Top Stories

November 14, 2018

Climate Change

G20 nations still led by fossil fuel industry, climate report finds

Climate action is way off course in all but one of the world’s 20 biggest economies, according to a report that shows politicians are paying more heed to the fossil fuel industry than to advice from scientists. Among the G20 nations 15 reported a rise in emissions last year, according to the most comprehensive stock-take to date of progress towards the goals of the Paris climate agreement. The paper, by the global partnership Climate Transparency, found 82 percent of energy in these countries still being provided by coal, oil and gas, a factor which has relied on a doubling of subsidies over the past 10 years to compete with increasingly cheap wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. “The gap is still very big,” said Jan Buerck, one of the authors of the report. “The G20 is not moving fast enough.” (Guardian)


More than 800,000 people sign petition to release Iceland’s banned Christmas advert

More than 800,000 people have signed a petition calling for an overturn on the decision to ban Iceland’s palm oil-focused Christmas advert from being aired on television during the festive period. The UK supermarket had planned to use an animated Rang-tan advert, originally created and used by Greenpeace earlier this year, as part of its Christmas communications. The advert, which depicts the destruction of “Rang-tan’s” forest due to deforestation driven by palm oil plantations, has been blocked from airing on television. Clearcast, the body responsible for clearing ads on behalf of the four major UK commercial broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Turner, has said the advert does not comply with Broadcast Code of Advertising Practice (BCAP), citing “political rules.” Since news surfaced of the ban, more than 870,000 people have signed a petition on calling for the decision to be overturned. (Edie)*

Sustainable Investment

Millennials and Generation Z are poised to shake up the investment world, study finds

Swell Investing’s 2018 “Money Meets Morals” study finds that the vast majority of Gen Z investors aged 18-24 (84 percent) are either already invested in socially responsible or impact investments or plan to invest in the future. The study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Swell Investing and gathered insights from more than 2,000 US adults aged 18 and up, among whom over 1,400 have investments. Nearly one in three of Gen Z investors (31 percent) said they would be willing to allocate 50 percent or more of their investment portfolio to socially responsible or impact investments, and one in four Millennial investors (25 percent) would do the same. This is compared to only 18 percent of Gen X investors and 11 percent of Boomer investors who said the same. (Swell Investing)

Green bond market breaks half-a-trillion-dollar barrier

Total green bond issuance has broken the $500 billion barrier, marking a significant milestone for the 11-year-old market, data from Environmental Finance’s database reveals. Deals worth a combined $505 billion have so far been priced by 604 issuers. Multinationals have been a significant driver of growth, having issued $64.9 billion of green bonds – 12.85 percent of the overall market. Suzanne Buchta, global head of ESG capital markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and one of the original architects of the GBPs, told Environmental Finance that “the green bond market has achieved its initial intention: to draw attention to environmental issues and to get the conversation on the forthcoming energy transition started, globally, at all levels and across all industries.” (Environmental Finance)*

Energy/ Policy

Woodside Petroleum joins BHP and Rio Tinto to call for carbon price

Woodside Petroleum chief executive, Peter Coleman, has joined mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto in calling for a price on carbon to help with emissions reduction targets and the transition to renewable energy. Australia’s energy minister, Angus Taylor, has claimed the country doesn’t need a carbon price as emissions levels are coming down – a position at odds with the government’s official emissions data which showed overall greenhouse gas emissions climbed 1.3 percent, to their highest quarterly levels in eight years. Coleman says investors are increasingly concerned about the company’s sustainability measures and that industries need to be incentivised to transition to cleaner energy. “We need a price on carbon. We need to ensure the most effective energy gets into the system,” he told the ABC. (Guardian)

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External Event

Chatham House: A Sustainable Food Future 2018

26-27th November | London, UK

In the context of a growing world population, dwindling agricultural resources and rising concerns about climate change are adding pressure to an already strained global food system, the annual Chatham House Food conference will explore practical solutions to build a more resilient food system and feed the global population sustainably, focusing on the responsibility of key actors in achieving these goals.

Over two days sessions will cover the following topics: Food Systems, International Food Trade, Sustainable Agriculture and the Future of Land, Investment, Innovation and Disruptive Technologies, Delivering Sustainable and Healthy Diets, Food Loss and Food Waste.

Register now to reserve your place.


Image source: Smoke by Jannis Andrija Schnitzer on FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0.