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Hello, it's Kasmira, and we've got our eye this week on the latest fisheries negotiations meetings, which are gathering pace at the WTO.

Last week's courtroom and boardroom showdowns at big oil firms over their role in the climate crisis has us wondering whether this is only the beginning of a reckoning for major polluters who fail to make progress in decarbonising their business.

The further they can go in reducing their climate emissions, the faster we can close the $4.1 trillion financing gap needed to settle our books with nature, according to a UN report, which we also cover and recommend a read.

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Kasmira Jefford


Sustainable Business & Finance news

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Pakistani fishermen drag their nets while they leave after catching fishes in sea at the beach in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 29, 2021. (KEYSTONE / AP Photo / Fareed Khan)

Countdown on fisheries subsidies talks as July meeting nears. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is ramping up the number of meetings on the long-running fisheries subsidies negotiations in an effort to iron out remaining differences between member states ahead of the virtual ministerial meeting in July. Santiago Wills, chair of the fisheries talks, earlier this month released a new draft text of the agreement, which will need to win the unanimous support of all 164 WTO member states. However, there are still a number of thorny areas of concern to address, one of them being special and differential treatment (SDT) for developing countries – the topic of today's talks. Cutting subsidies that contribute to excessive and illegal fishing has been debated at the WTO for almost 20 years, with pressure now on to present a simplified text to government ministers in July. "I am sure no delegation will be entirely happy with the text - you will all find something you don't like, in addition to things that you do like. Let us now figure out those key issues that require further teasing out in Geneva so that we can present something to Ministers that provides them with clean and straightforward options in July," Wills said earlier this month.

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Exxon Mobile oil refinery in Illinois. (Keystone/EPA/Tannen Maury)

You don't need to move mountains – just big oil firms. Last week saw some momentous events take place within the boardrooms of energy giants, in a sign that investors will no longer hesitate in holding fossil fuel producers to account over climate concerns. Engine No.1, a small activist hedge shareholder in US oil giant Exxon succeeded in unseating two board members and replacing them with their own candidates to lead the company towards a greener strategy. On the same day, Chevron shareholders also rebelled and voted 60 per cent in favour of an activist plan that will force the group to cut carbon emissions. Meanwhile, in Europe, a showdown was taking place in a Dutch courtroom, where Royal Dutch Shell was ordered to cut its emissions much faster than it had planned. The victories will have far-reaching implications and shows companies can no longer be complacent when it comes to decarbonising their businesses.

The Guardian (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Next on the agenda

7 June | Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Study In this webinar, Swiss Sustainable Finance, jointly with the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth (CSP) at the University of Zurich, will share the results of their latest market study looking into the current market trends of sustainable investments in Switzerland.

Swiss Sustainable Finance (EN)

1 June - 10 December 2021 | UNEP FI regional roundtables on sustainable finance. Starting tomorrow, the UN environment programme finance initiative will host a series of virtual roundtables for the sustainable finance community to come together locally to discuss the latest trends and innovations, and share good practice. The first one kicks off in Asia Pacific.


Number of the day

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Quadrupling investment in nature by 2050. A total investment USD 8.1 trillion is needed between now and 2050 to help tackle the biodiversity, land degradation and climate crises – almost four times the amount invested today, according to the latest projections from the World Economic Forum, the UN Environment Programme. According to the State of Finance in Nature report launch last week, this amounts to $536bn per year which, at current investment rates of $133bn per year, means there is a funding gap of $4.1 trillion to reach that target. The authors stress the need to rapidly accelerate capital flows to nature-based solutions by making nature central to public and private sector decision-making.


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