Maitland Green – Our Weekly Update: 7 June 2018

7th June 2018

World Ocean Day

World Ocean Day takes place tomorrow and this year’s theme is centred on discarded plastics contaminating the world’s oceans. On Saturday 9 June there will be a March for the Ocean through Westminster in London.

Taking Off

This week the Cabinet approved a plan to expand Heathrow with a new runway. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas responded to the plans calling them a “bad joke”, commenting: “Can’t quite believe Chris Grayling’s statement on #Heathrow didn’t mention climate change even once.” Greenpeace’s UK executive director, John Sauven, went further, commenting, “Green-lighting a new runway at Heathrow on World Environment Day is like handing out free cigarettes on World Health Day…This airstrip alone will load the atmosphere with as much extra carbon as some entire countries pump out. And it would make Londoners’ air more dangerous to breathe, contributing to an air pollution crisis that’s already cutting short thousands of lives.”

The Evil Mr Plastic

This week Oxford University Press named ‘plastic’ its word of the year following an analysis of children’s stories. In an annual study of thousands of short stories, submitted to the 2018 BBC Radio 2 competition, Oxford University Press found that “plastic” had doubled in a year as children wrote about the threat to the planet of discarded bottles, bags and containers. Story titles included The Plastic Shore, The Mermaid’s Plastic Mission and The Evil Mr Plastic.

Energy, Emissions & Clean Tech

In Westminster and the EU

Natural Environment  

  • Maitland Green client, Pernod Ricard, was praised by Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove.  Pernod Ricard UK pledged to ban all single use plastics. Earlier this year the company launched a campaign to ban plastic straws in drinks.
  • Analysis in the magazine Science concludes adopting a vegan diet is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact. The research shows that the vast majority of farmland is used to provide meat and dairy and produces 60% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions.

In Westminster and the EU

Waste & Resources

In Westminster and the EU

Green Finance & Responsible Investing

In Westminster and the EU

Viral Campaign of the Week

Environmental charity, Hubbub, has launched #whatsinmywash. It aims to raise awareness of the threat microfibres can pose to marine habitats and human health. The campaign claims over 1/3 of primary ocean microplastics come from washing textiles. Polling by the charity revelled 44% of people questioned do not realise synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polyester or acrylic are plastics, or that plastic microfibres are released from clothing when they are washed.

Comment of the Week

FAIRR Initiative director, Maria Lettini, comments on the findings of the first index to analyse the sustainability risks of big meat, fish and dairy producers. The nine sustainability risk factors analysed by the index include water stewardship, greenhouse gas inventories and antibiotics. She comments: “On the issue of antibiotics alone, three in four companies display inadequate polices or have no measures in place to reduce their excessive use of antibiotics, despite emerging regulation and public and investor pressure for them to do so… the Coller FAIRR Index, and it aims to be a useful starting point to further dialogues between investors and these important food suppliers to help both harness the upside of disruption and to manage the challenges ahead.”

Analysis of the Week 

Following the recent devastation in Guatemala and Hawaii, scientists have identified a list of volcanoes they deem are most likely to erupt next. Current trends in climate change indicate that Oraefajokull, Iceland’s largest active volcano, may be heading for an eruption. In addition, this month the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued a warning that a major “emission” from Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano appeared imminent. Up to 25 million people are estimated to live within 60 miles of Popocatepetl. The volcano is also topped with a glacier, which means mudslides would be likely to occur.