Top Stories

February 01, 2021


Aviva will use its ‘ultimate sanction’ to force action on global warming

Aviva Investors, one of the UK’s largest asset managers, is prepared to fully divest from 30 oil, gas, mining and utility companies unless they do more to tackle climate change. The investment group has written to the companies, urging them to set net zero emission goals and integrate climate risks into strategies, including plans for capital expenditure. If companies fail to meet its expectations over the next one to three years, Aviva will divest across both its equity and credit portfolio. Aviva declined to name targeted companies, but according to S&P Global Market Intelligence it is a top 30 shareholder in oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell, and miners Rio Tinto and Glencore. Aviva’s move comes shortly after rating agency S&P threatened to downgrade 13 oil and gas companies. (Financial Times*)


Walmart donates $14 million as part of broader pledge to advance racial equity

Retail multinational Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are distributing $14.3 million to 16 non-profit organisations that advance racial equity in education, health care, access to technology, and others. The grants will go toward groups that are tackling racial inequities in various ways, such as educating communities of colour about Covid-19 vaccines, reducing debt for students at historically Black colleges and universities and providing internet access and technology to children who are attending school remotely. The retailer will also share a diversity and inclusion report twice a year instead of annually, and work alongside the country’s largest historically Black university, North Carolina A&T State University, to increase the number of Black college graduates entering highly demanded fields. (CNBC)


UK Government unveils £85 million package to support low-carbon aviation innovations

Projects developing hydrogen and fully electrified aircraft have secured funding pots totalling £84.6 million from the UK Government, in the hopes of the nation hosting zero-emission flights by 2023. The bulk of the funding (more than 60%) is being allocated to GKN Aerospace-led project H2GEAR, which is developing a liquid hydrogen propulsion system that could be used for regional air travel. A second hydrogen plane project, ZeroAvia, is receiving around one-third of the funding to develop and demonstrate a 19-seater aircraft. The final beneficiary is Blue Bear Systems’ InCEPTion project, which is developing a fully electrified propulsion system for aircraft. Of the £84.6 million of funding, delivered through the Aerospace Technology Institute, half is being provided by the central government and half is being provided by industry. (Edie)


Coca-Cola European Partners pledges to electrify light vehicle fleet by 2030

Coca Cola European Partners (CCEP), Coca-Cola’s largest bottler, will electrify all 8,000 cars and vans in its fleet by 2030 in its drive to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. CCEP will also transition 700 heavy goods vehicles in Germany and Belgium to zero emission technologies. The company made the pledge last week as it signed up to the Climate Group EV100 initiative, which brings together corporations committed to fully electrifying their fleets and advocating for clean transport. CCEP is aiming to lower GHG emissions across its entire value chain by 30% by 2030 from a 2019 baseline, and make changes to its manufacturing, transport and packaging processes to become a net zero company by 2040. (Business Green)


UK banks could lose millions of customers unless they get tougher on climate

A survey of more than 2,000 bank customers in the UK has found that more than one in ten would switch banks if they thought their bank of choice was investing heavily in fossil fuels. The ‘Banks on Our Future’ survey, carried out by ICM Unlimited on behalf of campaign group Market Forces, polled 1,000 Barclays customers and 1,000 HSBC customers. Across the whole survey cohort of 2,000 people, 80% said they were not aware that their bank was investing in fossil fuels. When made aware, more than one in ten (12.5%) said they would be “very likely” to switch banks. Market Forces claims that 12.5% of Barclays’ and HSBC’s UK customers is equivalent to some three million people. (Edie)

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Wednesday, 3rd February

Climate resilience: Aligning disclosure with TCFD recommendations