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The Science of Climate Change

Climate change is no longer a distant threat or just a possibility, it is now a reality for all of us. In this pathway, Kevin Trenberth, a renowned climatologist, delves into the science behind climate change. He first introduces the climate system, its main components and forces.

Tackling the Plastic Crisis

Plastic pollution is by far the biggest threat to our oceans and this remains an incredibly tough problem to solve. Plastic credits could potentially serve as one of the much needed solutions for this crisis.

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The Scale of the Net Zero Challenge

The price of meeting net zero is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years. Regardless of this cost, we need to reach net zero before climate change does irreversible damage to the environment and the economy.

ESG, Sustainability and Impact Jargon Buster

ESG, sustainability, impact… they all just mean green, right? Not quite. Despite being used often interchangeably, there are distinct differences between these terms.

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The Science of Climate Change

Climate change is no longer a distant threat or just a possibility, it is now a reality for all of us. In this pathway, Kevin Trenberth, a renowned climatologist, delves into the science behind climate change. He first introduces the climate system, its main components and forces.

Tackling the Plastic Crisis

Plastic pollution is by far the biggest threat to our oceans and this remains an incredibly tough problem to solve. Plastic credits could potentially serve as one of the much needed solutions for this crisis.

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Expert led content

+1,000 expert presented, on-demand video modules

Learning analytics

Keep track of learning progress with our comprehensive data

Interactive learning

Engage with our video hotspots and knowledge check-ins

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Gain CPD / CPE credits and professional certification

Managed learning

Build, scale and manage your organisation’s learning

Integrations

Connect Sustainability Unlocked to your current platform

Featured Content

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The Scale of the Net Zero Challenge

The price of meeting net zero is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years. Regardless of this cost, we need to reach net zero before climate change does irreversible damage to the environment and the economy.

ESG, Sustainability and Impact Jargon Buster

ESG, sustainability, impact… they all just mean green, right? Not quite. Despite being used often interchangeably, there are distinct differences between these terms.

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ESG Bond Market Update 2020 & Transition Labels

ESG Bond Market Update 2020 & Transition Labels

Stephanie Sfakianos

35 years: Sustainable finance & banking

This video is part of a series reviewing market activity in the sustainable capital markets. Join Stephanie as she briefly explains some of the new transaction types that are emerging, and looks forward to the coming year.

This video is part of a series reviewing market activity in the sustainable capital markets. Join Stephanie as she briefly explains some of the new transaction types that are emerging, and looks forward to the coming year.

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ESG Bond Market Update 2020 & Transition Labels

16 mins 9 secs

Key learning objectives:

  • Identify the key trends in sustainable capital markets in H1 2020

  • Understand bonds with social themes, notably Covid Response Bonds and Sustainability Bonds

  • Outline the challenges of avoiding "social-washing" through better, more evidence based measuring and reporting on social impacts

Overview:

During the first half of 2020, it is evident that the global Covid-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on activity in the sustainable capital markets, meaning bonds whose proceeds are specifically allocated to projects, assets and activities with social and environmental benefits. This is evidenced in a rapid growth of bonds with social themes, where proceeds of social bonds are allocated to projects in areas such as health, education and housing, principally for underserved and marginalised individuals and communities.

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Summary

When was the first social bond issued?

The first labelled social bond was issued in 2017 and by the end of 2019, total issuance volume had reached some US$40m equivalent.  The many social challenges thrown up by the pandemic have resulted in a dramatic increase in focus on social bonds, in particular  transactions to fund projects to mitigate the effects of the virus, labelled as “Covid Response Bonds”.

What are the challenges?

The difficulties are acknowledged of devising “science based” social targets to mirror the kind of emissions targets that underpin environmental impact reporting. Impacts from social projects, such as education, health, or housing, are linked in complex ways, and are challenging – and expensive – to measure at a granular level.

How are these challenges being combated?

Work has started in this area already, with policy makers, investors, credit rating agencies and extra financial rating agencies all working hard to develop more robust methodologies for understanding and measuring social risks and impacts, so these can be incorporated into investment decisions.

What are Sustainability Bonds?

The sustainable capital markets continue to evolve in other areas, notably Sustainability Bonds, where proceeds are allocated to projects, assets and activities with environmental and social themes.

What are Sustainability Linked Bonds?

A second development relates to so-called “Sustainability Linked Bonds”, where a corporate level sustainability goal, such as cutting greenhouse gas emissions, is underpinned by some kind of incentive payment to the investor.

What are the benefits of both Sustainability Bonds and Sustainability Linked Bonds?

Both are available to a much broader range of issuers than green bonds.  This has focussed attention on the quality of the environmental, social and governance criteria according to which companies are assessed, which is currently highly uncorrelated between different providers. An increasing focus on sustainability criteria among asset owners and asset managers is encouraging, as is the focus on the quality of the assessments.  It is clear that claims of social and environmental benefits, including those made by service providers, will be subject to a great deal more scrutiny in the coming months.

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Stephanie Sfakianos

Stephanie Sfakianos

Stephanie's long career in the financial services industry in London culminated around the past seven years in the field of sustainable finance. She has now left the banking industry, but has continued to apply her sustainable finance expertise through her work with ICMA and the International Standards Organisation.

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