Top Stories

January 28, 2021


Hundreds of transport and industrial businesses form ‘Mission Possible Partnership’ climate coalition

Some 400 heavy emitters from the transport and industrial sectors have formed a new partnership aimed at accelerating the low-carbon transition, with financial backing from Amazon's Bezos Earth Fund and innovation hub Breakthrough EnergyAirbus, BASF, Boeing, Cargill, easyJet, Heathrow Airport, Royal DSM, Royal Dutch Shell, Volvo, Citi and Lloyds Register are among the first members. The corporate adherents to the ‘Mission Possible Partnership’ will collaborate to invest and lobby to scale up the markets for emerging technologies that may help to decarbonise high-emitting sectors like shipping, aviation, chemicals, cement and steel. All transport firm signatories will need to produce complete climate action plans within three years. The sectors represented by the Partnership collectively amount to 30% of global annual emissions. (Edie)


US President Biden signs executive orders on climate change as a national security priority

US President Biden has elevated climate change to a national security issue, warning the climate crisis poses an “existential threat” to the world, marking a radical change in direction from the Trump era. New executive orders instruct the US government to pause and review all oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands and water, eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and transform the government’s fleet of cars and trucks into electric vehicles. He pledged to put “environmental justice” at the centre “of all we do”, and help mitigate the disproportionate effects of climate change on Black and brown communities in the US through policy and funding changes. In the coming months, the country will announce plans for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 under the Paris climate accord. (The Guardian; BBC News)


UK pension schemes face new climate risk reporting rules

The UK’s largest workplace pension schemes must comply with new mandatory requirements to take action on climate change under government measures that will also pile pressure on the fund management industry. From October, trustees of pension plans with more than £5 billion in assets will have a legal duty to report on the financial risks of climate change within their portfolios. Trustees will have to assess what different climate change scenarios might mean for their portfolios, liabilities and sponsors with consistent scenario analysis. Asset managers and insurers will also have to report on climate-related financial risks and opportunities in line with recommendations set by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The government said in 2023 it would review whether smaller schemes should be subjected to the new requirements. (Financial Times*)


Mastercard commits to net-zero carbon by 2050

Financial services firm Mastercard is the latest corporate to raise the ambitions of its decarbonisation strategy, pledging to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The move builds on current commitments aligned with its Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge that has seen Mastercard work towards a Science Based Targets initiative-approved  goal to reduce total Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 38% and Scope 3 emissions by 20% by 2025 from a 2016 baseline. The company will expand the use of solar panels in data centres, which account for more than 50% of energy usage for the company. It will also invest in carbon removal projects and tackle emissions from its supply chain, which represents more than 70% of Mastercard’s total carbon footprint. (Edie)


UKRI announces £24 million of funding for projects to curb plastic waste

United Kingdom Research & Innovation has announced it will allocate £24 million to firms with innovative ideas that can help reduce the amount of plastic waste in the UK by 2025. The funding will be split across two competitions happening over the next two months, with £16 million for large-scale commercial projects and £8 million assigned to business-led research and development projects. The initiative is aimed at supporting the goals the UK government committed to under WRAP’s Plastic Pact. The Pact wants all plastics packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025, with all "unnecessary single-use packaging" eliminated from the plastics value chain altogether. It also wants to see 70% of plastics packaging recycled or composted by 2025, with all plastic packaging having an average of 30% recycled content. (Business Green)

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Wednesday, 3rd February

Climate resilience: Aligning disclosure with TCFD recommendations