Top Stories

July 09, 2021


Global carbon offsetting governance body to be formed by end of 2021

Plans have been drawn up by the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) to launch an independent governance body for carbon offsets by the end of 2021. The governance body will be made up of an expert panel informing a board of directors, setting criteria for the core carbon principles of offsets used under the scheme. In other major carbon offsetting news, a group of large banks have announced plans to collaboratively pilot a digital platform for trading carbon offsetting, using blockchain to ensure credibility. The ‘Project Carbon’ platformis being developed by NatWest, CIBC, ITAU and the National Australia Bank. It will provide record of ownership of carbon credits, allowing holders to demonstrate possession,aiming to mimise the risk of double-counting and weed out projects that do not offer additionality. (Edie; Reuters)


Lab-grown meat producer Aleph Farms raises $105 mn to go to market

Israel-based cultivated meat company Aleph Farms has announced that it has raised $105 million in a funding round led by consumer-focused private equity investor L Catterton and venture capital platform DisruptAD. Biotech, nutrition, and digital health-focused advisory company Skyviews Life Science, along with a consortium of leading global food and meat companies, and existing investors also participated. The funds will be used to execute Aleph Farm’s plans for large-scale global commercialization of cultivated beef steaks and portfolio expansion, ahead of its planned 2022 market launch. According to Aleph Farms, multiple studies have found that cultivated meat production has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 92% through the use of renewable energy, reduce land use by more than 90%, and water use by 50%, compared to conventional beef production. (ESG Today)


'World's largest' sustainability-linked bond three times oversubscribed

Italian energy major Enel has revealed that it received orders of some $12 billion for its sustainability-linked bond – three times more than its $4 billion price point. The bond is linked to the delivery of Enel’s climate targets; the business has committed to reduce Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2030, against a 2017 baseline. In the longer-term, Enel is striving for net-zero by 2050. Enel is the latest corporation to ringfence funds through dedicated bonds and loans tied to environmental performance. Earlier this month, the world’s largest meat processing company JBS announced the issuance of a $1 billion sustainability-linked bond tied to net-zero targets, while technology firm HP has unveiled its sustainable bonds framework. (Edie)


Britain must engage the public on net-zero climate goals for 2050 target

Britain's government must swiftly publish proposals on how it plans to meet a 2050 net-zero emissions target and do more to engage the public on the lifestyle changes needed to meet the goal, according to a cross-party group of lawmakers. In 2019 Britain became G7’s first member to set a net-zero target, which will require wholesale changes in the way that Britons travel, heat their homes and consume electricity. In a recent report published by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, it was said the government should engage the public to avoid risking people viewing the net-zero transition in a negative light and perceiving policy measures as being imposed. (Reuters)


US government adds more Chinese companies to blacklist over Xinjiang

The US Biden administration is set to add more than 10 Chinese companies to its economic blacklist over alleged human rights abuses and high-tech surveillance in the Xinjiang region of China. The US Commerce Department action will follow its announcement last month adding five other companies and other Chinese entities to the blacklist over allegations of  forced labor in the far western region of China. The identity of the companies being added was not immediately known and some companies from other countries will also be added to the department's blacklist as soon as Friday. UN experts and rights groups estimate more than a million people, most of them Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in Xinjiang. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

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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