A statement about the initiative describes it as “an urgent call to protect the Arctic from future oil exploration activities and align national climate-change pledges with the future of the region, which hosts significant hydrocarbon resources”.It says the investors are seeking “an unlimited moratorium on oil and gas activity in the Arctic high seas” and sets out a sub-set of demands that amount to a tightening of the operating environment for oil and gas companies active in, or targeting, the Arctic high seas – “the ultimate Arctic frontier that does not pertain to any single national sovereignty”.The sub-set of demands includes a call for companies to disclose publicly the licenses they hold in the region and how their plans to use these licences “fit with their broader climate-change mitigation commitments”.The initiative was announced yesterday, 3 November, seemingly to coincide with a high-level international event on climate finance being held in Casablanca today, which is also the day the December 2015 UN-brokered Paris Agreement on climate change enters into effect.Philippe Zaouati, chief executive at Mirova, said: “On the eve of Climate Finance Day in Casablanca, we would like to involve both companies and policymakers so as to take the Arctic issue to the next level and seek greater protection for the region.”Today’s entry into force of the Paris Agreement, which commits signatories to take action to keep global warming to within 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, has generated a flurry of comments and announcements from a range of organisations and companies.The corporate group Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), for example, today announced an intention to invest $1bn (€900m) over the next 10 years “to develop and accelerate the commercial deployment of innovative low-emissions technologies”.And in a tweet, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change said: “On 4 Nov, institutional investors will celebrate both hope & opportunity as the #ParisAgreement enters into force!” *Actiam, AXA Group, Bank J. Safra-Sarasin, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Boston Common, Church of Sweden, Danske Capital, EdenTree, ERAFP, Friends Fiduciary Corporation, Ircantec, Mirova, Natixis Asset Management, Nei Investments, Pax, Préfon, Skandia, Trillium and Zevin French pension investors and asset managers are at the forefront of a call for an indefinite moratorium on oil and gas activity in the Arctic high seas from a international group of institutional investors.Nineteen investors* with more than €5trn in combined assets under management are backing the initiative, led by French pension investors ERAFP, Ircantec and Préfon, as well as Natixis Asset Management and its responsible investment arm Mirova.The call is aimed at oil and gas companies that have been involved in oil exploration in the Arctic, as well as members of inter-governmental forum the Arctic Council (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US).It will also be sent to Council permanent participants (organisations representing Arctic indigenous peoples) and observers (open to non-Arctic states and inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations).
Sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier leaps into the air to spike the ball in a game against Cal at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. Photo by Kaan Demiroz | Daily TrojanThe No. 17 USC women’s volleyball team (16-7, 8-4 Pac-12) is back home after four straight away matches. On Friday, the Trojans host Arizona State, and on Sunday, they host Arizona.“This weekend we’re looking to have great games versus both Arizonas,” junior libero Victoria Garrick said. Last time the Women of Troy faced off against these two teams, they split their games. Out in Tucson, USC was stunned in a straight-sweep against the Wildcats (25-23, 25-17, 26-24). The team bounced back and picked up a four-set win in Tempe against the Sun Devils (19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22). “We’re very excited for the Arizona game because they swept us,” Garrick said. “We were completely caught off guard. I don’t think we expected to lose the game, let alone get swept.”This time around, the Women of Troy will have home court advantage. As the Pac-12 is arguably the toughest conference for women’s volleyball, wins on the home court are vital. USC has fared well at the Galen Center: it has a home record of 6-1. The Trojans’ only loss at home was against then-No. 3 Stanford. Now the Cardinal has jumped up to No. 2 in the rankings. In its last four matches, USC has gone 2-2. Its offense has been missing a key component in sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier, who has been sidelined. In the team’s matches in Washington, freshman outside hitter Brooke Botkin continued to impress. Botkin had 30 kills on the weekend, a team high. She put up two aces and 18 digs. Rounding out the other side of USC’s attack are senior opposites Brittany Abercrombie and Niki Withers. The two combined for 52 kills in the team’s last two outings. “I know that [the Wildcats] should be a little frightened,” Garrick said. “We’re ready to get up for that match and really put the hammer on them.”To pick up two wins against the Arizona schools, the Women of Troy will need to rely on Botkin, Abercrombie and Withers. They’ll also need a resurgence of offensive strength from junior outside hitter Alyse Ford. While Ford did not play against the Huskies, she led the team with 14 kills two days later in their sweep of the Cougars. The Sun Devils are led by senior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro. Okaro has 385 kills on the season, averaging 4.48 kills per set. Arizona State’s offense is rounded out by freshman outside hitter Griere Hughes and sophomore outside hitter Ivana Jeremic. Hughes has 226 kills on the season, averaging by 2.94 kills per set. Jeremic has 221 kills on the season, averaging 2.76 kills per set. The Wildcats are led by a bevy of young talent. Freshman outside hitter Paige Whipple leads the team with 165 kills on the season, averaging 2.36 kills per set. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Elizabeth Shelton is second on the team with 132 kills on the season, averaging 2.10 kills per set. Freshman middle blocker Candice Denny is third on the list. Denny is seventh in the conference with a .356 hitting percentage overall and third in the conference with a .372 hitting percentage in league play. She’s on track to be the first freshman in program history to hit at least .350. The Women of Troy will have to limit powerful attacks from the Arizona schools to pick up two more wins at home.