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More rigour in rating ESG products will aid investment

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Significance

Ratings providers have been tightening their methodologies and scoring of ESG funds but there is no universal methodology for categorising firms or funds as sustainable, or for monitoring their sustainability.

Impacts

  • Investors will run the risk of investing in funds that are rated ‘sustainable’ but actually invest in firms with non-sustainable practises.
  • ESG rating is likely to become part of the annual audit process in many jurisdictions but differences in methodology will persist.
  • Questions of impartiality will persist as the accountants and rating agencies tend to be paid by the institutions they are assessing.
  • Green bond issuance will surge; the Bank for International Settlements runs two green bond funds and will help to set industry standards.
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