with Ipswich fans. Photograph: Tony O’brien/Action Images Share on Twitter Paul Scholes gets off to a flyer at Oldham with 4-1 win over Yeovil It’s been quite a few months for Thomas Frank since he took over as Brentford head coach. After being elevated to the top job in October after two years as Dean Smith’s assistant, he has overseen a run of eight defeats in 10 games, immediately followed by 10 unbeaten, in the middle of which came personal and professional bereavement.Frank had been in the job only a month when, as he was waiting at a leadership conference to meet his friend Rob Rowan, Brentford’s technical director, he got a call from the club’s co-director of football Phil Giles. Rowan had died in his sleep of what turned out to be heart failure.center_img Topics Neal Maupay, left, and Ollie Watkins are expected to be among the next Brentford players to be sold. Photograph: TGSPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock Brentford Championship Pinterest features Share on Pinterest • Hopefully the response to Steve Bruce in his first home game as Sheffield Wednesday manager will dispel the idea that fans were particularly unhappy with his delayed start. “It was a bit bloody better than the last club I was at!” joked Bruce. As a cabbage was thrown at him at that club, that’s a low bar.• Luton appear not to have missed a beat since Nathan Jones’s departure for Stoke. Under Mick Harford they have won the past five games, scoring 14 goals, bringing their season total to 64 from 32 games. Not bad. Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Facebook “It was devastating,” Frank says, quietly, recalling how he had to quickly find somewhere private to process his shock. “He was a very close friend. He was a guy who was very easy to like, because he was so open, so often smiling, but always with extremely high knowledge about football.”The two men talked about the future, knowing that wherever they would be in 10 years, they would probably still be friends. “I think we’re a very human club. Rob was a big part of that. We miss him. I have a picture of him on a shelf in my house so I remember him.”The brain is remarkable when it comes to dealing with things such as grief, but it still seems extraordinary when Frank reveals the meeting that has seemingly turned Brentford’s season around, after weeks of poor performances and bad results, came a week or so after Rowan’s death.“The key game was Sheffield United, we lost and gave away way too many chances. Everything had been building up and accumulating [in previous performances] but it was then we thought we needed to do something. Massively. We had a long meeting the day after. We said: ‘If we don’t step up now, we will get relegated.’”In that meeting Frank and his staff went back to basics, emphasising that the little things which had been allowed to slip would not be tolerated. “Not because they were always late, but now nobody can be late. When we take the gear from the training field in it has to be put right into the container not just dropped on the floor. It’s basics in life, like I teach my children to take their plate into the kitchen.” A few other things were tweaked, some key men returned from injury, a formation switch to 3-4-3 was implemented, and the 10-match run that has righted a floundering season followed before Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest. The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.last_img read more

Read More →

UP village head associates open fire on group of people 1 killed

first_imgEtah (UP): One person was killed and two others were injured when a village head and his associates opened fire on a group of people at Shitalpur here, police said on Tuesday. The incident took place on Monday night after Shitalpur village head Bhupndra Yadav entered into an argument with a man, Veerpal, who accused him of using abusive language, they said. Veerpal was shot dead and two others were injured, Inspector Ashok Kumar said, adding that one of those hurt in the incident was referred to a hospital in Agra. ASP (crime) Rahul Kumar said an FIR was lodged against Yadav and five others, and efforts are on to nab them.last_img read more

Read More →