Top Stories

March 15, 2021


UK charity launches world's first LGBT+ climate fund

LGBT+ rights charity GiveOut launched the world's first fund to support LGBT+ people whose vulnerability to climate change is worsened by poverty and discrimination. The ‘LGBTQI Climate Fund’ will give up to £5,000 to campaigners advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in climate-related emergencies, and aims to raise £15,000-£30,000 for smaller LGBT+ groups globally. It will help finance research, local initiatives and enable activists to attend climate change conferences. Extreme weather events, such as floods and hurricanes, are increasingly common with climate change. LGBT+ people face heightened risks from such disasters because they find it hard to secure well-paid jobs, safe housing, protection in emergency shelters often run by religious organisations, and government services in developing countries where homosexuality is criminalised and discrimination against trans people is widespread. (Reuters)


Primark supplier accused of locking workers in factory in Myanmar protests

Garment workers in Myanmar who produce clothing for fast fashion company Primark claim they were locked inside their factory by supervisors who tried to prevent them from joining anti-coup protests. Workers employed by GY Sen, which supplies Primark, were prevented by their supervisors from missing work to take part in anti-military protests in Yangon. According to employees, up to 1,000 workers were trapped inside the factory, able to break free only after several hours. Around 20 workers were subsequently fired for missing shifts to participate in the civil disobedience movement. Primark has said that it launched an investigation into the factory, adding it would not place any further orders with the factory until the inquiry was completed. (The Guardian)


Only small percentage of Covid-19 recovery allocated to green initiatives

In 2020, only $368 billion of a $14.6 trillion budget geared towards Covid-19 recovery measures across the world’s largest 50 countries took into account green recovery initiatives, according to a report by the Oxford University Economic Recovery Project and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Among other green initiatives, the R&D sector was allotted the lowest amount, despite new technologies developed through R&D programmes that could be essential to meet climate commitments, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy transport, industry, and agriculture. UNEP and International Monetary Fund (IMF) experts that backed the report, emphasised the role of climate action in ensuring socio-economic stability and tackling inequality, and urged world leaders to prioritise long-term green recovery. (Eco-Business)


Italy pledges to cut its carbon emissions by 60% by 2030

Italy plans to cut its carbon emissions by around 60% by 2030, after using €80 billion of EU funds for its energy transition in the next five years. This is an upgrade of its last national energy plan, which targeted a 33% reduction by the same year. The Italian government has created an energy transition ministry in charge of the country's green agenda, with a plan to install 40 gigawatt hours of renewable energy in the country to accelerate decarbonisation by 2050. Another key focus is on cutting red tape to allow energy projects to be authorised more quickly. Italy’s upped commitments follow the EU’s decision to place climate at the core of its agenda, setting an emissions-reduction target of 55% by 2030, and a net-zero target by 2050. (Reuters)


Footwear brands Clarks and UGG unveil sustainable shoe innovations

Shoe manufacturer and retailer Clarks has launched what it claims to be its 'most sustainable sneaker yet', while footwear brand UGG is debuting shoes made using responsibly sourced, plant-based materials. The shoes in Clarks’ new range have been designed to reduce waste and improve recyclability. They contain zero glue and are made using five pieces, each of which can be dissembled at the end-of-life stage, replacing materials that often make footwear challenging to recycle. UGG has debuted a collection of shoes incorporating plant-based, renewable materials that are certified as carbon neutral. This comes as part of UGG’s commitment to  reach at least 35% sustainable material content across its entire product portfolio by 2027. (Edie)


2021 Actions for Business