It highlighted this as an area of “policy direction” for the European Union, saying the ESAs “should build sufficient expertise on sustainability issues, scenario analysis and general ESG factors related to medium and long-term risks”.It specifically recommended that the role of the ESAs in assessing ESG-related risks be enhanced.The European Systemic Risk Board last year recommended that stress tests of European pension funds cover climate-related risks.The HLEG’s report set out eight recommendations in total in its report.It recommended that the EU develop a classification system and establish an official European standard and label for green bonds and other sustainable assets.Commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Jyrki Katainen said in their introduction to the report: “These labels will provide the confidence and trust in sustainable and green products needed for investors to fund the transition to the low-carbon economy.”PensionsEurope, the trade body for European pension funds, welcomed the classification and label recommendations. However, Matti Leppälä, secretary general of the association, cautioned against introducing new rules and obligations for the European pension fund sector, saying that the HLEG’s report included suggestions on revising the European pension fund directive IORP II.“The new IORP II directive includes many provisions on ESG, as part of risk management and investments,” he said. “It would be advisable to first see the impact of these new rules before expanding them.”ESG ‘integral’ part of fiduciary dutyThe HLEG noted that the IORP directive took sustainability issues into account, but said that it and other directives would need to be reviewed to implement “the clarification of fiduciary duty and sustainability”.The HLEG has recommended it be clarified that managing ESG risks is an integral part of fiduciary duty. A single set of principles on fiduciary duty and the related concepts of loyalty and prudence should be established in the European Union, according to the HLEG.Stefanie Pfeifer, chief executive of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), said “the identification, disclosure and effective management of the huge physical and transition risks posed by climate change” must be at the core of any “functional definition” of fiduciary duty.“We therefore endorse the call by HLEG for the recent recommendations from the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures to be integrated in a way that advances EU leadership on this agenda and provides greater legal certainty alongside efforts to ensure an international level playing field,” she said.The other recommendations set out by the HLEG were to:- unlock investments in energy efficiency through relevant accounting rules; – strengthen ESG reporting requirements; – introduce a “sustainability test” for EU financial regulation; and – create an organisation dedicated to developing and structuring infrastructure projects and matching them with investors. The report said the group had identified “dual imperatives” for the European financial system.The Commission said it would start exploring the HLEG’s early recommendations “as of now”.The group is due to present a final report at the end of 2017 and will continue to examine other policy areas, such as integrating sustainability considerations in ratings.The report can be found here. The European Insurance and Occupational Pension Authority could in future include environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in its stress tests of pension funds, the European Commission-appointed High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on sustainable finance has suggested.The idea was included in a wide-ranging interim report on its work to help develop an EU strategy on sustainable finance, published today.The other European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) could do the same, the report said, identifying climate-related risks as the most “obvious”.However, this should only happen once “sufficient expertise on sustainability has been built up to avoid undue scenarios and outcomes”, according to the HLEG.
Is it possible to find anything constructive in a dominating performance against two lackluster teams?For a poised men’s tennis team like Wisconsin, the answer no doubt is yes.Sunday’s doubleheader against No. 70 Illinois State and Western Illinois served as a perfect pick-me-up with Big Ten play beginning in six days against No. 10 Illinois.Winning 6-1, 6-0, the double feature allowed Wisconsin an opportunity to prepare for the tough conference season that lies ahead by building confidence and allowing younger players a chance at the action.But mostly, according to head coach Greg Van Emburgh, the team just needed to play a lot of tennis.“Overall, we got what we needed out of [the doubleheader],” he said. “I was hoping that guys in the second match would’ve been pushed a little harder… but they must have just played really well, they took care of business quickly.”“Overall I think we needed to play a lot of tennis today. Illinois is going to be a good team… and I feel like if we’re match sharp we’re going to win that match.”All eight Badgers on the active roster were able to participate in at least two matches on Sunday — five of which came away with a flawless record on the day.Confidence building was a big objective for the Badgers, and not just for the team’s less experienced players. Senior Moritz Baumann, ranked No. 13 nationally, hoped to improve in that facet of the game, as he sat with a 3-3 singles record before Sunday’s match arrived.With two singles victories as well as a win in doubles, Van Emburgh believed Baumann benefited from the opportunity.“We wanted to make sure Moritz was getting a bunch of matches so he could feel good about his game again, which I think we’re really close to doing with him,” he said. “The boy that he was playing (Jeff Cote of Western Illinois) was pretty strong — a good match for him to get some good points and to feel good about his game.”With three wins in one day, Baumann believes it can lead to better play in the future.“It’s all about confidence in tennis,” he said. “When you win, you play better automatically. When you lose, you lose confidence, so it’s good when you win those matches.”With a second chance provided by the doubleheader, freshman Billy Bertha was able to redeem a frustrating singles loss to Illinois State’s Matej Zlatkovic, in which Bertha was shutout in the last set.Paired against Francisco Ortiz of Western Illinois, Bertha didn’t let his last match haunt him, losing only two games en route to sweeping the match.Taking Baumann’s words into consideration, Bertha should be feeling good when thinking about his next match after bouncing back.For others, though, Sunday’s matches offered a chance to test the aspects of their game that have needed improvement.Freshman Chris Freeman made the development of his serve loud and clear, acing three consecutive against Western Illinois’ Rodrigo Azevedo.“We always practice different things and if it’s kind of a routine match you always try and focus on different aspects of your game, rather than just trying to get though the match,” he said. “So I worked on my serve this week and really tried to execute on that, so it helped out in the match today.”Despite the success seen on Sunday, Van Emburgh knows the team has yet to reach its summit in terms of performance. Next week’s match against Illinois will not be a litmus test of sorts like Sunday’s. And with that, Van Emburgh will continue to push the team closer to that summit.“We want to keep working on doubles to keep that sharp, make sure the teams that are out there are going to compliment each other really well – I think we’re really close to that,” he said. “I don’t think we’re peaking yet, we still have room for improvement.”
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Bloomberg: Big Blue Punts Its Retirees To MedicareIBM has announced that it’s dumping its retiree health benefits onto the exchanges. Not the Obamacare exchanges, but a Medicare exchange. Medicare-eligible retirees will no longer be eligible for IBM’s company health plan; instead they’ll get a subsidy to buy supplementary Medicare coverage. Presumably, IBM being IBM, this will allow them to buy some pretty generous coverage that leaves them with relatively small out-of-pocket costs. … This is the continuation of a trend (Time Warner Inc. announced a similar move yesterday, as did General Electric Co. last year), and though my first instinct when I saw the headline was to assume that this had something to do with Obamacare, in fact, it’s a story about accounting (Megan McArdle, 9/9).MinnPost: Obamacare Is The Worst New-Product Rollout In MemoryObamacare is giving marketing a bad name. Regardless of what you think about the merits of the health care reform, there’s no doubt that it’s been the worst new-product rollout in memory (John Reinan, 9/9).The Annals Of Family Medicine: The Affordable Care Act: Unprecedented Opportunities For Family Physicians And Public Health Lost in the cacophony of ACA partisan rhetoric is that the costs of caring for the uninsured already accrue to our health system. That’s why we pay more than twice what any other country pays per capita for health care, yet many of our population outcomes are worse. Covering the uninsured improves health outcomes and eliminates the regressive taxes of uninsured cost shifting. Family physicians, whatever their party affiliation, can help policy makers understand how ACA implementation will play out in communities. The ACA covers one-half of the nation’s uninsured. I’m for that! I’ll lean whichever way gets us through the door. We could try what my dad did in our house with 7 children and only 5 rooms. He removed all of the doors (Dr. Daniel J. Derksen, 9/9). Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Corbett-Care: The Governor Appears To Be Rethinking Medicaid A signal that the Corbett administration may be softening its position on Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction of helping low-income working Pennsylvanians. Administration officials plan to spend this week talking with state legislators about options for expansion in the context of broader changes for the existing Medicaid program, which provides health care coverage for poor families (9/10). Fox News: America, We Must Stop Obamacare Before It Becomes Hazardous To Our Health New York’s famous 42nd Street will offer natives and visitors a new sight later this week: a mammoth, six-story billboard with a striking message: “Warning—Obamacare may be hazardous to your health.” It’s part of The Heritage Foundation’s continuing public education campaign to inform the American people about the dangerous side-effects of this unfair, unaffordable and unworkable law, and how it can be stopped (Jim DeMint, 9/10). Dallas News: New Taxes Coming In Health Insurance Premiums Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, millions of uninsured Americans will be able to get health insurance regardless of their medical history. To make it affordable, the federal government will supply tax credits. To pay for it, however, a variety of taxes and fees were included in the law. Three are fees on health insurance companies (Jim Landers, 9/9). Bloomberg: The Cost Of Training Doctors Offshore U.S. tax dollars are financing for-profit medical schools in the Caribbean that are not accredited in the U.S., Janet Lorin reports in the October issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine, putting taxpayers, students and patients at risk. The U.S. may face a doctor shortage, but this isn’t the way to fix it. Thanks to a legal loophole, three schools — American University of the Caribbean in St. Maarten and Ross University in Dominica, both owned by DeVry Inc. (DV), and privately owned St. George’s University in Grenada — received about $450 million last year in federal student loans, despite lacking the same certification as U.S. medical schools (9/10).Los Angeles Times: Jenny McCarthy On ‘The View’: Trust doctors, Not Stars, On Vaccines Those watching Jenny McCarthy’s debut on ABC’s “The View” this morning should keep in mind one thing: She’s not qualified in the least to give you advice on vaccinating your children. McCarthy, the model and TV personality who moonlights as the anti-vaccine movement’s most influential (read: dangerous) voice, sells plenty of books, speaks passionately about parenting and cracks off-color jokes. She also peddles the discredited, poisonous claims that the way we vaccinate our children against the diseases that were once regular killers of children places our young ones at greater risk of developing autism — the kind of conspiracy theorizing that will draw only more eyeballs (Paul Thornton, 9/9). Viewpoints: Dropping Retirees From Health Plans Is All About Accounting; Pa. Gov. Seems To Be ‘Softening’ Position On Medicaid Expansion