Welcome to ESG Talks, a KBRA Podcast series focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG). This podcast will highlight various ESG hot topics and will include commentary from prominent voices within the ESG community. As we continue to expand globally, KBRA Podcasts is a go-to source for timely briefings directly from our knowledgeable team members and guests.
Net-Zero America with Pat Welch, Stephen Pacala, and Don Bain
In this episode of ESG Talks, KBRA’s Chief Credit Officer, Pat Welch interviews Stephen Pacala and Don Bain. Stephen Pacala is the Frederick D. Petrie Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. His research focuses on systems ecology, climate change, and the global carbon cycle. He is the founding director of Climate Central, a nongovernmental organization focused on climate change communications. Don Bain is a Senior Advisor at Climate Central. Don is an expert on climate change and the implications of sea-level rise and has advised municipalities on adaptation, risk management, economics, and finance. Steve and Don will discuss two recent studies, the Net-Zero America Project and “Accelerating Decarbonization of the U.S. Energy System.” The Net-Zero America Project, or NZAP, is a Princeton University study that outlines five distinct pathways that could decarbonize the U.S. economy over the next 30 years. “Accelerating Decarbonization of the US Energy System,” commissioned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, provides a policy blueprint for the net-zero transition.
Credit Ratings Deserve ESG Risk Analysis, Not ESG Scores
In this episode of ESG Talks, Emilie Nadler, an associate in KBRA's ESG and credit policy team, moderates a conversation between Pat Welch, Chief Credit Officer and Head of ESG, KBRA, and William Cox, Global Head of Corporate, Financial and Government Ratings. They discuss our firm's approach to Environmental, Social and Governance, and more.
“We do not plan to ask our credit rating analysts to step into the fray of creating ESG ratings or ESG scores. We do, however, continue to strengthen [analysts’] focus on material, quantitative, and qualitative, E, S, or G factors that impact credit. And that’s because we believe that rollup ESG scores by their nature are based on a significant number of subjective, value-based judgments about how to weight and score factors that don’t correlate with credit risk.” - William Cox
California's Sustainable Future with Jim Nadler and Fiona Ma
In the first episode of our second season of ESG Talks, KBRA president and CEO Jim Nadler interviews California State Treasurer Fiona Ma. Treasurer Ma is the 34th state treasurer of California and took office in 2019. She is the first woman of color and the first woman Certified Public Accountant elected to the position. Treasurer Ma has built a reputation as a solution-oriented public servant and has been adept at building unlikely coalitions to overcome California's most complex problems.
KBRA'S ESG Event Recap feat. Sen. Brown and Rep. Casten
In the final episode of the first season of ESG Talks, we recap our latest ESG event hosted in early December, which brought together investors, politicians, issuers, and other market participants to discuss the evolution of ESG and future developments in the space. This included the implications of the election of the incoming president, Joe Biden, who signed to reenter the Paris Climate Agreement and is most likely to prioritize ESG-focused policies. We highlight our two keynote addresses given during the event by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and U.S. Representative Sean Casten of IL’s 6th district.
CRE-ating ESG Opportunities with Yee Cent Wong and Peter Cosmetatos
In this episode of ESG Talks, Yee Cent Wong, a Senior Managing Director in KBRA’s Dublin office, interviews Peter Cosmetatos. Peter has been involved in the commercial real estate industry in one way or another for nearly 20 years and is currently the CEO of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC) Europe.
Banking on Green Energy with Cecil Smart and Alfred Griffin
In this episode of ESG Talks, Cecil Smart, Managing Director in KBRA’s ABS Commercial team, interviews Alfred Griffin, President of NY Green Bank. Griffin provides an overview of how NY Green Bank works with the private sector to promote clean energy across the state.