The Case for Nuclear as a Sustainable Investment
The Center for ESG and Sustainability today released a report on “Solving the Energy Trilemma: The Case for Nuclear as a Sustainable Investment." The report examines the performance of the U.S. nuclear industry as an investment broadly as well as in the context of being an investment that is sustainable. In doing so, the report highlights the importance of improved third party evaluations of the nuclear industry that better reflect its actual performance and associated investment opportunity, including through access to climate finance.
Nuclear Energy is Poised to Help Solve the World’s Most Pressing Issues
October 25, 2022
WASHINGTON – A study released today during JP Morgan and the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Nuclear Financing Summit by The Center for ESG and Sustainability (CESG) finds that the U.S. nuclear energy industry is an investible asset poised to address some of the world’s most critical issues.
Developed in collaboration with Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, the report on “Solving the Energy Trilemma: The Case for Nuclear as a Sustainable Investment” assesses nuclear energy’s investibility and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, and concludes that nuclear energy is uniquely qualified to address all three facets of the energy trilemma: affordability, sustainability, and reliability.
“The nuclear energy industry is poised to play a pivotal role in helping the United States and the world solve some of society’s most pressing issues by effectively addressing the climate crisis and reducing or eliminating energy poverty while supporting the global economy,” said CESG Vice President Jack Belcher. ”Without nuclear, there is no pathway to meeting our energy and climate goals.”
This report demonstrates that the U.S. nuclear industry performs well across major ESG topics addressed by the world’s most recognized framework organizations, and calls for ESG rating agencies to better reflect this performance when evaluating the industry and making related investment decisions. Assessments to date have typically not accurately reflected nuclear energy’s performance as a source of reliable, clean energy and its role in helping the United States and the world reach net zero emissions goals while addressing energy poverty and still growing the global economy.
“Technological innovation currently underway, including small modular reactor and microreactor technology, is poised to make nuclear energy even more accessible and attractive as a financial investment,” said CESG President Dr. James Duncan. “These new technologies will bring reliable, affordable, and sustainable power to new markets and further improve the industry’s ability to meet the world’s biggest challenges in a sustainable manner.”
Nuclear energy has been gaining substantial momentum, as recent developments reflect a growing recognition of its unique attributes. Examples include the European Union’s and South Korea’s classification of nuclear as a sustainable activity, along with similar policy support in the United States and the first green bond issuance for nuclear energy, all of which create opportunities for nuclear to access billions of dollars in climate finance as the world seeks to meet energy demand while meeting economic and climate goals. Just today, the Canada Infrastructure Bank announced its decision to fund the development and construction of Canada’s first small modular reactor.
New Center to Standardize and Certify Climate and Environmental, Social and Governance Performance
October 14, 2021
WASHINGTON – The Center for ESG and Sustainability (CESG) was launched today to provide data-driven certifications and standards for organizations seeking to navigate the complex, inconsistent, and dynamic ESG and climate landscape.
Through its unique collaboration with Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), CESG will have dedicated access to an extensive data library and globally recognized climate scenario planning and forecasting expertise.
“The growing attention to ESG presents an opportunity to introduce actionable climate information to private sector operations and management, leading to cleaner and more climate-resilient enterprises,” said IRI Director John Furlow.
“CESG brings expertise in ESG, sustainability, and climate to the global marketplace at a time when it is most needed by society,” said CESG President Dr. Jim Duncan. “As ESG pressures from governments, investors, and the public have surged, so too has the demand for clarity and compliance with climate risk protocols.”
CESG will utilize Cornerstone’s Government Affairs’ expertise in ESG and public and regulatory policy to enhance sustainability performance and most importantly, create certifications and standards by which organizations can navigate the ESG landscape.
“Every day brings news of more sustainability and climate commitments,” said CESG Vice President Jack Belcher. “Yet myriad ESG standards, products, and ratings that exist in the market today have created tremendous confusion and uncertainty. Through certifications and standards, our approach will give organizations large and small a clear and consistent pathway for performance and decarbonization.”
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