Top Stories

October 24, 2018

Air Pollution / Environment

Uber to introduce clean air fee to all London rides

Uber will charge its customers in London an extra 15p per mile on every trip to help its drivers buy electric cars. The ride-hailing app hopes to create a £200 million fund from the levy to encourage almost half of its 45,000 drivers to use fully electric vehicles by 2021. The firm hopes its London fleet will be fully electric by 2025. Uber said the clean air fee would mean an extra 45p on the average three-mile trip in the capital, on top of normal fares, but every penny would go towards helping drivers upgrade their vehicles or other green initiatives should that money not be used. The fund was announced as part of a clean air plan, as Uber continues its efforts to prove itself to Transport for London after it initially decided not to renew its licence to operate last year. (Guardian)


Tech companies are profiting off ICE deportations, according to report

Tech and data companies are building—and profiting from—the Trump administration’s deportation machine, providing local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies with the data analysis and tracking software necessary for a massive web of surveillance, a new report shows. The “ICE Tech Contracting for Person-centric Immigration Enforcement” report, prepared by Empower LLC and commissioned by the Latino and immigration rights organizations Mijente, the National Immigration Project, and the Immigrant Defense Project, details an expansive network, and shows that key tech companies—including Amazon, Palantir Technologies, and Forensic Logic—are profiting from it. ICE collects data, which it uses to build profiles of undocumented persons, with the intent to arrest, detain, and deport them. Activists say this level of mass surveillance and data collection and sharing opens the door to a much wider net that could broadly target people of colour, incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people, and leftist and environmental activists. (Fortune)

Sustainable Investment

World’s pension funds vulnerable to climate risks, study reveals

While 200 nations have ratified the Paris Agreement, only 10 percent of the largest public pension funds around the globe have made formal pledges to align their portfolios with the 2°C warming target agreed in the French capital, according to research by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP). Only 13 percent of savings collectively managed by the world’s 100 largest public pension funds have undergone formal analysis for exposure to climate-related risks, such as storms, floods, heatwaves and hurricanes. And a staggering 65 percent of funds have no responsible investment policy with specific references to climate change. This leaves $9.8 trillion of assets unprotected from the economic shocks of global warming, AODP warned, saying this poses a risk for investors. (Edie)

Investors turning attention to deforestation risks, says Ceres

Investors are increasingly engaging companies to better manage deforestation risks in their supply chains – an issue that has traditionally been overlooked, according to US-based non-profit Ceres. The issue was raised in the recent special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said Brooke Barton, senior director of Ceres’ water and food programmes. “Within the industries that are affected, there is also growing evidence of material risk – both reputational risk and market access risk. An example of this is IOI Group in Indonesia, which had its responsible palm oil certification taken away because of deforestation. [It saw] significant share price impacts due to loss of customers,” Barton said. (Environmental Finance)*

Climate Change

World Cement Association launches 2C climate action plan

The World Cement Association (WCA) has released a climate change manifesto designed to help the industry cut its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping average global temperature rises ‘well below’ 2°C. It is estimated the cement sector accounts for around five percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions. The WCA Climate Change Action plan outlines measures to help the trade association’s members develop climate protection strategies and embrace best practices. The group confirmed the action plan will focus on five key areas – transparency, optimal use of cement products, adoption of waste co-processing practices, new technologies and rewarding best practices – which WCA said were identified as priorities for the industry during its global climate change forum in Paris earlier this year. (Business Green)*

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Image source: london_june_2013_35 by Charlie Marshall on FlickrCC BY 2.0.