Top Stories

November 16, 2020


UK set to ban sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars are set to be banned in the UK from 2030, in a much-anticipated speech by prime minister Boris Johnson. This follows an announcement in February which confirmed the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars would be brought forward from 2040 to 2035. The new announcement to bring the target forward once more is noted as an attempt to kick-start the market for electric cars in the UK and propel the country towards its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. However, the car industry has long argued that significant funding for infrastructure is required to help convince motorists to switch to electric cars. Some £500 million of government funding for charging infrastructure is due to be rolled out from next year. (Financial Times*) 

Climate Change 

Investors tell European firms to reveal ‘missing’ climate costs in their accounts

Investors are pushing major European companies to make sure the “missing” costs of climate change are properly reflected in their financial statements, a move that could wipe billions of dollars off the value of sectors from energy to aviation. The European and US investors including JP Morgan Asset Management, Fidelity International and M&G Investments, who manage $9 trillion in assets, have sent 36 carbon-heavy companies a document setting out how they should account for the likely impact of the 2015 Paris climate accord on their future profits. The investors suspect that existing balance sheets rest on assumptions over variables such as oil prices, carbon taxes, and the lifespan of fossil fuel assets that are incompatible with a shift to net-zero carbon emissions under the Paris deal. (Reuters) 


New skills programme risks excluding 1.4m workers

Millions of low-paid workers risk missing out on a new government scheme aimed at improving skills and qualifications, according to think tank, Work Foundation. The Lifetime Skills Guarantee aims to offer courses for adults without any A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. The Work Foundation research discovered that 1.4 million low-paid workers aged 25-49 had at least one qualification that would rule them out. Other workers might miss out because of financial pressures, it added. The report suggests that the government should rethink who is eligible for the free training and to help with childcare. (BBC) 


Toshiba to stop taking new orders for coal-fired power stations

Japanese industrial group Toshiba will stop taking orders for new coal-fired power plants and boost revenue from renewables by 242 percent over the next decade amid global pressure to tackle climate change. Toshiba plans to increase its annual investment in renewables fivefold to $1.5 billion by the 2022-23 fiscal year. The decision comes as Japan is struggling to reduce its reliance on coal, even as new prime minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged carbon neutrality by 2050. Siemens Energy also announced this week that it would no longer participate in new tenders for coal-fired power plants, while General Electric made a similar commitment in September. (Financial Times*) 


Ministers accused of using pandemic as excuse to delay food waste reporting

A UK government consultation that could force companies to publish details of how much food they waste has been delayed until next year, triggering criticism by campaigners that ministers are using the pandemic as an excuse to stall efforts to drive down the amount thrown away. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) had this month been due to consult on mandatory food waste reporting in England, but has put the exercise on hold because of the disruption caused to the food and drink industry by Covid-19. The consultation could see companies required to regularly report on the food waste in their supply chains and take action to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal, set five years ago, to halve food waste by 2030. (The Guardian) 

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