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That’s right, folks, it’s already Thursday… So let's all take a moment to appreciate the joys of a short week. (Cue the blissful sigh, at least from our readers in the US.)
Now, down to business. Just before the long weekend in the US, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that limited the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, raising a lot of questions about the United States’ ability to reduce its carbon footprint and stand behind the commitments it has made to domestic and international communities.
While many agree this action will likely slow progress on our world’s climate change goals, we’ve had a week to put it into perspective and, for those FWIW readers prioritizing sustainability when investing, we hope you will also see it as an opportunity to bring to the fore companies that truly align with your values and weed out those that don’t. Some ideas for investors like you: review what’s in your portfolio to confirm everything aligns with your values and goals (one way to analyze the fossil fuel exposure and carbon footprint of funds: Fossil Free Funds). Then, look closely at areas like renewables, agriculture, alternative fuels, green banks, and companies taking real action to hit Net Zero targets. These are some of the areas where, if sustainability is a value you prioritize, your investments can drive more capital to companies creating the world you want to see. It is like your hidden superpower while the courts and the government battle it out.
In financial news this week, economists and Wall Street analysts are still signaling that a recession lies on the horizon, although many consumers feel it’s already sunset as they grapple with higher prices on everything from gas to groceries. And we learned the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates again in July by another half or three-quarters of a percentage point to help tame inflation. While the stock market is still digesting what this really means (no surprise there), rising interest rates make this an ideal time to shop around for a higher yield savings account. Check out our tips below for finding the right match for your goals and values.
News you can use
- California has passed a landmark law against single-use plastic just in time for #PlasticFreeJuly. Nearly 23 million tons of the disposable stuff — equivalent to 26 Golden Gate Bridges — will be avoided by 2032, according to one estimate. The law also makes plastic producers pay $5 billion to mitigate the effects of plastic pollution. Just 20 companies are the source of more than half of single-use plastic items thrown away globally. California’s new law may prompt some to hit the FWIW glossary for a refresher on negative screens.
- This week 35 Christian institutions from around the world, including two US universities, signed onto “Operation Noah” (love the name!) to divest from fossil fuels. They join the more than 1,485 organizations with total assets over $39.2 trillion that have committed to some form of fossil fuel divestment. Thirty-five percent of all divestment commitments globally are faith-based, according to the 2021 Invest/Divest report.
- The US dollar and EU Euro are almost at parity. With the Euro at a 20-year low due to recession fears and the multifaceted impacts of the war in Ukraine, and the US dollar increasing in value as investors seek a “safe haven” amid economic turmoil and stronger yields (see below on how you might be able take advantage of this), the currencies are nearing the historic $1 = €1 mark. One benefit: That plan to live life like “Emily in Paris” just got a little cheaper.