Maitland/AMO Green Monitor – 6 December 2018

6th December 2018

In Business

  • DUTCH COURAGE: The Netherlands has announced that it will launch a tender for the construction of two 350 MW offshore windfarms in March without offering a subsidy on electricity prices.
  • SHELL-ING OUT FOR EMISSIONS TARGETS: Royal Dutch Shell has announced it will link carbon emissions targets to executive pay next year. The move was backed by Climate Action 100+, a group of international investors with more than $32tn in assets under management.
  • MONITORING THE GRID: Centrica and Uber have agreed to lead a trial to monitor the impact of electric vehicles on the UK energy grid. 3,000 vehicles in London and the South of England will be monitored, with the trial lasting from the second half of next year until 2022.
  • CARBON CUTTING: Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company has pledged to cut net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

In Politics

Brexit Update

SAVE OUR BACON: Meat industry leaders have urged the British public to “wake up” to the dangers of animal welfare being rolled back should the UK leave the EU. Professor Tim Lang of City University has warned that the US meat lobby is “salivating” at the thought of flooding the UK with bacon and pork produce using practices that could be illegal.

  • NET GAIN: Environment Secretary, Michael Gove has launched a consultation into the mandating of “biodiversity net gain” in property development to ensure the protection and enhancement of habitats. Planned regulation would require developers to assess the type of habitat and its condition before demonstrating how their developments would improve biodiversity.
  • SUSTAINED PROGRESS: The International Development Committee has launched an inquiry into the UK’s progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in preparation for the UK Government’s presentation of its Voluntary National Review to the UN in July 2019.
  • COP24: Nearly 200 nations gathered on the site of a decommissioned mining plant in Poland for the start of the COP24 summit. No G20 nation sent a top-level representative to the summit on Monday.
  • FUNDING FOSSIL FUELS: The Environmental Audit Committee has launched an inquiry into the scale and impact of UK Export Finance’s funding of fossil fuels in low and middle-income countries. Chair of the Committee, Mary Creagh MP, said: “We need joined-up thinking across Government to make sure that overseas financial support does not fly in the face of UK Government’s environmental commitments.”
  • DON’T SCRAP THAT: The UK Government has announced up to £60m in new funding for the development of sustainable packaging. Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Claire Perry MP has said: “Finding innovative solutions to tackle our use of harmful plastics which blight our land and seas is a major global challenge, and opportunity – one our nation of researchers and innovators is fit to seize.”
  • STRATEGIC REVIEW: The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published a policy paper detailing the UK’s bio economy strategy. The strategy intends to maximise productivity and potential from existing assets, create market and societal conditions to allow bio-based products and services to thrive, capitalise on research, development and innovation, and deliver real, measurable benefits for the UK economy.

In Innovation 

  • COOL ERUPTIONS: Scientists from Harvard University have announced plans to dim the sun by mimicking the impact of volcanic eruptions. The $3m “stratospheric controlled perturbation experiment” hopes to prove that spraying tiny particles 12 miles above the Earth’s surface could reduce global warming by reflecting some of the Sun’s rays back into space. The project has, however, drawn controversy, with some academics warning against the potentially disastrous consequences it could have on certain countries’ weather patterns.
  • ATTACK OF THE DRONES: National Grid is using drones and AI to help maintain its 7,200 miles of overhead wires across England and Wales. The firm has been using six drones over the past two years to help inspect lines.
  • CELESTIAL EYE: The UK Government has received the first images from NovaSAR-1. The satellite, launched earlier this year, will help track deforestation, oil spills and illegal shipping.

In Peril

  • “O CHRISTMAS TREE”: The British Christmas Tree Growers Association has revealed that up to 70% of Christmas trees planted in the spring have perished in this year’s summer heat.
  • ON THE SCALES OF DEATH: Research by World Animal Protection and Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit into the trade for pangolin has found that hunters were unaware of the part they play in the illegal international trafficking trade. High demand has led the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to remark that the pangolin is “literally being eaten out of existence.”

In Investment

  • DOUBLE THE FUNDING: The World Bank is to invest around $200bn to help fund action on climate change from 2021-2025, doubling the amount allotted in the current five-year plan. A key priority is to boost support for climate adaption.
  • BLUEBOND: Thames Water has announced the agreement of a £1.4bn revolving credit facility (RCF) that links its interest rates to performance against the company’s Environmental, Social and Governance metrics. The company’s CFO, Brandon Rennet, said that the new RCF, along with the creation of the company’s Green Bond Framework, “underlines our commitment to sustainability and the pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
  • CLIMATESMART: CPR Asset Management has become the first asset manger to license climate rating Climetrics to market its funds. Climetrics gives investors a holistic assessment of a fund’s climate-related risks and opportunities.

In Vogue

  • AVOCA-NO: A spate of cafe’s have stopped serving avocados amid growing environmental concerns, with many pointing to worries over seasonality, food miles, and sustainability. Back in 2016, Greenpeace Mexico highlighted that increasing demand would impact the area’s environment and the well-being of its inhabitants.
  • A PROPER STORMY BREW: Fortnum & Mason has been urged to follow Yorkshire Tea’s example and publish a list of the tea estates it buys from to aid in the fight for better conditions for workers. The company’s profits have recently been buoyed by sales of its loose-leaf tea from Assam, but Traidcraft Exchange has claimed that women in the region are being paid less than £1.90 (167 rupees) a day to pick tea.
  • CHEERS: Beer brand Corona is set to launch a trial of new plant-based biodegradable six pack rings in Mexico at the beginning of 2019. The new rings were developed in collaboration with the ocean charity Parley for Oceans.
  • CONTACTLESS COFFEE: Costa Coffee has partnered with Barclays to launch a new reusable coffee cup complete with an in-built payment chip, allowing customers to tap their cup to pay for their drink. As well as promoting reusable cups, the company is working to boost the number of disposable cups that are recycled, committing themselves to a target of 500 million by 2020.

Stat of the Week 

200+ MPs have called for their pension fund to phase out investments in fossil fuel companies.

Source: Divest Parliament