Essential news and insights to keep you ahead of the curve on impact investing and sustainable finance.

January 27, 2021

The Brief

Featured: ImpactAlpha Original 

Larry Fink’s corporate net-zero mandate pushes carbon markets mainstream. Think all those corporate 2050 net-zero pledges are nothing but hot air? The price of carbon credits in voluntary markets has risen to $15 or even $20 per ton, driven by corporate efforts to meet their net-zero pledges by locking in offsets with forward contracts of a decade or more. BlackRock, the $9 trillion asset manager, is adding, uh, fuel to the fire. “We are asking companies to disclose a plan for how their business model will be compatible with a net-zero economy,” BlackRock’s Larry Fink wrote in his annual letter to corporate CEOs. “We are asking you to disclose how this plan is incorporated into your long-term strategy and reviewed by your board of directors.” The stick: face BlackRock votes against management and, ultimately, divestment. More than 1,500 companies have adopted targets to zero out their emissions by 2050 or sooner. While some companies, such as Walmart, have pledged to do so entirely by cutting emissions and shifting to renewable energy, many others are relying on carbon offsets to fulfill their net-zero pledges.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

MacArthur Foundation backs Ankur Capital fund for impact tech in India. Commercial investors tend to steer clear of businesses targeting low-income customers, leaving billions in India without access to affordable and essential products and services. Mumbai-based Ankur Capital seeks out early and even unproven businesses in agriculture, food, healthcare, financial inclusion and education using technology to drive down the cost of delivery of high-impact products at scale. MacAthur’s investment follows Ankur’s $33 million first close for its second fund last year, which included investments from Dutch Good Growth Fund, CDC Group and the Small Industries Development Bank of India.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

The Global Impact Investing Network is hiring a research associate in New York… The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation seeks an investment analyst in Bethesda, Md… ImpactAssets’ Margret Trilli is moderating “COVID-19: The Long Haul - The Critical Role of Philanthropy Right Now,” with Schmidt Futures’ Tom Kalil, Syra Madad of NYC Health and Hospitals, Johns Hopkins’ Jennifer Nuzzo and Stop the Spread’s Sharon Knight, Friday, Jan. 29.

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