Top Stories

December 08, 2020

Climate Change 

No country compliant with Paris Agreement climate goals, analysis warns 

None of the world’s 58 highest greenhouse gas emitting countries are on a decarbonisation pathway compatible with the Paris Agreement, according to the results of an annual index put together by several influential NGOs. The Annual Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) assesses progress on emissions reduction, renewable energy deployment, climate policy and energy use. A number of countries achieved ‘high’ rankings, with Sweden once again topping the global list this year, followed by the UK which has risen up the rankings thanks to a number of recent green policy interventions. However, the vast majority of G20 countries are languishing towards the bottom of the rankings. The findings report highlights opportunities for significant future progress noting that even amongst the decarbonisation laggards there are signs of progress. (Business Green) 


Companies form initiative to scale up green hydrogen production

Seven companies, including developer ACWA Power and Spanish utility Iberdrola, have formed a joint initiative, Green Hydrogen Catapult, to scale up production of “green” hydrogen in the next six years and bring down costs. It is increasingly being touted as a way to decarbonise emissions-intensive heavy industry and transport sectors, but currently costs of production are too high to be competitive with other fuels. It aims to deploy 25 gigawatts of renewables-based hydrogen production to 2026 and to halve the current cost of the fuel to below $2 per kg. Its goal will require investment of around $110 billion and deliver more than 120,000 jobs. (Reuters) 

Corporate Governance 

Deutsche Bank to link management pay to sustainability targets 

Deutsche Bank has announced that it plans to join a small number of financial institutions that link management pay to environmental, social and governance related (ESG) criteria. It stated that from 2021 management compensation would be tied to reaching targets on sustainable finance investments, on the sustainability ratings it receives from five leading ESG ratings agencies and on succeeding in reducing the bank’s own energy consumption. Banks such as HSBC, BNP Paribas and UniCredit also have varying models in place that link pay to ESG, as more investors look to invest in companies that perform better on ESG metrics. (Reuters) 


Airbnb non-profit to focus on finding housing for disaster and pandemic workers 

Home-sharing giant Airbnb will enlist its global network of millions of participants to help house aid workers and health care staff working to fight COVID-19, aiming to fill a gap in shelter options amid the pandemic. The program run by new non-profit spinoff,, will help arrange free or reduced cost housing for international aid workers responding to disasters and to medical personnel engaged in coronavirus testing and vaccine work. It also will provide housing for victims of natural disasters. Since 2012, more than 100,000 users in 100-plus countries have offered space for those in need, helping around 75,000 people find accommodation. (Thomson Reuters) 


Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestlé named top plastic polluters for third year in a row

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé have been accused of “zero progress” on reducing plastic waste, after being named the world’s top plastic polluters for the third year in a row. The annual audit by Break Free From Plastic, collected 346,494 pieces of plastic waste this year, 63% of which was marked clearly with a consumer brand. Coca-Cola was ranked the world’s top plastic polluter and found to be worse than PepsiCo and Nestlé combined. Emma Priestland, Break Free From Plastic’s global campaign coordinator, said the only way to halt the growing global tide of plastic litter was to stop production, phase out single use and implement reuse systems. (The Guardian)