Week in Green: What ESG Actually Means

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In climate news today…

Week in Green: What ESG Actually Means

(Bloomberg) -- This week, we’re going to work our way from large, philosophical problems (what makes an investment ethical?) to the small and practical (why does Florida have so many iguanas, and how can we get rid of them?) 

Sustainable investing is one of the hottest trends on Wall Street. Trillions of dollars are rushing in as consulting firms and private foundations spread the gospel. But no one is entirely sure what ESG is beyond the literal (environmental, social and governance) or exactly how to define it. Metrics are self-reported and often hard to measure, tracking everything from carbon emissions to boardroom diversity. Greenwashing is a perennial concern.

Profits, however, are very much measurable. Bloomberg’s fourth annual ranking found that the biggest ESG funds are beating the market. If you do happen to have $1 million to spare and a soft spot for the future of planet Earth, here are some investment ideas for you. How does the intersection of AI, blockchain and climate sound?

We also reported this week on emerging technology such as carbon capture, and less environmentally damaging rocket launches. While not as sexy as spaceships, dirt is also important to the future health of the planet. Global agriculture has come to rely on annual crops and heavy fertilizer use, which inhibit soil’s ability to sequester carbon

No matter where you place your future-of-energy bets, there’s an excellent chance enormous batteries are part of the solution. Unfortunately, the large lithium-ion version has a habit of starting large and difficult to douse fires.

While technology will be critical to solving our global warming problem, our current digital lives remain incredibly energy-intense. Data storage could account for 8% of planetary energy use by 2030, up from 2% today. Even worse, most of it is completely wasted: Only about 6% of all data ever created is in use, leaving 94% sitting in a vast “cyber landfill” with a massive carbon footprint.

Finally, we arrive at Florida news: Iguanas have thrived in the sunshine state since the mid-20th century, when people likely began releasing their non-native pets into the wild. The population has grown as temperatures rose, threatening the native ecosystem. In this immersive VR180 video, ride along with the crew of Redline Iguana Removal.

Here’s what else you need to know in Green

A Way to Halt Natural Gas Flaring Arrives on the Back of a Truck A portable LNG plant chills gas into a liquid.

The Green 30 for 2020 Pioneers, leaders, and ideas trying to solve the climate crisis.

Data Dash: A Live Climate Scoreboard The numbers behind climate change.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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