Top Stories

June 21, 2021


Brussels court rules Belgium’s climate failures violate human rights

A Brussels court has ruled that Belgium’s failure to meet climate targets is a violation of human rights, in the latest legal victory against public authorities that have broken promises to tackle the climate emergency. The Brussels court of first instance declared the Belgian state had committed an offence under Belgian’s civil law and breached the European convention on human rights. By not taking all “necessary measures” to prevent the “detrimental” effects of climate change, the court said Belgian authorities had breached the right to life (article 2) and the right to respect for private and family life (article 8). The NGO that brought the case, Klimaatzaak, hailed the judgment as historic, both in the nature of the decision and the court’s recognition of 58,000 citizens as co-plaintiffs. (The Guardian)


IKEA and Rockefeller foundations pledge $1 billion for clean energy

IKEA Foundation, the charitable arm of the furniture retailer, and the Rockefeller Foundation are planning to set up a $1 billion fund to support renewable energy initiatives in developing nations. The fund, which will be launched this year, aims to reduce one billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and empower one billion people with distributed renewable energy. Each foundation will provide $500 million of risk capital, and they hope to attract additional funds of $10 billion this year from international development agencies, before opening up to institutional investors in a bid to expand renewables investment in countries such as India, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. The foundations have already signed agreements with the International Finance Corp, an organisation affiliated to the World Bank, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)


Porsche sets up joint venture to reduce car battery charging times

Volkswagen's luxury sports car unit Porsche is setting up a joint venture with Customcellsa, a company in Germany specialising in lithium-ion cells, to produce high-performance batteries that will significantly reduce charging times. The partnership will aim to produce car batteries with higher energy density than prototypes used in Porsche's current electric cars. In addition to cutting charging time, improving energy density will mean reducing the amount of raw material needed in batteries to achieve the same range. It will also cut battery production costs, making electric cars more affordable. The production facility aims to have a capacity of 100 kilowatt hours, which will translate into about enough batteries for 1,000 cars a year. (Reuters)


BSI launches accounting standard measuring natural capital impact

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has published a new standard to help organisations measure the extent and value of their impacts on nature, both positive and negative. Listed and private companies, as well as public and third sector bodies, are eligible to use the framework, which was launched last week by the standards body. The standard sets out how companies and other organisations can create natural capital balance sheets and natural capital income statements that can be integrated with their financial accounts. Robust natural capital balance sheets can inform business reports, illustrate corporate progress against the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and facilitate responses to disclosure requests like the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures and the under-development Task Force on Nature Related Financial Disclosures. (Business Green)


IMF suggests global $75 per tonne price for carbon dioxide emitters

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says companies with high greenhouse gas emissions should be subject to a carbon price of $75 a tonne of carbon dioxide, as a way of reaching the goals of the Paris climate agreement. A carbon floor price would mean that companies, including energy generators and heavy industries, would have to pay for the carbon they produce. At present, there is no globally agreed carbon price. The IMF urged the G20 countries to adopt a carbon floor price for their industries, as the quickest way of reaching net-zero emissions. A price of about $75 per tonne of carbon dioxide would be needed by 2030 to meet the goal of staying within 1.5◦C to 2◦C of global heating, set under the Paris agreement in 2015. (The Guardian)


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