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September 12, 2023

Editor’s note: EU wind market at ‘tipping point’ and carbon trading

Worker on wind turbine
Europe has been warned that it could lose its wind energy manufacturing in the next 12 to 18 months if trends continue (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

The latest edition of our Sustainable Views newsletter

Dear reader,

We kick off today’s newsletter with a fascinating piece on the difficulties facing the EU’s wind industry. One expert tells Philippa that Europe could lose its wind energy manufacturing in the next 12 to 18 months if trends continue. China is increasing its presence in the wind turbine market, and now boasts nine of the world’s 15 largest turbine manufacturers. 

It’s not all doom and gloom – a clean energy investment banker tells our writer that those reading Europe’s last rites “literally have no clue about how the wind industry works”. If you’d like to avoid the wrath of this banker and learn more, check out Philippa’s article here.

Elsewhere, Indonesian authorities are in a race against time to launch the nation’s first carbon exchange market before its presidential elections in February 2024. Carbon trading was supposed to begin this month, although one lawyer tells Natasha that this is less likely now. 

The need to return some credibility to carbon credits is, of course, far from exclusive to Indonesia. Carbon credit rating agencies arguably have a role to play in giving investors confidence in credits, but a new study has unearthed difficulties in comparing four of the most used agencies with publicly available information. 

The report by environmental consultancy Perspectives Climate Group – funded by non-profit Carbon Market Watch – runs the rule over the BeZero, Calyx, Renoster and Sylvera agencies. It calls for a more consistent framework for agencies and moots mimicking guidelines used for conventional financial rating agencies. You can find the study here

Annual meeting season finished a while ago, but here’s a nugget for fans of ESG shareholder activism. At Nike’s AGM today, the American sportswear giant’s investors will vote on a shareholder resolution demanding that the company pays some allegedly outstanding wage payments for workers – worth a combined $2.2mn – in Thailand and Cambodia. This isn’t the first time investors have gone after Nike over its supply chain, as we have previously reported.

This time, investors have accused the company of failing to make terminal payments to workers at a Cambodian factory, while Nike is also being asked to correct alleged underpayments to workers in a Thai facility. You can read the letter here and the full shareholder proposal in Nike’s proxy statement on page 63. Nike, unsurprisingly, is asking its shareholders to reject the resolution.

Until tomorrow,

Alex

Alex Janiaud is senior investment correspondent at Sustainable Views

A service from the Financial Times