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Editor’s note: silence, shareholders and Starmer

Donald Trump’s conviction offers potentially a small glimmer of hope for climate action, with recent analysis suggesting a Trump election win could add 4bn tonnes of CO₂ equivalent to US emissions by 2030, causing global climate damages worth more than $900bn © Michael Santiago/Getty Images
Donald Trump’s conviction offers potentially a small glimmer of hope for climate action, with recent analysis suggesting a Trump election win could add 4bn tonnes of CO₂ equivalent to US emissions by 2030, causing global climate damages worth more than $900bn © Michael Santiago/Getty Images

The latest edition of our Sustainable Views newsletter

Dear reader,

“The Biden administration’s climate fanaticism will need a whole-of-government unwinding.” The statement is part of the vision for a conservative administration being worked for by Project 2025, the Presidential Transition Project led by far-right policy advisers and think-tankers in thrall to the idea of a Trump presidency. 

The fact Donald Trump has been found guilty of conspiring to buy the silence of porn actor Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election and of covering his tracks in business records is, therefore, perhaps the most important climate story of the day. 

As a convicted criminal, Trump could still become US president — as President Joe Biden’s campaign team said in a statement after the verdict: “There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box.” 

Yet, the very news that he has been convicted offers potentially a small glimmer of hope for climate action. Analysis in March by Carbon Brief suggested a Trump election win could add 4bn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent to US emissions by 2030, causing global climate damages worth more than $900bn.

There have also been rumblings in the private sector in the US this week. In the run-up to ExxonMobil’s annual meeting on May 29, a major upset was predicted when several large institutional investors, including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and Norges Bank Investment Management, indicated they were going to vote against some or all of its proposed board, in protest at the energy company’s handling of shareholder rights issues. 

Exxon’s decision in January to bring a lawsuit against two activist investors that had filed a climate change-related shareholder resolution had attracted particular consternation from many investors and wider market watchers.

However, in the end, the full board was reinstated with 95 per cent shareholder support. Marie has spoken to campaigners and investors about what this means for shareholder rights and future actions. 

In the UK, campaigners are hoping a Labour win in the July 4 general election will bring the country back into the climate game after a lack of leadership on the issue under UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Today, Labour has launched its Great British Energy policy, pledging to “get working within months to build clean power across the UK” and “cut energy bills for good” should it take over the reins of government this summer. Alex has the details of how Sir Keir Starmer’s party plans to save consumers money, bring down emissions and create jobs.

Research from earlier this week by the University of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and Environment also suggested boosting clean energy funding would create jobs in the UK. 

Finally, if you are struggling to keep up with the week’s ESG news, take a look at our round-up to get up to date.

As always, below you will find our latest most popular articles, plus a suggestion from the team.

Have a good weekend,

Philippa

Philippa Nuttall is the editor of Sustainable Views 

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