Top Stories

September 09, 2020

Natural Capital

Seafood stakeholders push for stricter sustainability measures in landmark Fisheries Bill

Over 20 of the UK’s largest supermarkets and food brands have today joined forces to urge the government to reassess the sustainability credentials contained in the Fisheries Bill currently working its way through Parliament. The group, which includes Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose & Partners, Marks & Spencer, The Co-op, Morrison’s, and Young’s, stressed the Fisheries Bill offered the government a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to establish a “world-leading” sustainable fisheries management regime after the Brexit transition period. The Fisheries Bill marks the first new fisheries legislation in more than 40 years and represents a landmark piece of post-Brexit environmental legislation. Fisheries policy has emerged as one of the key sticking points in the currently deadlocked negotiations, with the UK and EU said to be at loggerheads over how quotas and fisheries should be managed post-Brexit. (Business Green)

Policy & Research

UK could save £1.6bn and 17,000 deaths by improving air quality, report finds

Improving air quality in England in line with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines could deliver a £1.6bn benefit while preventing 17,000 premature deaths each year that are linked to air pollution. These are the findings from the new landmark research from the CBI’s economic analysis arm on behalf of the Clean Air Fund. At a business level, the research found that the loss of three million working days could be prevented by meeting WHO guidelines. In addition, workers would see earnings increase by £900m collectively due to more time in work. Clean Air Zones were due to be launched in Bath, Bristol, Birmingham, and Leeds in 2020 but have been postponed as a result of the coronavirus until next year. Greater Manchester’s clean air plans have been delayed until 2022. (Edie)

Around the World

More than 1 billion people could face displacement by 2050, according to new report

Rapid population growth, lack of access to food and water and increased exposure to natural disasters could mean more than 1 billion people face being displaced by 2050, according to new analysis compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). With the world’s population forecast to rise to nearly 10 billion by 2050, intensifying the scramble for resources and fuelling conflict, the research shows as many as 1.2 billion people living in vulnerable areas of sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East may be forced to migrate by 2050. The result is an analysis assessing how many threats each of some 150 countries faces and their capacity to withstand them. The IEP said it hoped the register, which may become an annual analysis, would shape aid and development policies, with more emphasis and funding going towards climate-related impacts.  (Reuters)


Ex-G4S executives charged with defrauding UK government

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged three former executives at security company G4S with defrauding the government. The men charged were all directors of G4S’s care and justice services division, which ran an electronic monitoring contract with the Ministry of Justice for tagging and tracking offenders. The three men were charged with seven offences of fraud in connection to false representations made to the Ministry of Justice between 2009 and 2012. The men appeared for their first hearing at Westminster magistrates court in London on Tuesday. They are due to appear at Southwark crown court on 6 October. A spokesperson said it was not appropriate for it to comment on the individual cases. G4S is one of the largest UK-headquartered private sector employers, with security operations across the world. (The Guardian)


Poland to accelerate coal phase-out, spend billions on renewable and nuclear energy

Poland wants to speed-up the phase-out of coal and spend billions to build renewable and nuclear power infrastructure to address challenges related to climate change and ensure stable power supplies. The climate ministry said Poland plans to invest 150 billion zlotys ($40 billion) to build its first nuclear power plants, with 6-9 gigawatts (GW) of capacity eventually. The first 1-1.6 GW facility would be up and running by 2033. It also plans to build 8-11 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040 with investment estimated at 130 billion zlotys. The development of renewable and nuclear energy facilities will create 300,000 jobs, it said. Poland has been the only European Union state to refuse to pledge climate neutrality by 2050. Poland expects to receive 60 billion zlotys ($16 billion) from EU funds for coal regions’ transformation, the climate ministry said.  (Reuters)