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Biden’s business allies are helping the White House coax the private sector into backing climate change push



Biden’s business allies are helping the White House coax the private sector into backing climate change push

President Joe Biden’s allies in the business community have been helping the White House try to coax the private sector into supporting the administration’s climate change agenda.

Several business leaders who are working with the White House told CNBC that the effort is a major divergence from what they saw during the Trump administration.

For instance, executives say are less worried about a tweet from the president if they try to make a push for new climate policies. Former President Donald Trump was known to target corporations that appeared to oppose him on key issues.

“There’s no longer the fear of the tweet, which I think was a legitimate fear from a lot of the business leaders in trying to speak out on these issues,” Hugh Welsh, president of DSM North America whose company is a member of the group CEO Climate Dialogue, told CNBC on Monday.

Biden has proposed a more aggressive climate change policy than his predecessor did. Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement in 2017 and lifted Obama era regulations on methane gas, among other initiatives that could end up hurting the environment. Biden brought the U.S. back into the the Paris climate agreement on his Inauguration Day.

Biden has also made addressing climate change a key part of his $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Biden’s proposal pushes for a $174 billion investment in the electric vehicle market. It’s all part of the president’s goal to get the country to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Tom Steyer, a billionaire who ran for president during the Democratic primary, is among several business leaders who have been actively engaging the White House and administration leaders on their climate proposals.

Steyer has been speaking with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and White House climate advisor Gina McCarthy on the need to work with the private sector on what will likely be one of the president’s most expensive initiatives, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Steyer spent millions to defeat Trump and has invested in climate change initiatives. He has a net worth of $1.4 billion, according to Forbes.

Steyer was also a speaker at Morgan Stanley’s annual climate conference, this person noted. Steyer told executives and investors at the meeting that they shouldn’t invest in fossil fuel companies, as a way to combat climate change.

This person declined to be named in order to discuss private matters. Representatives for Morgan Stanley did not return requests for comment. The White House did not respond to a request for comment before publication.

The Chamber of Commerce and the CEO Climate Dialogue have also been engaging the White House on climate initiatives. The Chamber opposes Biden’s plan to raise corporate taxes, but it backs an infrastructure overhaul.

The CEO Climate Dialogue has almost two dozen members including companies from Wall Street and the energy sector. The goal of the organization is to promote the use of the private sector and a more market-based approach to securing net-zero emissions by 2050.

Welsh, of CEO Climate Dialogue, told CNBC that the group has been in touch with the Biden White House to help improve relations with corporate leaders.

“The group has been involved with Gina McCarthy and some of the others in I guess rebuilding relationships with the White House after the last four years,” Welsh said.

Marty Durbin, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute, told CNBC that the group has been in touch with McCarthy and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

Durbin said the Chamber has been trying to encourage Granholm and members of Congress to fully fund climate based research and development projects. The group also has been looking to encourage the new administration to work with the private sector on green policy proposals.

“We’ve got to figure out how do we allow the private sector to be in a position to finance, deploy and commercialize these technologies. That’s how we are going to see emission reductions at the end of the day,” Durbin said.

Members of a fundraising group called Clean Energy for Biden are also acting as a bridge to the private sector. Dan Reicher, a co-chairman of the organization, told CNBC that he helped outline a spending proposal to increase energy output from the nation’s dams.

The document, which was sent to the White House and endorsed by nearly a dozen organizations and trade associations, argues that only 2,500 of the approximately 90,000 dams in the United States generate electricity. The proposal’s is estimated to cost over $60 billion over the course of 10 years.

“If fully enacted, this $63.07 billion proposal for spending, over 10 years, will create approximately 500,000 good-paying jobs, restore over 20,000 miles of rivers enhancing their climate resilience, and secure more than 80 gigawatts of existing renewable hydropower and 23 gigawatts of electricity storage,” the proposal says.

It also calls for Biden to order the creation of a committee to coordinate on dam improvements and regulatory issues.

Reicher says the outline was sent to Phil Giudice and David Hayes, two of Biden’s climate policy advisors, and members of Congress, among others.

The Clean Energy for Biden group is evolving into 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4) nonprofits, both called Clean Energy for America, Reicher added.

The Clean Energy for America website said that while backing Biden’s climate agenda it will also be “supporting candidates at federal, state, and local level through fundraising, mobilizing the clean energy workforce, and serving as an early resource.”

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World shares resilient, drugmakers hit by Biden’s move on vaccines By Reuters



World shares resilient, drugmakers hit by Biden’s move on vaccines By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man works at the Tokyo Stock Exchange after market opens in Tokyo, Japan October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO (Reuters) – World shares and commodity prices held firm on Thursday as investors switched to cyclicals amid hopes of a strong economic recovery, but drugmakers’ shares came under pressure after Washington backed waiving patents for COVID-19 vaccines.

MSCI’s broadest gauge of world stocks, ACWI, was up slightly and European stocks are expected to open flat with both Euro Stoxx futures and futures little changed.

jumped 1.8% as it reopened after a five-day holiday.

But MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.15% as Chinese shares, also resuming trade for the first time since last week, wobbled. The CSI300 fell 1.3%, led by falls in biotech firms.

China’s healthcare share index dropped more than 4% after U.S. President Joe Biden threw his support behind waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.

Biden’s move hit U.S. vaccine makers, too, including Moderna (NASDAQ:), but Wall Street was supported overall by gains in energy and other cyclical shares.

Dow hit a record high overnight, having risen 0.29%, while the added 0.07%.

“This year, both the U.S. and Chinese economy could grow 6% or more. If the world’s two biggest economies are growing that much, clearly that’s positive,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist, Mitsubishi UFJ (NYSE:) Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) Securities.

Against this backdrop, commodity prices are riding high, with flirting with 10-year peaks.

Oil prices extended gains to edge near their March tops as crude stockpiles in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, fell more sharply than expected.

futures stood at $65.65 per barrel, little changed on the day but just below Wednesday’s two-month high of $66.76. [O/R]

As agricultural products such as corn, soybeans and wheat, have gained sharply in recent weeks, Thomson Reuters (NYSE:) CRB index has risen to its highest level since 2015, having gained more than 21% so far this year.


Higher commodity prices are fuelling inflation expectations in the bond market.

The U.S. breakeven inflation rate, or inflation expectations calculated from the yield gap between inflation-linked bonds and conventional bonds, rose to as high as 2.48% overnight.

But the U.S. nominal bond yields held relatively stable, with the 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield little changed at 1.584%.

“Bonds were supported partly because the pace of vaccinations has slowed in the States and as real-money investors are starting to buy,” said Naokazu Koshimizu, economist at Nomura Securities.

“The rise in inflation is also driven more by supply constraints than demand, which is why we are seeing rising inflation expectations and a fall in nominal yields,” he added.

In currencies, the Australian dollar briefly dropped as much as 0.6% after China said it was indefinitely suspending all activity under a China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, the latest setback for their strained relations.

It last stood down 0.15% at $0.7734

The British pound was flat at $1.3910 ahead of a central bank policy review.

The Bank of England could slow the pace of its bond buying to allow its quantitative easing programme to last until the end of the year, as it could reach the cap by September at the current pace of buying.

Investors also looked to Scotland’s election that could trigger a showdown with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over a new independence referendum.

Other currencies were little moved, with the focus on Friday’s U.S. monthly jobs report which is expected to show that nonfarm payrolls increased by 978,000 jobs last month.

The euro stood flat at $1.2004 while the yen changed hands at 109.35 per dollar.

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Tesla developing platform to allow car owners in China access data By Reuters



Tesla developing platform to allow car owners in China access data By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of car manufacturer Tesla is seen at a branch office in Bern, Switzerland October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

BEIJING (Reuters) -U.S. electric-vehicle maker Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc said on Thursday it was developing a platform for car owners in China that will allow them to access data generated by their vehicles.

Tesla, which makes Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport-utility vehicles at its Shanghai factory, aims to launch the data platform this year, it said in a statement.

This is the first time an automaker has announced plans to allow customers access car data in China, the world’s biggest car market.

Automakers for the past several years have been equipping more vehicles with cameras and sensors to capture images of a car’s surroundings. Control of use, sending and storage of these images is a fast-emerging challenge for the industry and regulators worldwide.

China last month published draft rules to ensure the security of data generated by smart cars. Data collected from Tesla electric cars in China is stored in the country, a company executive said last month.

Tesla in April was targeted by state media and regulators after a customer, angry over the handling of her complaint about malfunctioning brakes, climbed on top of a Tesla car in protest at the Shanghai auto show. Videos of the incident went viral.

Tesla provided the data related to the brake incident to the customer complying with the local authorities’ order.

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Trading bounce back helps French bank Societe Generale smash analyst expectations in first quarter



Trading bounce back helps French bank Societe Generale smash analyst expectations in first quarter

A logo outside a Societe Generale SA bank branch in Paris, France.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

LONDON — French bank Societe Generale reported net income that beat analyst expectations for the first quarter of 2021, getting a boost from a strong performance in its global markets division.

Net income for the first quarter came in at 814 million euros ($977 million), the lender said Thursday. Analysts were expecting a net income of 204 million euros.

The company also surprised markets at the end of the four quarter with a net income of 470 million euros, and well above the 252 million euros estimated by analysts ahead of the results.

The stock is up nearly 40% year-to-date.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated shortly.

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