Top Stories

May 03, 2017

Climate Change

Insurers urged to stop underwriting coal projects, following Axa move

A coalition of green groups is calling on insurers to stop underwriting coal projects, on account of the risk they pose to the climate. The #UnfriendCoal launched on Wednesday as French insurance major Axa announced it was ending insurance support to coal-intensive businesses. Companies getting more than half of their turnover from mining or burning coal are now eligible for Axa insurance cover only in “exceptional” circumstances. Explaining its policy, the company said most fossil fuel reserves needed to stay underground to meet the goals of the Paris climate deal. (Climate Change News)


‘High ambition’ nations band together to push for shipping climate deal

The High Ambition Coalition for Shipping   -a group of Pacific and European nations- have joined forces in a new attempt to get the shipping industry and with it, The International Maritime Organisation (IMO); to agree a climate deal that will deliver deep emissions cuts in line with the  global Paris goals. Ministers at a meeting last week in Tonga formally endorsed the aims of the group, which includes the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Tuvalu, Tonga, Germany, France and Denmark. The IMO has promised to produce a roadmap to set out the sector’s response to climate change, with an initial strategy expected in 2018, and has already set a global fuel efficiency target for the sector. However, with shipping forecast to be responsible for up to 17 per cent of global emissions by 2050 if left unchecked, many campaigners believe the sector must go further, faster. (Business Green)

Human Rights

Renewable energy faces growing human rights concerns

A sharp rise in renewable energy projects around the world over the last decade has been accompanied by an increase in human rights abuses perpetrated by renewables companies and their affiliates, a report by a UK-based non-profit group has alleged. The study, by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), documents how renewables firms, particularly in developing countries, are failing to meet international standards for engaging with the local communities where mainly wind and hydropower projects are being implemented. It states that failing to consider human rights impacts when pursuing green investments “not only goes against international standards and legal obligations, but could jeopardise the financial returns and long-term success of an investment, considering the associated legal, reputational and operational risks.” (Eco-Business)



Report: England loses £600m a year on waste crime

Weak regulation of an “out of date” waste management system has allowed waste crime, through activities such as fly-tipping and illegal exports of waste, to flourish in the UK, according to a new report. It claims that a licence to carry waste can be obtained easily through a small online fee, while waste carriers that operate without permits are rarely inspected. There is no way to track commercial waste from its production through to its end destination. According to consultancy firm Eunomia, which authored the report, regulators have been “under-resourced” and encouraged to take a “light-touch approach” in order to be business friendly. The report recommends beefed up enforcement which bans serious and repeat waste crime offenders. (Edie)

Image source: MV Filipinas Dinagat of Cokaliong Shipping docking at Pier 1, port of Cebu at Flickr Website. Creative Commons: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)