Top Stories

December 04, 2019

Climate Change

One in three transport companies aligning with Paris Agreement as investor pressure mounts

A survey of 57 of the world’s largest transport companies, including airlines and carmakers, has found that more than one in three have set emissions targets in line with the Paris Agreement. Conducted by the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), a body campaigning for a rapid low-carbon transition with the backing of investors managing $15 trillion of assets, the survey assessed the sustainability strategies of 22 airlines, 22 car companies and 13 publicly-listed container shipping firms. TPI acknowledged improvement attributed to increased investor pressure and public awareness around climate issues. Improvement has been most rapid in the shipping sector, where, according to the TPI, 61 percent of surveyed firms are already aligned to a 2C pathway and some of the biggest players, including Maersk, are striving for 1.5C. However, they also voiced concerns that these findings are likely not representative of the entire global aviation and automotive sectors, and that progress in alignment with 1.5C remains slow. (edie)

Sustainable Development

UK businesses poised to deliver on the SDGs

Three-quarters of British firms believe they have a role to play in furthering national and international progress against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new survey has found. Conducted by international bank, HSBC, the survey asked 9,100 businesses of all sizes and sectors, including 1,000 UK-based firms, for their views on sustainability. Of the ten nations analysed, the feeling that the delivery of meaningful progress against the SDG agenda is important and possible for businesses was strongest in the UK. Almost four in ten of the firms to respond to the survey said they have a “significant” role to play in SDG delivery, with a further 37 percent saying they had “some” role to play. The survey also found that businesses are struggling to turn their environmental and social ambitions into action. The most commonly cited frustrations were barriers to financing change, freeing up resources to implement key projects, and confusion over the sheer volume of ESG measurement criteria available. (edie)

Supply Chain

M&S launches digital viscose map to boost fashion supply chain transparency

Retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) has launched a digital map highlighting all textile suppliers through which it sources man-man cellulosic fibres (MMCF) including viscose. The online tool enables users to track the origin of all MMCFs used in M&S’s fashion and homeware ranges. It lists both raw material suppliers and factories, providing information on factory location, gender balance among workforces, and whether each factory enables staff to sit on committees or to join third-party unions. With the majority of garments sold worldwide now being made from textile blends, the viscose industry is expanding rapidly and the commodity is now the third most commonly used textile fibre in the world. Research conducted by the Changing Markets Foundation found that several large Chinese viscose producers were dumping toxic wastewater into waterways and fisheries or allowing it to seep into nearby agricultural land. (edie)

Climate Change

COP25: Youth ‘leadership’ contrasts with government inaction, says UN chief

The 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) has begun amid pessimism on global climate action. António Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, noted before the conference that the world had the technical and economic means to halt climate chaos, but that political will was missing. Guterres called out the contrast between government and the “leadership” and “mobilisation” shown by the world’s youth on the climate emergency. He has called for further investment from rich countries and support for poor nations to make the changes needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cope with the impacts of global heating. He was joined in his call by the leaders and representatives of some of the world’s poorest countries, which are suffering most from climate change. Guterres has stated the importance to “secure more ambitious national commitments, particularly from the main emitters, to immediately start reducing greenhouse gas emissions” in the coming year. (The Guardian)


Android ‘spoofing’ bug helps targets bank accounts

A “major” security weakness in Google’s Android software has let cyber-thieves craft apps that can steal banking logins. The bug lets attackers create fake login screens that can be inserted into legitimate apps to harvest data. More than 60 financial institutions have been targeted by the technique, a survey of the Play store indicated. It found criminals were using variants of a well-known malicious money-stealing app known as ‘bankbot’. Google said it had taken action to close the loophole and was keen to find out more about its origins. The problem emerged from analysis of malicious apps by Promon, a mobile security firm. Whilst Google have said they have “suspended the potentially harmful apps they identified”, Promon’s chief technology officer noted that it still remained possible to create fake overlay screens in Android 10 and earlier versions of the operating system. (BBC)


Image Source: timelapse photo of highway during golden hour by Joey Kyber on Unsplash.