Sad news out of Chula Vista, as a man who was arrested at Wednesday night’s Dead & Company show at Sleep Train Amphitheatre passed away while in police custody, as was first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune. The heavy-set man in his 50’s was caught moving from seat to seat before the show started, which eventually led to him being confronted by security who asked to see his ticket. The man was apparently very intoxicated, according to security, and tried to run away, which led to a brief struggle before police arrived at the scene.When police did arrive, they found the man in question yelling incoherently and acting irrationally. The officers arrested him for public intoxication, which led to the man starting to struggle again. Police first took him to the medic tent, where he was evaluated and discharged with no major injuries, and he was then taken by police to be processed for the arrest.While the man was in processing, he apparently fell asleep sitting upright in a chair. An officer went to check on him, and found that he was suddenly unconscious. After several attempts to revive him, the man was pronounced dead. His death is currently under investigation.Our thoughts and prayers go out to this man’s friends and family.
The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) had agreed to create a Pensionsfonds for its civil servants and has already begun building a pensions-provision buffer for more than 147,000 retirees.Since 2006, the NRW has also been paying €500 a month into a retirement fund on behalf of each active civil servant.It will now combine these two pots to create a €10bn fund in 2017, paying an additional €200m annually from 2018.The NRW’s finance ministry is still working on a strategic asset allocation for the fund. A ministry spokeswoman, however, told IPE the scheme would be able to invest in “bonds and loans issued by the NRW, other German states, provinces and municipalities, federal authorities and states within the euro-area, as well as the banks of supranational entities”.It will also be able to invest in covered bonds, Pfandbriefe, municipal debt, equities and fund units.The NRW has endeavoured to keep its strategic asset allocation under wraps to prevent causing any “harmful market disturbances”.Its spokeswoman also said the NRW had yet to make any decision on external managers.Similar pension funds in other German states have in the past selected the national bank as asset manager.The NRW previously worked with the national bank for its active member fund. In the wake of the financial crisis, however, many states were forced to backtrack on commitments – made in 2006-07 for the most part – to set up funds for civil servants.Others suspended contributions from 2010-11 or even made withdrawals.Others, like Saxony-Anhalt, changed their minds yet again and started selecting external managers. One expert argued at the time that most of the plans were “inadequate” anyway.
The European Commission has launched a call for applications to form the group that will be advising it on the further development of the sustainability taxonomy, its review, and on sustainable finance more broadly.The move came hot on the heels of the European Parliament yesterday adopting the taxonomy regulation, which provides for the creation of the body, known as the Platform on Sustainable Finance.It is the successor to the technical expert group (TEG) that has been advising the Commission in connection with its 2018 sustainable finance “action plan” measures. The TEG’s mandate is due to run out at the end of September, unless the new group is formally established before then.The Platform on Sustainable Finance, whose members will have a two-year mandate, will have four main tasks, “some of which are particularly urgent”, according to the Commission. The call for applications to the new group comes as the Commission seeks input for a “renewed” sustainable finance strategy and seeks to drive forward its plan for a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.The tasks the Platform will be asked to prioritise during the two-year term to Q3 2022 are:to advise on the development of the technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy;to advise on the review of the taxonomy regulation; andto advise on “the possible need to develop further measures to improve data availability and quality”.The focus of the first task will be on criteria for screening economic activities against the four specified environmental objectives that go beyond climate change.The TEG already came up with criteria for assessing whether economic activites make a substantial contribution to the objectives of climate change mitigation or adaptation, including an assessment of significant harm to other environmental objectives.The second task will include advising the Commission on the possible need to amend the taxonomy regulation, and on addressing other sustainability objectives besides those focussed on the natural environment.The topic of data availability and quality links to that of the review of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, on which the Commission is currently consulting. The Platform will also be asked to monitor and report regularly to the Commission on EU and member state-level trends in capital flows towards sustainable investment.However, the Commission said this would primarily be carried out by public entities such as the European Environment Agency and the European Investment Bank, seven representatives of which it would appoint directly to the body.Valdis Dombrovskis, Commission executive vice president, said: “This Platform will play a crucial role in the development of the EU Taxonomy and our sustainable finance strategy over the coming years.“The adoption of the taxonomy regulation marks a milestone in our green agenda. It creates the world’s first ever classification system of environmentally sustainable economic activities, which will give a real boost to sustainable investments.”The Platform will be composed of experts from the private and public sector, with 57 members in total, 50 of which are to be selected through the open call for applications and the remaining seven directly appointed by the Commission’s department for financial stability and capital markets.The Commission will be accepting applications for the platform until 16 July, which is a day after the consultation on input to its new sustainable finance strategy ends.The Parliament’s vote on the taxonomy – also referred to as a “green list” – marks the final step of the adoption process of the political agreement that co-legislators reached in-mid December 2019.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.