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29Sep/20

PRI in Person: Stewardship, ESG policy, climate action

first_imgThe code was therefore modified to emphasise that asset owners needed engage more actively.In the UK, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is reviewing its stewardship code. It intends to ask “broad initial questions” about its approach to the review as part of a formal consultation on its corporate governance code that is due soon.Jen Sisson, senior investor engagement manager at the FRC, told the conference that the council was considering adding expectations relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues to the corporate governance code. As the stewardship code is the counterpart to the latter, it was probable that it would also be amended to include provisions relating to ESG.  PRI group targets better policy The PRI is launching an expert policy network and looking for policy and regulatory affairs professionals connected to its signatories to join a “global policy reference group”.The group will be designed to allow the PRI and signatories to exchange information on policy and regulation and help “amplify” efforts to achieve clear policy frameworks that require responsible investment.Last year the PRI published a report arguing that much pension fund regulation concerning ESG was poorly designed and gave “weak signals”.Paris climate agreement commitmentsThe PRI and four regional investor climate networks have invited other investors to join an initiative to implement the commitment made in support of the climate change agreement reached at the UN conference in Paris in December 2015.Back then, more than 400 investors representing over $24trn (€20.4trn) signed the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, which committed them to work with investee companies to get them to minimise and disclose risks and maximise opportunities presented by climate change and changes in climate policy.The Climate Action 100+ initiative is designed to implement this commitment through collaborative investor engagement with the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters.It is due to be officially launched later this year, and was the result of an idea put forward by Anne Simpson, investment director for sustainability at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, according to a spokesperson for one of the regional investor climate networks.The spokesperson said the engagement focus was not new, but that “the scale … to coordinate and scale up is”.“The 100 refers to the biggest corporate emitters,” she said. “The ‘plus’ is in the title because the focus list of companies is longer than that, to ensure we pick up companies that are important to investors for other reasons – such as their significance in a region or their exposure to physical climate risks.”Investors can join via the PRI or any of the investor climate networks making up the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change. Japan’s financial services regulator expects the country’s investors to start working together on engagement with companies, according to the deputy director of its corporate accounting and disclosure division.Speaking at the PRI in Person conference in Berlin this week, Amame Fujimoto said the Financial Services Agency’s (FSA) original stewardship code did not explicitly mention collaborative engagement, meaning some Japanese investors might have misunderstood it to not be permitted.The FSA’s first stewardship code was launched in 2014. It was revised this year to remedy certain perceived shortcomings, including that some investors were felt to be engaging with companies only on a superficial level.The Government Pension Investment Fund – the biggest pension fund in the world at ¥149.2trn (€1.1trn) – was active in this regard, but many Japanese pension funds were not, according to Fujimoto.last_img read more

20Sep/20

Chelsea doctor row Q&A

first_img What else might this be about? Mourinho has rarely been short of a scapegoat when one is required. Whether it be ‘media campaigns’, dodgy floodlights, other teams gifting his rivals results (see Sporting Gijon v Barcelona, 2012) or the always reliable complaints about referees, Mourinho is a master at deflecting attention from a poor performance from his side. This might be taking things a bit far, but one thing that has barely been discussed since Saturday is Chelsea dropping points at home. What happens next? Carneiro and Fearn will be absent from the bench this Sunday. All eyes will be on what happens the next time a Chelsea player goes down apparently injured and how the medical staff on the bench respond, and each time Mourinho faces the media he can expect questions on when Carneiro and Fearn are going to return. The Portuguese was unhappy that the pair went onto the pitch to treat Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard late in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Swansea, and although he did not back down he did say that their exclusion from the bench was not necessarily permanent. Here Press Association Sport looks at what is really going on in the row which has dominated the sporting week. So, uhm, what’s up, doc? Chelsea, down to 10 men after the dismissal of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, were left hanging on for a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea last Saturday. Hazard went down injured late on, prompting Carneiro and Fearn to enter the pitch and treat him. But that left Mourinho fuming on the touchline as he gestured frantically and shouted angrily. After the match, Mourinho accused the doctors of being naive regarding the game situation as their treatment of Hazard meant the player had to come off the pitch, leaving Chelsea temporarily with nine players. That seems a bit harsh. Did the doctors do anything wrong? According to the Premier League Doctors’ Group, Carneiro and Fearn had no option but to enter the pitch and treat Hazard – and would have been in breach of their duty of care if they had failed to do so. Under existing guidelines, a player can request treatment, or the referee can decide to call for it if he believes the player needs it. Referee Michael Oliver signalled for the doctors to come on as Hazard remained down, which would seem to make it an open-and-shut case – the doctors did everything right. Does Jose even have a point, then? Mourinho has received some limited support from former managers and players, who said they at least understood his frustration as events occurred in real time. But his decision to make an issue of it in his post-match comments, and the apparent reduction of Carneiro’s role in the wake of the incident, has created a huge storm in which Chelsea are not looking too good. Shouldn’t Mourinho have been more concerned about Hazard? It’s not clear to what extent he was injured. We’re not going to say he was definitely trying to waste time by staying down, but, let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be the first time a player has done that. If Mourinho was worried about needlessly being reduced to nine, we might ask why he has not criticised his star player for staying down and requesting treatment if he did not really require it. And if Hazard did need treatment, the player might be left wondering why his manager didn’t seem to care. Jose Mourinho has spoken publicly for the first time since his criticism of Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro, confirming she and colleague Jon Fearn will not be on the bench for Sunday’s trip to Manchester City. Press Associationlast_img read more