Top Stories

July 14, 2021


UK Government unveils its Transport Decarbonisation Plan

The UK Government has unveiled its ‘Transport Decarbonisation Plan’, designed to align all modes of domestic transport with the national net-zero target. A headline commitment of the new Plan is to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and buses. The Department for Transport (DfT) will consult on proposals to phase out polluting vehicles weighing between 3.5 tonnes and 26 tonnes from 2035 and those weighing more than 26 tonnes from 2040, after it previously banned sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. It has stated that earlier dates will be set if the private sector agrees that a faster transition is “feasible”. The government also set an aim for all internal UK plan joruneys to generate net-zero emissions by 2040. (Edie; Business Green)


NatWest launches a carbon footprint tracker for customers

Highstreet bank NatWest has launched a new carbon calculator tool, allowing its customers to see the carbon emissions associated with their daily spending. Following a successful pilot, the feature will be rolled out to roughly eight million people who use NatWest's mobile app. The tool, created by tech platform CoGo, offers hints and tips to users on how to curb their environmental impacts and use resources more efficiently. Users are able to log their commitments and behaviour changes such as composting food waste, switching to clean energy suppliers, adopting vegetarian diets, and buying second-hand clothes. Partners claim the app has the potential to save more than one billion kg of CO2 emissions a year once it is fully rolled out. (Business Green)


China plans July launch of national emissions trade scheme

Trading will commence on China's long-awaited national carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS) later this month. The new ETS is part of China's plans to make use of "market mechanisms" to help bring its carbon emissions – now the world's highest – to a peak before 2030 and to net-zero by 2060. The first phase of the national ETS will cover more than 2,000 power plants, and will be expanded to other sectors, including cement, steel and aluminium. However, there has been criticism of China’s new ETS as the system is based on the amount of carbon produced per unit of output, rather than absolute emission levels, meaning that it is not guaranteed to reduce total CO2 in the short-term. (Reuters)


India states draft two-child policy & sterilisation incentives

Several Indian states are considering implementing a controversial two-child policy and incentivising sterilisation as a means of population control. The state of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with a population larger than Brazil, has announced draft legislation which would see anyone with more than two children denied state benefits, subsidies and government jobs. After a family has two children, there will also be incentives if one of the parents undergoes voluntary sterilisation. The state government argues the bill is due to “limited ecological and economic resources at hand”.There are numerous human rights concerns that the policy is motivated by religious tensions, specifically a widespread but unsubstantiated belief that large Muslim populations that exist in Uttar Pradesh are “overproducing” and “putting the Hindu population at risk of becoming a minority”. (The Guardian)


Moody’s launches small & medium enterprise ESG score tool

Asset management firm Moody’s ESG Solutions has announced the launch of its ESG Score Predictor, a new tool aimed at enabling real time ESG assessments for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and monitoring risk across global supply chains. While ESG scoring and risk assessment tools have proliferated over the past few years, as companies, investors, regulators and other stakeholders have become increasingly interested in managing sustainability risks and opportunities, Moody’s new solution aims to address a critical area of the market where it believes such information is often lacking. The ESG Score Predictor provides more than 50 predicted metrics including granular ESG scores, energy transition scores, a physical risk management score, and carbon emissions footprints. (ESG Today)


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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