Marshall Wace targets $1 billion for new ESG focused fund

– Marshall Wace is planning to raise $1 billion for a new fund which will invest based on environmental and other ethical criteria, a source familiar with the matter told . The hedge fund, co-founded by British financier Paul Marshall, will rely on external analysts who focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, the source said on Saturday. The fund will bet against stocks with poor ratings and will buy stocks with strong ESG…

"Marshall Wace targets $1 billion for new ESG focused fund"

Botswana top vet defends investigations into unexplained elephant deaths

GABORONE – Botswana’s top wildlife vet on Friday dismissed accusations from some conservationists that the government had not moved quickly enough to investigate the unexplained deaths of least 275 elephants. Authorities said on Thursday they were still trying to find out what killed the elephants around two months after the first carcasses were spotted in the Okavango Panhandle region. Widely-published pictures of the bodies triggered an international outcry, and some campaign groups raised questions about…

"Botswana top vet defends investigations into unexplained elephant deaths"

Prehistoric ochre mining operation found in submerged Mexican caves

WASHINGTON – Researchers diving into dark submerged caves on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula have found evidence of an ambitious mining operation starting 12,000 years ago and lasting two millennia for red ochre, an earth mineral pigment prized by prehistoric peoples. More than 100 dives totaling more than 600 hours in Quintana Roo state turned up numerous mining artifacts, the scientists said on Friday. These included ochre extraction pits, digging tools like hammerstones and small piledrivers made…

"Prehistoric ochre mining operation found in submerged Mexican caves"

EU overestimates impact of its climate spending, auditors say

– The European Union is overestimating the emissions-cutting potential of climate action schemes outlined in its next budget and should change its methodology for assessing their effectiveness, auditors said. The executive European Commission has pledged to spend 25% of the bloc’s 2021-27 budget — setting aside roughly 320 billion euros at current prices — to help the 27-nation EU become “climate neutral” by 2050. But the European Court of Auditors (ECA) said in a report…

"EU overestimates impact of its climate spending, auditors say"

German parliament passes coal exit bill

BERLIN – Germany’s Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, on Friday passed a bill on the country’s exit from coal as a power source to meet climate targets. The bill involves over 50 billion euros ($56 billion) for mining and power plant operators, affected regions and employees to cushion the impact of the transformation from coal to renewables. Economy minister Peter Altmaier praised the deal, calling it a defining moment in German history. “This is…

"German parliament passes coal exit bill"

Shipper MSC joins coal plants and Ryanair in top 10 list of EU polluters

BRUSSELS – The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) overtook Ryanair in the top 10 rankings of Europe’s biggest carbon dioxide emitters in 2019, a list that is still dominated by big coal-fired power plants, European Union data showed. Data compiled by Brussels-based think tank Transport & Environment (T&E) showed MSC emitted an estimated 10.72 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2019, ranking it seventh in the EU, rising above Ryanair at No. 8, which produced an…

"Shipper MSC joins coal plants and Ryanair in top 10 list of EU polluters"

China braces for more rainstorms over weekend, climate change blamed

SHANGHAI – Rainstorms are expected for large parts of China over the weekend, the state weather bureau said on Friday, forecasting of even more extreme weather a day after some regions suffered more than 200 mm of rainfall. China’s emergency ministry warned that water levels in the middle reaches of the Yangtze river were expected to exceed warning levels, raising risks of geological disasters and urban waterlogging in central and southwest regions. Following the forecasts…

"China braces for more rainstorms over weekend, climate change blamed"

Insurer AXA says made investment portfolios greener in 2019

LONDON – French insurer AXA said it reduced the temperature score of its investments in 2019, bringing them closer to alignment with the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The so-called “warming potential” of its investments, a measure of their contribution to climate change, had fallen to 2.8 degrees Celsius from 3 degrees Celsius in 2018, AXA said in its 4th Climate Report released on Friday. The Paris Agreement, struck in 2015, aims…

"Insurer AXA says made investment portfolios greener in 2019"

More UK retailers should ban coconut products from monkey labour: PM’s fiancée

LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds on Friday welcomed pledges by four British retailers to stop selling coconut products that use monkey labour in their production and called on others to do the same. “Glad Waitrose [JLPLC.UL], Co-op, Boots & Ocado have vowed not to sell products that use monkey labour, while Morrisons has already removed these from its stores,” Symonds said on her Twitter account. Symonds, a conservationist, was responding to…

"More UK retailers should ban coconut products from monkey labour: PM’s fiancée"

Death toll rises above 160 in Myanmar jade mine collapse

– The death toll in a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar has risen above 160, with more feared dead, authorities said on Friday, as search efforts continued for a second day. A heap of mining waste collapsed into a lake on Thursday and buried many workers under mud and water. By late evening on Thursday, rescue workers had recovered 162 bodies, the fire service department said. But Thar Lin Maung, a local…

"Death toll rises above 160 in Myanmar jade mine collapse"