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Mathew Lee

Mathew Lee

Senior Associate, MSCI Research

Mathew Lee develops climate- and energy-related research for MSCI’s Americas ESG and climate team. He previously was an environmental consultant on corporate sustainability and energy policy and has worked on environmental issues at CDP, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Mathew holds both master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Tufts University in international affairs and environmental studies.

Research and Insights

Articles by Mathew Lee

    IRA Boosts US Utilities’ Plans to Grow Renewables and Storage

    6 mins read Blog | May 22, 2024 | Mathew Lee

    U.S. utilities are increasing investments in solar, wind and battery installations. Investors can learn more about a company’s transition strategy from these energy-generation plans than from tracking past performance on emissions. 

    AI is Diagnosing and Texas is Burning

    Podcast | Apr 19, 2024 | Namita Nair, Mathew Lee

    Everyone is talking about AI, but on today’s episode we focus on the technology’s potential to disrupt health care. Then, we switch things up to look at how wildfires are exacerbating physical, legal and financial risks for electric utilities in the U.S.

    The SEC Tests out the Climate

    Podcast | Mar 15, 2024 | Michael Disabato, Zohir Uddin, Mathew Lee

    The SEC’s climate disclosure rule is finally here. It’s been a journey, one akin to a film drama full of plot twists, cliff hangers and edge of the seat moments. So in honor of the drama, this week we do a film review of sorts on this wide reaching regulation - going into the plot, the actors involved, and how the industry is likely to be affected by it.

    What the SEC’s New Climate Disclosure Rules Could Mean for Companies and Investors

    6 mins read Blog | Mar 8, 2024 | Mathew Lee

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have finally unveiled their plans for climate-related disclosures. The rules may create more transparency for investors and help narrow the disclosure gap between the U.S. and other developed markets.  

    COP28: Key Takeaways for Investors from the Global Climate Summit

    Research Report | Dec 14, 2023 | Oliver Marchand, Linda-Eling Lee, Sylvain Vanston, Chris Cote, Mathew Lee, Elchin Mammadov

    COP28 concluded with an agreement for countries to transition away from fossil fuels, marking a historic pivot away from the primary sources of energy that have powered society for nearly 200 years. How can countries — and investors — address these goals? 

    The Five Stories of ESG: A Recap Episode

    Podcast | Oct 20, 2023 | Michael Disabato, Harlan Tufford, Chris Cote, Yu Ishihara, Antonios Panagiotopoulos, Mathew Lee

    This week, we are returning to five stories we have already covered to see what progress has been made (if any!): The Adani Group and its attempt to address a short seller report that questioned the group’s governance that led to a massive loss in market share; the United Auto Workers strikes and the continued struggle in the auto industry; the Inflation Reduction Act and the trillions of dollars of capital is supports; what the EPA’s methane rule has done for the gas industry in the US; and how Exxon has changed after having three seats of its 12 member board taken by over by Engine No. 1, an activist investor worried about carbon emissions.

    It’s too Damn Hot for Investors

    Podcast | Jul 14, 2023 | Mathew Lee

    Our planet’s hottest days on record were recorded July 3 to July 5. Global average temperatures rose to a new high of 62.9 Fahrenheit. And even as the days get less sweltering, we all seem to be collectively looking around wondering what might happen next month. It is a collective fear that doesn’t seem to have rattled the market. Even so, today we discuss what the ever increasing temperatures mean for the companies you invest in and what cities might be most affected in the coming decades if the world continues to warm.

    Mapping Extreme-Heat Costs for the World’s Largest Cities

    5 mins read Blog | Jun 21, 2023 | Mathew Lee, Anna Gevecke

    As temperatures rise, so do the risks from extreme heat. Using hazard percentiles compared across climate scenarios, we assess the cities and sectors that could be most impacted and the costs they could face. 

    Solar, So Hot Right Now

    Podcast | May 5, 2023 | Mathew Lee

    To meet net-zero ambitions, it looks like we’re going to need a whole lot of solar energy, and fast. And a complex value chain is bracing for soaring demand. In this episode, we work through the risks and opportunities for investors and for companies (and it’s not only the ones you’re expecting).

    The Shrinking Colorado River

    Podcast | Apr 14, 2023 | Siping Guo, Mathew Lee, Cole Martin

    The Colorado river is shrinking and the tens of millions of Americans that rely on the water source are having to deal with the possibility of imposed water cuts. The urban sprawls that have peppered the desert are also in competition with the industries that operate in the area and use the water from the Colorado river: agriculture, semiconductors, and energy. In this week’s episode we discuss what happens when companies no longer have access to the water they need to operate.

    The Conflict Within ESG

    Podcast | Jan 20, 2023 | Rumi Mahmood, Namita Nair, Mathew Lee

    What if there is a water utility that saves a city millions of gallons worth of water a day, but also increases its carbon emissions by a large amount? What if a company makes a product that saves people, but it allegedly uses forced labor to do so? Do you avoid these companies and products? Are you a follower of the Ethics of Ambiguity in that the means of production is the same as the ends? In this episode, we discuss the conflicts that arise for investors, impact investors especially, due to the inherent conflicts that are present in the operations of some companies.

    From Paris to the Pandemic: Investigating Trends in Industry Emissions

    5 mins read Blog | Dec 12, 2022 | Mathew Lee

    Emissions-intensity metrics can help compare the relative contributions of different holdings to a portfolio’s carbon footprint. However, understanding the reasons behind a firm’s changing emissions is key to identifying sustained reduction trends.

    Where Power Generators Are Investing Capital

    2 mins read Quick Take | Sep 7, 2022 | Mathew Lee

    The EU taxonomy for sustainable activities and U.S. Inflation Reduction Act may give power generators in the EU and U.S. incentives to invest in low-carbon power.

    Inflation Reduction Act May Energize Utilities’ Energy Transition

    5 mins read Blog | Aug 31, 2022 | Elchin Mammadov, Mathew Lee

    The Inflation Reduction Act may help utilities and energy firms reduce direct and indirect emissions through tax-credit incentives designed to scale up the deployment of renewables and accelerate development of frontier decarbonization technologies.  

    The Inflation Reduction Act: What the massive climate bill means for the energy sector

    Podcast | Aug 12, 2022 | Mathew Lee

    A massive provision called the Inflation Reduction Act was passed in the US Senate on August 7 and is making its way to US President Biden. If signed into law, it hails as one of the largest climates, health care and tax bills ever passed in the US. We discussed some of the most impactful provisions in the climate and energy security provision of act through an ESG lens. We will discuss the changes to the tax code and healthcare in later episodes.

    Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and the US Supreme Court

    Podcast | Jul 1, 2022 | Miranda Carr, Mathew Lee

    The US Customs and Border Protection agency released operational guidance for importing companies on how to comply with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which was signed into law on December 23, 2021. The big ask for companies was for more supply chain transparency. We discussed what UFLPA means for the world’s economy and why supply chain transparency is still so difficult. Then we discussed the most recent ruling US Supreme Court ruling that limited the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

    Windy ESG Labels

    Podcast | Jun 17, 2022 | Rumi Mahmood, Nelson Lee, Mathew Lee

    Every fund manager with an ESG fund seems to be under routine but detailed examination by financial regulators into their use of “ESG” in said fund label or how they incorporate ESG in their investment process. We explore what this means for the industry and why it matters. Then, we discuss the current state of the wind energy industry, exploring the companies that are leading the chart for a cleaner energy world.

    The US Infrastructure Deal

    Podcast | Nov 12, 2021 | Gillian Mollod, Chris Cote, Yu Ishihara, Mathew Lee

    A USD 1 trillion deal is scheduled to be signed into law by US President Biden on Monday, November 12. The deal, in the White House’s words, is imperative for the US to meet its commitment to reduce U.S. emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels in 2030, create a 100% carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050. It allocates funds toward updating the US transportation system, its energy infrastructure, its climate resiliency, and its water system. We discussed how these plans move from the political stratosphere to the more habitable land of economic stimulus.

    Climatepalooza Pt. 1

    Podcast | Sep 24, 2021 | Morgan Ellis, Antonios Panagiotopoulos, Mathew Lee, Elchin Mammadov

    It is climate week this week in New York city. So, we decided to throw a climatepalooza for you all by examining the climate plans of three companies in the most the most pollutive industries. In this episode, we give you a roadmap for the climate plans that have been coming out this week and tell you what to pay attention to as you sort through a company’s emissions reduction plan.