Top Stories

August 28, 2020


Forecasted price of offshore wind energy halved by UK Government

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has slashed its forecasts for offshore wind energy costs through to 2030 by more than half, in the first update to predictions since 2016. According to BEIS’s latest Electricity Generation Costs Report, offshore wind projects which come online between now and 2030 will produce power at an average cost of £47 per megawatt-hour over the course of their lifetime. BEIS’s previous forecast had placed the figure at £103 per megawatt-hour. From both being forecast at £64/MWh in 2016, the equivalent figures for onshore wind and large-scale solar have also fallen, to £45/MWh and £39/MWh respectively. According to BEIS’s updated report, “since 2016, renewables costs have declined compared to gas, particularly steeply in the case of offshore wind.” Increased deployment of renewable technologies has led to decreased costs via learning, incentivising a cycle of further deployment and reduced costs. In comparison, BEIS is forecasting that the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for new gas will reach £82 per megawatt-hour by 2030 and that the LCOE for new nuclear will reach £93 per megawatt-hour within the same timeframe. (Edie)*

Sustainable Fashion

Global coalition calls for sustainability to be central to post-Covid recovery in fashion, apparel and textile sector

17 major companies, brands and organisations have published an Open Letter stressing the need for the fashion, apparel and textile sector to use the post Covid-19 recovery as an opportunity to speed sustainability progress in the sector. Signatories include multinationals such as H&M, Tchibo, Burberry, PVH, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Primark as well as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, ZDHC, Alliance for Water Stewardship, CDP and WWF. “The fashion, apparel and textile sector has been hard hit by this pandemic, leaving the livelihoods of millions as well as the future of many companies at risk. As the industry starts to recover, it’s critical that it charts a new course that takes the whole sector in a more sustainable direction,” said Stuart Orr, WWF Global Freshwater Lead. The Open Letter complements the International Labour Organization’s call to focus on environmental impacts of the fashion industry in recovery. Specifically, signatories call on companies in the sector to support and encourage governments to deploy Green Economic Recovery Plans, increase brand-led sustainability efforts and ensure a role for circularity. (WWF)

Sustainable Investment

PRI and WBCSD collaborate to drive corporate-investor action on sustainability

A new collaboration between the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is to work to enhance the exchange of sustainability information between corporations and investors in a bid to help businesses better report on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, the bodies announced yesterday. According to the organisations, it will facilitate dialogue between business and investors, supporting the creation of institutional links that will deliver and transfer sustainability information between them. The aim is to help businesses and investors align incentives, evaluation mechanisms, valuations, and decision-making processes with sustainability considerations related to resilience, impacts, and outcomes, with the goal of providing financial market actors with the impetus and information they need to allocate more capital towards sustainable business models. The collaboration hopes to accelerate the growth in businesses reporting to investors on their ESG performance and support efforts to standardise disclosure regimes. (Business Green)*

Over 50,000 new jobs to be created in Singapore over next 10 years amid sustainable development push

The Singapore Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) expects to create 4,000 “new and upgraded jobs” in the next year and 55,000 over the next ten years as the country pursues sustainable development, according to MSE minister Grace Fu. The ministry will also push for a “green recovery” from COVID-19, said Ms Fu, and support a “competitive transition” to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future. Singapore plans to encourage green financing and sustainable infrastructure development across the region, to ride on Asia’s growth while protecting the environment. As Singapore pursues sustainable development, a variety of jobs in the sector will be created, including skilled jobs in the high-tech agriculture and aquaculture industry. Raising environmental sanitation and waste management standards will result in “new good jobs” for Singaporeans, said the minister. (Channel News Asia)

Diversity/ Corporate Reputation

Staff say sexism, racism and abuse are ‘systemic’ in UN-led climate fund

Seventeen employees of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the world’s largest global climate fund based in South Korea, have complained of sexism, racism and harassment within the United Nations-led project. The current and former GCF workers said they also suffered or witnessed instances of inappropriate relationships and abuse of power in the workplace in the last three years. The staff who made the allegations about the GCF said in a letter seen by the Financial Times that they aimed to hold management accountable for “systemic” sexism and racism and behaviour that had “jeopardised” the fund’s mission. In response, the fund’s secretariat said it “strongly refutes claims of systematic staffing problems affecting GCF’s mission to empower developing countries in taking climate action”. It said the fund’s Independent Integrity Unit had only substantiated two out of 39 complaints about staff misconduct filed in 2018 and 2019. The allegations come as the #MeToo movement has inspired millions to share their stories of harassment. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Image Source: wind turbine in the blue sky by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

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