No need to change your lens to get the picture: Host, Peter Murphy joined by S&P Sector Leader Ted Chapman and Lead Analyst Nora Wittstruck explain the new spotlight on Environmental, Social, and Governance factors in U.S. Public Finance issuer credit ratings and preview how ESG will be featured in rating reports. The episode closes with an update on where the market can expect to see COVID-19 as a component of ESG.
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- Ted Chapman, Senior Director and Sector Leader in the Utilities group, inspects how ESG factors underpin credit ratings and leads with an example of ESG credit factors in utilities. ESG factors have existed as part of S&P criteria, and the new initiative is meant to feature relevant ESG factors with credit implications more prominently. Ted closes the episode examining where COVID-19 may have an indirect impact on credit ratings as the stock market correction may lead to challenges for issuers meeting annually defined contributions for their retirement plans. Learn more about ESG credit factors in public finance ratings, and the ESG factors the Water Utilities sector is monitoring. For the detailed analysis on the Reading Area Water Authority visit the S&P website.
- Nora Wittstruck, Director and Lead Analyst in the Local Governments East group, explores the extent to which the market can expect to see ESG factors in State ratings, the timing of environmental and social factors, and where direct impacts of COVID-19 will factor into ESG. Though environmental factors may be thought of as occurring over a shorter period of time, Nora observes it is not always the case that social factors take a long time to develop. Moreover, with the development of COVID-19 the relationship between community health and safety and demand for services is a social component of ESG that can have material implications on an issuer’s ability to service debt obligations. Read more about S&P Global’s U.S. Transportation Sector Outlook Update.