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High hopes for Biden sustainability agenda; Record energy-transition spending

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High hopes for Biden sustainability agenda; Record energy-transition spending

The ESG Insider newsletter compiles news and insights on environmental, social and governance developments driving change in business and investment decisions. Subscribe to our ESG Insider newsletter, and listen to the ESG Insider podcast on SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

From worker safety to paid leave, there is much for the ESG community to digest in the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan then-U.S. President-elect Joe Biden laid out last week. That is on top of already-ambitious climate plans the incoming president had outlined for his administration, starting on Day 1.

Biden has pledged to set the U.S. on the path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with an interim target of decarbonizing the U.S. power sector by 2035. He is expected to use his first 100 days to start the nation down that road. He embarks on that mission amid the economic and logistical challenges presented by COVID-19.

Despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic, governments, companies and individual consumers spent a record $500 billion transitioning to lower-carbon energy in 2020, a new report from research provider BloombergNEF finds.

Today, as the world turns its attention to the presidential inauguration, we unpack some of Biden's policy plans and how they could impact the global conversation around sustainability.

Top stories

Biden to use first 100 days to jump-start climate change agenda

On his first day in office, Biden is expected to rejoin the Paris Agreement and issue an executive order that directs agencies to make climate change a top priority domestically as well. Climate policy experts said rejoining the accord will send a signal to the international community and will also ultimately drive domestic policy.

Trucost CEO: Demand for sustainable debt set to 'go through the roof' in 2021

After a record year for sustainability-related debt issuance, demand for sustainable and green bonds is set to "go through the roof" in 2021, Trucost CEO Richard Mattison said in the latest episode of Market Intelligence Live, a live interview series from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Trucost, a division of S&P Global, assesses and prices risks relating to climate change, natural resource constraints and broader ESG factors.

Japan's carbon neutrality goal could be more of a bane than a boom for banks

Japanese banks' long road to regain profit momentum could be complicated by the nation's tall order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, a policy that will require years of significant financing of experimental projects and nationwide industrial transformation, analysts say. See our Chart of the Week below for a look at Japan's energy roadmap.

Chart of the Week

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Biden faces uphill climb making US a green manufacturing power

US Supreme Court justices hear arguments in climate case with broad implications

Energy-transition spending jumped 9% to record $500B amid COVID-19 upheaval


Biden $1.9 trillion relief package calls for worker safety, paid leave reforms

Experts weigh in on the importance of diversity in building AI

Netflix cites need to improve diverse hiring, other inclusion practices


Wall Street critic, former CFTC chairman Gary Gensler named to lead SEC

JPMorgan Chase CEO says halt to political donations 'just a pause'

Bank regulator finalizes controversial 'fair access' rule as agency head departs

ESG Indices

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