Top Stories

February 02, 2021


Landmark review shows economics' failure over destruction of nature presents ‘extreme risks’

A landmark review, commissioned by the UK Treasury, concludes the world is at “extreme risk” by the failure of economics to account for the rapid depletion of the natural world and needs to find measures to avoid a catastrophic breakdown. The review argues prosperity has come at a “devastating cost” to ecosystems, and urges radical global changes to production, consumption, finance and education. It highlights two UN conferences this year – on biodiversity and climate change – as opportunities for the international community to rethink their approaches. The paper appeals to governments to create a different form of national accounting from GDP that would include natural resource depletion. It also suggests poorer countries should be paid to protect ecosystems, and disincentivised through charges for the use of non-territorial waters to prevent overfishing. (The Guardian)


UK gambling firms ordered to slow down online slot machines

From October, online casinos will be forced to overhaul slot machine games to slow them down and remove features that cause players to lose track of how much money they are spending. The Gambling Commission has told UK companies to slow down slot machines and to remove “auto-play” options, where players can set the machine to spin on its own and lose track of losses. The machines will have to clearly display to the player their total losses or wins and time played during any online slot-game session. Companies will also be barred from playing positive-sounding noises when a player loses money, from adding features giving players the “illusion of control” and from offering “reverse withdrawals” in which a player can redirect their winnings back into their account. (The Guardian)


BAFTA assembles UK's biggest news broadcasters for climate coalition

BAFTA’s sustainable production arm, albert, has convened the new ‘News Consortium’ initiative to help the UK's news broadcasting sector minimise its environmental impact and engage viewers on topics like climate change. ITN, BBC, ITV News, Sky News and Channel 4 are the first members, with more names expected to be added in the future. The initiative will support broadcast and production teams across the sector to measure and minimise their organisations’ emissions, waste and water footprints. Staff will also be supported to “inspire sustainable futures through content”, changing narratives around pressing issues like climate change. The overarching aim of the initiative is to create a certification for news programming specifically. The certification will be underpinned by a standard carbon footprint measurement for newsrooms.  (Edie)


Japan hosts second highest number of RE100 firms after US

Japan is home to the second highest number of businesses committed to sourcing 100% renewable energy, after the US. Major Japanese brands like Nikon and instant food company Nissin joined the RE100 – a global initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity –bringing its number of Japanese firms to 50. The announcement aligns with the country’s race to net zero by 2050, and comes as the government is expected to revise renewable energy targets. Last month, 92 major Japanese corporations—including Sony, Nissan, and Ricoh—called on the Japanese government to grow the share of green power in the country’s energy mix by 2030. Japan is the world’s fifth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide and home to highly polluting sectors like steel producers and carmakers. (Eco Business)


UK government offers £20 million funding boost for EV charging infrastructure

The UK government has announced a one-year extension of its ‘On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme’, providing a £20 million cash injection for the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. The government has urged local councils to use the scheme to support drivers without private parking to reliably charge their vehicle. The funding announcement could double the number of on-street charge points across the UK to 8000 since its launch in 2017, while helping to tackle poor air quality and reduce the UK's transport emissions as set out in the government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. The main challenge concerns ensuring that rural areas, particularly in northern England, Wales and Scotland, get equal access to charging infrastructure. (Business Green)

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Wednesday, 3rd February

Climate resilience: Aligning disclosure with TCFD recommendations