Top Stories

January 19, 2021


First electric car batteries with five-minute charging times produced

Batteries capable of fully charging in five minutes have been produced in a factory for the first time, marking a significant step towards electric cars becoming as fast to charge as filling up petrol or diesel vehicles. The new lithium-ion batteries were developed by the Israeli battery company StoreDot and manufactured by Eve Energy in China on standard production lines. Daimler, BP, Samsung and TDK have all invested in StoreDot, which has raised $130m to date and was named a Bloomberg New Energy Finance Pioneer in 2020. Using available charging infrastructure, StoreDot is aiming to deliver 100 miles of charge to a car battery in five minutes in 2025. (The Guardian)


Mining firms face probe over environmental damage and human rights abuses

Three of the world's biggest mining companies – BHP, Anglo American and Glencore – could be forced to close Latin America's largest open pit mine as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) investigates environmental destruction and alleged human rights abuses. The probe comes after the United Nations called on the mining firms to suspend some operations at the Cerrejon thermal coal mine in Colombia. The mine has operated for 30 years and has long been accused by the local community, including the Indigenous Wayuu people, of forced evictions, pollution and human rights abuses. The mining giants could be forced to progressively stop mining at Cerrejon, rehabilitate the environment and compensate surrounding communities if the OECD finds they are responsible for the problems under its guidelines for multinational enterprises. (ABC Net)


Ineos gives Oxford University £100 million to set up antibiotic research institute

Oxford University has received £100 million, its largest donation for science, from chemicals group Ineos to set up an antibiotics research institute to counter the growing threat from deadly superbugs. The new institute will help tackle antimicrobial resistance, which scientists estimate kills at least 750,000 people worldwide a year and could lead to as many as 10 million deaths annually by 2050 unless a new generation of drugs is found. The institute will focus on designing new drugs to treat bacterial infections in both farm animals and humans. Between 70% and 80% of antibiotics are used in agriculture and drug use in animals is contributing significantly to their lessening effectiveness in humans. (Financial Times*)


Bank of France to exit coal and cap oil and gas investments

The Bank of France has said it will exit from coal and limit exposure to gas and oil in its investment portfolio by 2024 as part of a shift towards more environmentally-friendly assets. The French central bank said that by the end of this year it would no longer invest in companies which generate more than 2% of their revenues from coal, reducing the threshold to zero by the end of 2024. It also said it would exclude companies with more than 10% of revenue coming from oil or 50% from gas by 2024. Many central banks have already committed to green up their investment portfolios as part of a push to encourage the financial system to support a less environmentally damaging economy. (Reuters)


Nuveen to acquire specialist renewables investor Glennmont Partners

Nuveen, the $1.1 trillion global investment unit of financial services organisation TIAA, has agreed to acquire specialist renewable energy fund manager Glennmont Partners in a bid to strengthen its sustainable investment offering. The investment fund announced this morning it is to acquire the London-based Glennmont in order to grow its real assets platform and meet increasing global demand for environmentally responsible investments. Glennmont, which exclusively funds clean energy projects, will become Nuveen's investment centre for clean energy infrastructure and will be integrated into the investor's real assets platform, which includes real estate, farmland, commodities, and agribusiness and timberland projects. Glennmont plans to launch a suite of products backed by seed capital from Nuveen and TIAA, targeting investment opportunities in European, US, and Asian markets across the equity and credit space. (Business Green)

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Wednesday, 27th January and 3rd February

Climate resilience: Aligning disclosure with TCFD recommendations