Top Stories

October 29, 2018

Policy / Environment

Bolsonaro says Brazil will stay in the Paris Agreement

Brazil’s next President, Jair Bolsonaro, has said he will keep Brazil in the Paris Agreement, as long as it does not threaten Brazilian sovereignty. Having previously expressed his admiration for US president Donald Trump’s decision to leave the UN climate change pact, Bolsonaro said he would respect the deal, subject to assurances it did not affect Brazilian control over the Andes mountains, Amazon rainforest and Atlantic Ocean. “Let’s put on paper that the Triple A isn’t in play and neither is the independence of any indigenous land, and I’ll uphold the Paris Agreement,” he said at a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, as reported by Reuters. International concern remains over his proposed plans to scrap the environment ministry, de-fund enforcement agencies and run a paved highway through the Amazon. (Climate Homes News)

Sustainable Investment

Investors challenge 55 companies over commitment to climate change

BMW, BP and steelmaker ArcelorMittal are being targeted by a $2 trillion group of big investors over concern that they back “behind the scenes” lobbying to undermine efforts to limit climate change while publicly backing carbon reduction. The coalition of investors, led by the Church of England Pension Board and Swedish pension fund AP7, has written to 55 European corporations about their possibly hypocritical approach to climate lobbying. The 55 companies were targeted after being assessed by InfluenceMap, a not-for-profit that monitors lobbying. Adam Matthews, director of ethics and engagement at the Church of England Pension Board, said the concern was that large companies were publicly aligning themselves to the Paris Agreement while acting differently behind the scenes, often through trade associations. He said “misleading and misaligned corporate lobbying practices” undermined the ability of governments to act on climate change. (Financial Times)*

Supply Chain

MSC launches £1 million fund to boost sustainable seafood

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has today launched a new £1 million fund to help small scale fisheries become more sustainable. Almost three-quarters of the world’s seafood is caught in the developing world, where growing demand and overfishing is pushing many stocks into decline, the MSC warned. As such, the certification scheme is to launch a new Ocean Stewardship Fund, which it says will help fisheries in the ‘Global South’ manage their operations more sustainably. The initiative is also designed to gather data and research into fisheries management to promote more sustainable practices across the industry. “We have substantially increased the scale of the fund and will target investment to those fisheries engaged in a formal transition programme that will deliver measurable improvements in performance,” said Rupert Howes, MSC chief executive. (BusinessGreen)

Environment / Waste

Business giants join Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global commitment to eradicate plastics pollution

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, launched today (29 October) in collaboration with the UN Environment at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali, aims to create a “new normal” for plastic packaging by eliminating single-use packaging materials, increasing the amount of reused or recycled plastics in new products and innovate to ensure 100 percent of plastic packaging can be reused, recycled, or composted by 2025. More than 250 organisations have signed up to the Global Commitment, including business giants such as Danone, Unilever, Mars, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company and L’Oreal. Major packaging producers including Amcor and Mondi, as well as waste management firms like Veolia and SUEZ, have also signed up to the commitment. Signatories account for 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally. More than 15 financial institutions, with more than $2.5 trillion in assets under management, have also endorsed the Commitment. (Edie)

Sustainable Agriculture

Nespresso, Starbucks, Lin-Manuel Miranda Partner to revive Puerto Rican coffee sector

The Hispanic Federation, together with actor Lin-Manuel Miranda and his family, has announced the launch of a five-year initiative to revitalize Puerto Rico’s coffee sector. The founding partners include Hispanic Federation, Nespresso, The Rockefeller Foundation, Starbucks, TechnoServe and World Coffee Research, all of which are committed to supporting smallholder coffee farmers on the island. The Hispanic Federation has made the first investment of $1 million; Nespresso has also committed $1 million, The Rockefeller Foundation has given $500k, and The Starbucks Foundation has given $470k. These investments address the critical needs facing the Puerto Rican coffee industry, which was decimated after Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed 80 percent of the coffee trees — along with much of the island’s vital infrastructure — in 2017. This initiative aims to increase the long-term resilience and economic performance of the sector by bringing together a holistic support model, led by Puerto Ricans. (Sustainable Brands)

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Image source: Nespresso by Joe Shlabotnik on FlickrCC BY 2.0.