From the growing push for government action on climate change from the private sector to the future of impact investing.

A new coalition of more than a dozen major corporations and environmental groups was launched this week in Washington to push Congress to pass legislation addressing climate change. The initiative is called the CEO Climate Dialogue and features CEOs from BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Ford Motor Company among others, with the Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) among the environmental groups which helped convene the group.

Related: Labour weighs up delisting UK firms if they fail to fight climate change

 

A group of indigenous Australians from low-lying islands in the Torres Strait have submitted a claim to the United Nations arguing that, by failing to take adequate steps to reduce carbon emissions, the Australian government has violated their fundamental human rights including the right to maintain their culture. The Torres Strait Islands are threatened by rising sea levels putting the Torres Strait Islanders’ culture at risk. The Islanders’ case has been described as a ‘landmark claim’, as though litigants across the world have brought climate change related claims to domestic courts, the Torres Strait claim is the first such claim to be made to the UN and could set a precedent for how vulnerable populations can seek redress for the effects of global warming under international law.

 

EU leaders are reportedly considering making World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva the next president of the European Commission. Georgieva, a Bulgarian national, is a former vice-president of the commission and served as budget commissioner between 2014 and 2016, overseeing the first reduction in the EU’s multiannual budget.

 

The success of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)’s first US Dollar bond issue in London is being viewed as a win for China’s efforts to expand its influence in Asia, with nearly half the backers of the five-year US $2.5 billion bond coming from the continent. However, some observers remain skeptical of the AIIB’s capacity to rival the scale and scope of projects that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank deliver and worry the AIIB could be at risk of scaling up too fast or could suffer from some of the same issues as China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Related: China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank raises US$2.5 billion from bond sale in London

 

Following the publication of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IBPES)’s report warning the global threat to biodiversity is on par with that of climate change, conservationists, activists, and scientists are looking for ways both crises could be tackled together to try and avoid a scenario in which both issues are forced to compete for resources and attention from policymakers.

Related: Weighing up trade-offs between food security and climate mitigation

 

A new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that US Government Aid for health outcomes noticeably boosted local opinions of the US compared to other types of Foreign Aid, improving the country’s ‘soft power’ and standing in the world.

Related: PEPFAR funding: Taking stock of the latest changes

 

A new report from the US SIF Foundation shows socially responsible investing (SRI) assets have grown nearly 40% year-over-year since 2016. The ‘Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends’ says more than USD $12 trillion is now invested in a variety of socially responsible ways, or one quarter of the total assets being managed in the US alone.

Related: GIIN debuts new tool for measuring impact investments

 

Jennifer Pryce, President & CEO of Calvert Impact Capital, is calling on impact investment groups to develop financial products and services that can tap into capital markets in the wake of the the launch of the Operating Principles for Impact. Pryce writes that the sector’s current focus on discretionary capital will never generate enough money to enable it to have a meaningful impact on the world and that the sector needs to use the opportunity the IFC’s new Operating Principles provides to expand its reach.

Related: Impact investors fail to measure negative outcomes

 

As the Asian Development Bank (ADB) commits to expanding its financing for healthy oceans to USD $5 billion over the next five years, Kristian Teleki, director of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative at the World Resources Institute discusses where world leaders should be directing their resources in ocean sustainability efforts.

 

World Bank President David Malpass called on governments to make structural reforms to make their economies more attractive to private sector investment. Malpass also discussed debt transparency, saying the existing debt management system is equipped to deal with today’s more sophisticated instruments. Malpass says his solution is ‘comprehensive transparency of the debt’ which he says will help development and improve the investment climate.

Related: World Bank Announces Euro 1.5 Billion 10-year Sustainable Development Bond in Ireland

 

The Governing Committee of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) has approved the allocation of USD $61.8 million in funding for the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Affirmative Finance for Women in Africa (AFAWA) program.

Related: New We-Fi Financing to Enhance ADB’s Support for Women-Led SMEs in Viet Nam and Pacific

 

The African Union (AU) is proposing the launch of a continental passport which would grant the citizens of the AU visa-free access to every AU member state, similar to the EU’s freedom of movement rules. The passport, called the AU passport, is currently only available to heads of state, top diplomats, and persons of interest in Africa.

Related: African Union urges Nigeria to join new trade zone