Top Stories

June 15, 2021


UK Government sets biodiversity commitments for 'nature-positive' future

In its response to  the landmark Dasgupta Review, which argued the case for biodiversity considerations to be embedded in all governmental economic decisions, the UK government has made a new commitment for all large infrastructure projects to be 'nature-positive'.  The UK Treasury has promised a new set of recommendations for government departments to consider when developing policies. For certain sectors, including housebuilding and major infrastructure projects, there will be advice on delivering net-gain for nature, going beyond an existing commitment to no net-loss. The Government will also change how it accounts for the value of nature, and earmark £3 million to support the development of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework, which will help businesses to quantify their risks from nature degradation in future scenarios. (Edie)


E.ON and CBI warn UK Ministers of policy gaps to reach net-zero by 2050

Electricity provider E.ON has released a report analysing  current levels of emissions from homes, business buildings and cities, and how these may change by 2030 and 2050 based on UK policy frameworks. Across all areas analysed, the UK is off-track to deliver net-zero unless policies change. The report urges the Government to ensure its net-zero roadmap, with sector-specific targets and policies, is published ahead of COP26, as this will give actors across the value chain the confidence to invest accordingly. Simultaneously, the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) – Britain's biggest business group – called on Ministers to “fill in the blanks of the Government’s existing plans as rapidly as possible”. The CBI would, specifically, like the Transport Decarbonisation Plan to commit the UK to develop seven giga-factories for the electric vehicle  sector. (Edie)


Corporations marking Pride donated over $10m to anti-LGBTQ+ politicians

A new study has found that 25 US companies displaying the rainbow flag for Pride month have donated more than $10 million to anti-LGBTQ+ federal and state politicians over the past two years. The study, released by the Popular Information newsletter, found that alongside pronouncements of LGBTQ+ support, corporations including Exxon Mobil, General Motors, CVS, AT&T, Walmart, Comcast, United Health, Deloitte and Wells Fargo, have supported candidates who seek to block or otherwise restrict equal rights based on gender or sexual orientation. Many of the corporations have 100% ratings on the Human Rights Campaign 2020 Corporate Equality Index, which measures workplace policies and public commitment to the LGBTQ community but does  not take political donations into account. (The Guardian)


Facebook, eBay and big tech urge SEC to mandate regular climate reports

A group of seven tech companies urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require businesses to regularly disclose climate-related matters to their shareholders. In a to the SEC Chairman, Google parent Alphabet, Amazon, Autodesk, eBay, Facebook, Intel and Salesforce shared their view in response to a request for public input on such disclosures. They said businesses should report on their relevant greenhouse gas emissions measured by global standards and the SEC should lean on existing frameworks to ensure disclosures are consistent and comparable to one another. Separately, Microsoft submitted its own letter to encourage the SEC to adopt rules requiring material disclosures related to climate impact. Microsoft similarly emphasized that the reports should be based on common standards but said rules should not be “excessively prescriptive.” (CNBC)


Burberry pledges to be climate positive by 2040 with science-based targets

Luxury fashion brand Burberry has announced its pledge to become ”climate positive” by 2040, setting a new industry standard that goes further than the company’s current 2040 net-zero target.  This will include becoming net-zero by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C pathway, and accelerating its ambition to reduce emissions across its extended supply chain, aiming to reduce them by 46% by 2030. This means Burberry’s Science Based Targets will be also be aligned to the 1.5°C pathway. Burberry will also invest in initiatives in its value chain that support a low-carbon future. For example, it will invest in low-carbon future solutions and nature-based projects with carbon benefits that restore and protect natural ecosystems and enhance the livelihoods of global communities through its Burberry Regeneration Fund. (ClimateAction)


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