Top Stories

December 16, 2013

Responsible Investment

Renewable energy is UK’s second investment choice after property  

A survey of 2,000 people commission by finance platform Abundance Generation, established that renewable energy is the public’s second favoured investment choice, above ‘traditional’ energy. Results showed that 43 percent of people chose property as their preferred investment choice, with 33 percent choosing renewable energy and 23 percent choosing traditional energy, such as oil, coal and gas. The survey also showed that renewable energy is the top investment choice for 18 to 24 year olds, over property, while 75% would be unhappy if their money was invested in companies that damage the environment or are unethical. Abundance Generation co-founder Bruce Davis said that, “we're not only seeing majority public support for renewable energy, but people actively wanting to put their money in it, to see renewables favoured above old energy is a great vote of confidence in the sector.” (Edie)



Stores split over angora after Chinese ‘cruelty’ to rabbits

Claims that millions of rabbits in China are being ill-treated have led high street stores being called on to pull angora products from their shelves. A number of major names such as, Boden, Primark, Whistles and Next,  have already suspended sourcing of angora goods following an investigation by animal rights group, Peta who discovered distressing footage of an angora farm in China. About 35 clothing brands have responded to the film in a bid to reassure consumers, Topshop said that “we have instructed our suppliers to halt the sourcing of products containing angora fibre whilst we investigate alternatives.” Yvonne Taylor, campaigns manager at Peta, said that “many retailers have taken on board customer complaints but, while we welcome their decision to stop sourcing angora products, we would urge them to also pull existing angora stock.” (Times*)

Small shops sign up for 5p bag charge 

Shoppers in the UK face a 5p charge for every plastic bag they use after owners of small stores announced that they would start charging. Last year supermarket chains gave out over eight billion plastic carriers, approximately 120 per person. In Wales, where all shops have been required to charge 5p for bags since 2011, the number distributed has fallen by 80 percent. The Association of Convenience Stores, which represents over 33,000 small shops and ­takeaway outlets, said that its members wanted to introduce the charge at the same time as the big retailers, due to be implemented in October 2015. Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, has proposed that small shops would be allowed to keep the proceeds from the bags but would be encouraged to donate the profits to good causes. (Times*)



Mapping tool pinpoints countries most at risk of water stress

A global mapping tool by researchers Aqueduct, has highlighted 37 countries across the world that are currently experiencing high levels of water stress, making them vulnerable to climate pressures. Singapore was ranked the highest due to its dense population and lack of freshwater lakes, as well as its demand for water exceeding its naturally occurring supply. High levels of water stress can threaten economic growth, especially if a country does not have adequate water management plans in place, Aqueduct hope that this tool will encourage countries to attempt to understand the natural factors that drive their water-related risks and respond accordingly. It is hoped the tool will help governments, financial institutions, companies and research organisations better prioritise high-risk areas for investments in improved water management. (Edie)

China introduces car quota for fourth city

China’s northern city of Tianjin will restrict traffic and issue new car licences via a bidding and lottery system in a drive to fight traffic jams and air pollution. The ban which will take effect in March is expected to take one fifth of the city’s private cars off the roads, and follows a similar traffic restriction scheme in Beijing, which blocks cars from streets depending on the last digits of their number plates. A statement from the local government said that the move was part of the city’s effort to curb its ballooning car ownership, reduce traffic jams and fight smog. High vehicle emissions have been attributed as a key source of the smog plaguing many Chinese cities; with Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou all adopting varying strategies to reduce vehicle volumes. (

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