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GOOD READS

Through conversations with sustainable finance experts we compile a list of recommended books on ESG and Sustainability topics.

ESMA
ESG NAMES AND CLAIMS IN THE EU FUND INDUSTRY
by The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

Regulation | Greenwashing

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) just put out a paper examining some of the greenwashing that is taking place in Europe. 

Greenwashing has become a major concern for policymakers around the world. Focussing on EU investment funds, ESM several unique datasets to examine the basis for these concerns. Using a novel dataset with historical information on 36,000 funds managing EUR 16 trillion of assets, ESMA found that funds increasingly use ESG related language in their names, and that investors consistently prefer funds with ESG words in their name. 

A Life on Our Planet
A LIFE ON OUR PLANET: MY WITNESS STATEMENT AND VISION FOR THE FUTURE 
by Sir David Attenborough; Jonnie Hughes

Biodiversity | Climate Change

Attenborough reflects on how we allowed things to get this bad, and reminds readers of the interconnectedness of the natural and human world. But even after witnessing the devastation of the planet’s wild places, the author believes that the human race has the ability to change its current trajectory. We can only hope that his wisdom, also shared in a Netflix documentary by the same title, will touch many hearts and inspire them to take action.

Recommendations of the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE TASKFORCE ON NATURE-RELATED FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES
by TNFD

Natural Capital | Biodiversity

The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures published Recommendations of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures to help companies and investors better manage the relationship between nature, business, and financial capital, positioning nature risk alongside financial, operational, and climate risk and helping to shift capital flows to nature-positive outcomes. 

The effect of greenhouse gas emissions on bank lending
THE EFFECT OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS ON BANK LENDING
by Bank of International Settlements

Climate Change  |  Finance

Banks have significantly decreased loans to firms with higher levels of GHG emissions and intensity. The effect of GHG emissions on bank financing started to appear well before the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, despite that the existing literature considers that year as the starting point for incorporating GHG emissions in the pricing of debt instruments as credit risk.


Banks with higher leverage and lower profitability (lower return on assets) are more likely to decrease loans to firms with high GHG emissions, implying that #banks consider high GHG emissions as being associated with higher future credit costs.

Less is more
LESS IS MORE
by Jason Hickel

Degrowth  |  Economics

Less is More discusses an idea gaining interest in economic circles, degrowth. The degrowth movement emphasizes moving away from economic activities that are harmful to the environment and investing in those that focus on more human positive outcomes. Degrowth questions the wisdom of focusing our economic system on eternal GDP growth in a world with finite resources. 

The effects of Mandatory ESG disclosure around the world
THE EFFECTS OF MANDATORY ESG DISCLOSURE AROUND THE WORLD
by Philipp Krueger, Zacharias Sautner, Dragon Yongjun Tang, Rui Zhong :: SSRN

Climate Change  |  Transition Risk

Though the primary purpose of mandatory ESG disclosure rules is to enhance the supply of ESG information, it is unclear whether such regulations actually improve the ESG information environment.

 

Two findings stand out in light of the current ESG debate: the adoption of mandatory ESG regulation is more likely in countries with common law origins and in countries with higher per capita carbon emissions.

 

The percentage of firms that file ESG reports in the GRI or Asset4 database increases by 2.9 percentage points (pp) after ESG disclosure is made mandatory. Somewhat surprisingly, mandatory disclosure on average does not increase the quality of the filed ESG reports, which was measured based on whether an ESG report’s content adheres to the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards.

transition engineering
TRANSITION ENGINEERING
by Susan Krumdieck

Climate Change  |  Transition Risk

Underneath all the talk and ideas behind the energy transition away from fossil fuels are the cold hard facts based on physics and chemistry. Transition engineering looks at the theoretical and uses core engineering principles to discuss what is actually possible. The book is essential for understanding which energy transition technologies are the most promising and which are moon shots that may never happen.

global climate litigation report
GLOBAL CLIMATE LITIGATION REPORT 
 

Climate Change  |  Legal Risk

This Global Climate Litigation Report: 2023 Status Review shows that people are increasingly turning to the courts to combat the climate crisis. As of December 2022, there have been 2,180 climate-related cases filed in 65 jurisdictions, including international and regional courts, tribunals, quasi-judicial bodies, or other adjudicatory bodies, such as Special Procedures at the United Nations and arbitration tribunals. This represents a steady increase from 884 cases in 2017 and 1,550 cases in 2020. Investors should understand the growing litigation risk around climate change to fully understand the climate related risks they face.

net zero business models
NET ZERO BUSINESS MODELS
by John Montgomery and Mark Van Clieaf, FRSA

Climate Change  |  Net Zero  |  Finance

Despite the net-zero promises made by many global companies, those with a viable plan to reach net zero are few and far between. A recent CDP study showed that fewer than 1 in 200 companies with a net-zero pledge have disclosed a viable plan to get to net zero.

 

The book Net-Zero Business Models, discusses where companies fall short in their net-zero pledges and what they can do to keep their net-zero promises. The authors discuss the current disconnect between net-zero promises and net-zero action, and the five eco-efficiency processes and systems companies should focus on. The book also focuses on challenges ahead for the energy sector, and what companies and investors need to do to make net-zero promises real.

The Dasgupta Review
THE DASGUPTA REVIEW
by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta

Economics  |  Biodiversity  |  Climate Change

In 2021, Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta published the influential report – The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review. The report is an in-depth analysis of the connection between nature and the world economy. The report is a cornerstone in understanding the issue of natural capital and steps we can take to better protect the biodiversity on which we depend. The report comes in three versions; 610 pages, 103 pages and 10 pages, so as to be accessible to a number of different audiences.

Escape from Overshoot
ESCAPE FROM OVERSHOOT
by Peter A. Victor

Economics  |  Biodiversity  |  Climate Change

A thorough exploration of how economics, and a focus on continual growth on a planet with limited resources has led us to the brink of climate and biodiversity catastrophe. Victor explores what role green growth can plan in solving these problems as well as what other environmental, economic and political actions can help change course. 

21st century investing
21st CENTURY INVESTING
by Steven D. Lydenberg and William Burckart

Systems Thinking  |  Investments

Discover how investments can go beyond conventional and sustainable approach to address complex problems such as income inequality and climate change

Climate Justice
CLIMATE JUSTICE
by Mary Robinson

Climate  |  Social Impact

An urgent call to arms by one of the most important voices in the international fight against climate change, sharing inspiring stories and offering vital lessons for the path forward

Regenerative capitalism
REGENERATIVE CAPITALISM
by John Fullerton

Economy  |  New Finance

Exploring the path beyond our current unsustainable economic system and the finance-dominated ideology that drives it.

This white papers is about a new way of thinking about economics and how we manage our free enterprise system.

This is not a test
THIS IS NOT A TEST
by José Luis Vilson

Race  |  Class  |  Education

 

José Vilson writes about race, class, and education through stories from the classroom and researched essays. His rise from rookie math teacher to prominent teacher leader takes a twist when he takes on education reform through his now-blocked eponymous blog.

Why are we waiting?
WHY ARE WE WAITING
by Nicholas Stern

Climate  |  Politics  |  Economy

 

An urgent case for climate change action that forcefully sets out, in economic, ethical, and political terms, the dangers of delay and the benefits of action.The risks of climate change are potentially immense.

Would you like to recommend a book? 
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