Top Stories

July 02, 2021


Global minimum 15% corporate tax backed by 130 countries

Officials from 130 countries have backed a proposed minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15%. The OECD anticipate the plans could generate about $150 billion in tax revenues a year. All G20 countries, such as the US, UK China and France, backed the agreement, although Ireland and Hungary – countries with low corporate taxes – did not. Participating governments are now expected to pass relevant laws to bring in the minimum, although details such as possible exemptions for certain industries are still up for negotiation. Countries have also signed up to new rules on where the biggest multinational companies are taxed, which would see taxing rights on more than $100 billion of profits shift to countries where profits are generated, rather than where a business might have its headquarters. (BBC News)


Professional bodies sign up to new Charter for Climate Action

A group of the UK's leading professional institutions have launched the ‘Charter for Climate Action’ to support members in prioritising the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. The Charter has backing from Engineering UK, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, the Institution of Environmental Sciences, Professional Associations Research Network, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Society for the Environment, who represent a combined 13 million professionals in the UK. Members will map pathways to deliver sustainability across their organisations, create Climate Action Plans for their sectors, speak with a unified voice in discussions with other bodies, and share professional development tools, principles, and resources that help enable the adoption of environmental best practices. (Business Green)


UK “Right to repair” rules on electrical goods come into force

Manufacturers are now legally required to make spare parts available for electrical appliances within two years of all model launches, and then for between seven and 10 years after the model is discontinued, depending on the type of product. The “right to repair” rules are designed to tackle built-in obsolescence, and could extend the lifespan of products by up to 10 years and save the average household £75 per year in repair, replacement and energy bill costs when compounded by new energy efficiency rules for appliances. In the first instance, the rules will only apply to companies producing dishwashers, washing machines, washer-dryers, dryers, fridges, freezers, televisions and “other electronic displays” for home use. Laptops, tablets and smartphones are notably excluded from this latter category. (BBC News)


Court orders French government to align with climate targets

In a landmark ruling, France's top administrative court has condemned the government's failure to comply with the Paris Agreement and fight global warming, giving it nine months to get in line with the climate objectives it signed up to. According to the judges, “the government admits that the measures currently in force do not make it possible to achieve the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030”. The country’s low-carbon strategy had defined the objective for 2030 of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels, and go carbon neutral by 2050. The government now has nine months to take “all the necessary measures” to curb greenhouse gas emissions produced on the national territory to ensure its compatibility with the Paris objectives. (Edie)


UK vows to protect consumers against cost to reach net-zero

The UK government has vowed to protect British consumers against the costs of phasing out greenhouse gas emissions after ministers drew up carbon-cutting plans that could potentially raise the price of heating homes and running cars. Ministers plan to consult later this year on expanding the UK’s domestic emissions trading program to cover emissions from heating buildings and fuelling vehicles. The annual cost of heating a home could rise by as much as £170, and the cost of running a car could rise by more than £100. The government confirmed no decisions have been made on expanding the Emissions Trading Scheme, and that they will protect consumers against increases to cost of living while transitioning to cleaner and greener sources of fuel, although no specific actions have been revealed. (Bloomberg*)

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Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America