Top Stories

November 06, 2020

Human Rights 

Boohoo, H&M and Nike deny Uighur forced labour allegations

Fashion brands including Boohoo, H&M and Nike have denied using products made with the forced labour of Uighur Muslims in China. The brands, which also included The North Face, were speaking to UK Members of Parliament conducting an inquiry. The House of Commons business committee questioned whether Boohoo was on top of its supply chain. Earlier this year the retailer investigated reports of exploitation and unsafe conditions at UK suppliers. There have been a number of reports alleging that thousands of Muslims from China’s Uighur minority group are working under coercive conditions at factories that supply some of the world’s biggest brands. (BBC) 

Sustainable Investment  

Development bank group lent $197 billion in green finance in 2019: report

The International Development Finance Club (IDFC), a group of 26 national and regional development banks, said its members supplied $197 billion in green finance in 2019, representing a quarter of their total lending. While a 47 percent increase on 2018, the figure for 2019 remains below a high reached in 2017, the IDFC said. In total, $867 billion has been invested since 2015, when the Paris Agreement was struck to limit global warming. The willingness of state-backed lenders to invest more in green finance is set to be put to the test next week when the world’s 450 development banks meet for the first time in Paris, with a number expected to sign a joint commitment to accelerate their climate efforts. (Reuters) 

Climate Change  

Cutting greenhouse gases from food production is urgent, scientists say

Rising greenhouse gas emissions from worldwide food production will make it extremely difficult to limit global warming to the targets set in the Paris climate agreement, even if emissions from fossil-fuel burning were halted immediately, researchers at the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford have stated in a new report. The new research, an analysis of the climate effects of global food production published in the journal Science, says that meeting one of the targets, limiting overall warming this century to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, could be achieved through “rapid and ambitious” changes to the global food system over the next several decades, including adopting plant-rich diets, increasing crop yields and reducing food waste. (The New York Times) 

Climate Change 

Bentley to stop making petrol cars by 2030 and go fully electric

Bentley, the luxury carmaker, will stop making fossil fuel cars by 2030 and aims to be completely carbon neutral at the same time, in one of the most ambitious plans of any UK car manufacturer in the transition towards electric vehicles. It will stop building cars with traditional internal combustion engines within six years, instead making hybrids and then its first battery electric cars in 2025. By 2030 it will sell only pure battery electric vehicles, with zero-carbon exhaust emissions. The rapid transition will mean that a company famed for enormous 12-cylinder petrol engines, with large carbon dioxide emissions to match, aims to become one of the UK automotive industry’s leading champions of environmental sustainability. (The Guardian) 


Major investors back satellite monitoring to police corporate deforestation

A coalition of investors with €1.8 trillion in assets under management have teamed up to deliver a pioneering satellite monitoring programme for tropical forests that will assess retailers’ and manufacturers’ efforts to purge their supply chains of deforestation. The nine investors, which include ACTIAM, Aviva Investors, Fidelity International, Nomura Asset Management, and Robeco, intend to use imagery captured through a network of satellites to identify companies that are contributing to the deforestation of tropical forests through demand for products such as beef, soy, timber, and palm oil. Offending companies will be asked to publicly disclose their supplier lists for a number of ‘soft’ commodities linked to high rates of deforestation, in a bid to improve traceability for investors and enhance manufacturers’ and retailers’ supply chain disclosure standards, the alliance said. (Business Green)