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A Moody’s Investors Service Report shows that 16 sectors holding $4.3 trillion in rated debt are exposed to high or very high environmental credit risk.

That’s more than twice as much as when the Paris Agreement was announced in 2015, and it constitutes an increasing share of Moody’s total rated debt universe, the rating agency said this week.

“Debt held by sectors exposed to heightened environmental credit risks is rising as a share of our total rated debt universe, indicating that environmental considerations are increasingly pressuring issuers’ credit profiles and will continue to do so,” said Ram Sri-Saravanapavaan, vice president – senior analyst, ESG at Moody’s Investors Service.

The $4.3 trillion figure is a 27% increase in rated debt facing heightened environmental risk from 2020, and a 109% increase since the Paris Agreement’s unveiling in 2015, according to Moody’s.

Sectors with high or very high environmental credit risk account for 5.1% of total rated debt outstanding, which is up from 4.2% in 2020. Six sectors face “very high overall environmental risks.” They are: coal mining and coal terminals, chemicals, mining (metals and other materials excluding coal), independent exploration and production, integrated oil and gas, and refining and marketing.

In 2020, only coal mining and coal terminals faced very high environmental credit risk. Now, 10 sectors face high environmental credit risk, according to Moody’s.

California

California is in a rough spot due to climate change, according to a new report that paints a bleak picture of the impacts of global warming on the nation’s most populous state.

“California is experiencing a climate crisis that is increasingly taking a toll on the health and well-being of its people and on its unique and diverse ecosystems,” the report states. “Every Californian has suffered from the effects of record high temperatures, dry winters, prolonged drought, and proliferating wildfires in recent years. California’s biodiversity is threatened as alterations to habitat conditions brought about by a changing climate are occurring at a pace that could overwhelm the ability of plant and animal species to adapt.”

That assessment comes from the fourth edition of the Indicators of Climate Change in California report, which tracks changes in the state’s climate and its impacts on the state. The report is produced by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

The report shows that since 1895, California’s annual average air temperatures have increased by roughly 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while warming occurred at a faster rate beginning in the 1980s. Eight of the 10 warmest years on record occurred between 2012 and 2022, according to the report.

Drought conditions have also become more frequent and intense as well.

“In California and across the Southwestern United States, 2000 to 2021 has been the driest 22-year period over the past 1,000 years, part of what scientists call an emerging ‘megadrought’ era,” the report states.

GFANZ

A group of financial services firms is calling for G20 governments to detail their climate plans.

The coalition of financial firms led by former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney called on G20 governments to raise climate ambitions and to detail their plans to decarbonize their economies, Reuters reported in an article on Insurance Journal this week.

The coalition, called Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, urged policymakers to publish transition plans with and provide clarity about the policies that would be enacted to support them.

“While finance is very much leaning into the challenge of supporting the transition to net zero, you can’t be a substitute for government action,” Alice Carr, executive director of public policy at GFANZ, told Reuters.

GFANZ is led by a group of business leaders representing major firms across the financial sector. Michael Bloomberg, a UN special envoy on climate ambition and solutions, and Carney, a UN special envoy for climate action and finance, are GFANZ co-chairs. Mary Schapiro serves as the vice chair and head of the secretariat.

GFANZ plans to be at COP27, the UN climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this month.

Agricultural Practices

Farming practices must change, or they risk “destroying the planet,” a new report warns.

The report covered in the Guardian on Thursday highlights the key message in the report: food companies and governments need to work together to change the world’s agricultural practices.

The report by a taskforce within the Sustainable Markets Initiative, a group of CEOs from companies like Bayer, Mars, and PepsiCo, focused on climate issues, calls for more “regenerative farming practices” that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote soil health and water conservation. Such practices must triple by 2030 to have any chance of keeping temperature increased under 1.5C, according to The Guardian article.

“We are at a critical tipping point where something must be done,” taskforce chair and outgoing Mars CEO, Grant Reid, told The Guardian. “The interconnection between human health and planetary health is more evident than ever before.”

He added that large food companies and agriculture must play a big part in changing the status quo. “It won’t be easy, but we have got to make it work,” he added.

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