Top Stories

July 15, 2021


Food strategy calls for £3bn sugar and salt tax to improve UK’s diet

Ministers are being urged to levy a £3bn sugar and salt tax to break Britain’s addiction to junk food, cut meat consumption by nearly a third and help tackle climate change. The government says the UK population’s “malfunctioning” appetites and poor diets, fuelled by consumers’ and manufacturers’ reliance on processed food, places an unsustainable burden on the NHS. Its most notable recommendation is a levy of £3 a kilo on sugar and £6 a kilo on salt sold wholesale for use in processed food, restaurants and catering. This would raise up to £3.4bn a year, some of which would fund an expansion of free schools meals to an extra 1.1 million children and an overhaul of Britain’s food and cooking culture. (The Guardian)


Canada Commits to 40-45% Emissions Reduction by 2030

The Government of Canada announced that it has formally submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations, committing the country to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% – 45% by 2030, on a 2005 base. Along with the NDC submission, the government outlined several of the initiatives, including grants for energy efficiency and climate resiliency-focused home retrofits, funding for green building initiatives, infrastructure planning, public transportation investments, zero emissions vehicle legislation, and renewable energy development, among others. Additionally, the government confirmed that the minimum price on carbon pollution will increase by $15 per tonne each year starting in 2023 through to 2030. (ESG Today)


Google fined €500m by France’s antitrust watchdog over copyright

France’s antitrust watchdog has fined Google €500m (£428m) for failing to comply with the regulator’s orders on how to conduct talks with the country’s news publishers in a row over copyright. The fine comes amid international pressure on online platforms such as Google and Facebook to share more revenue with news outlets. News publishers APIG, SEPM and AFP accuse the tech company of having failed to hold talks in good faith with them to find common ground for the remuneration of news content online. The US tech group must come up with proposals within the next two months on how it would compensate news agencies and other publishers for the use of their news. If it does not do that, the company would face additional fines of up to €900,000 a day. (The Guardian)


E-waste recycling boost 'needed to enable transition to net-zero'

The UK is losing at least £13.6m worth of critical raw materials, such as lithium, to the linear economy each year, due to a lack of capacity for recycling used electricals and electronics. This is according to a new report from Material Focus, exploring how the hoarding, landfilling and inefficient recycling of used electricals is letting the metals we will need to provide technologies like wind turbines, solar panels, fuel cells and batteries for vehicles go to waste. The report recommends a unified national collection service for used electronics and electricals. Priority items should include desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, screens, monitors and lighting, as they contain significant quantities of rare earth elements. (Edie)


Joby, JetBlue team up to create credits for clean flight technology

Electric air taxi startup Joby Aviation, JetBlue Airways Corp and Signature Flight Support are teaming up to develop aviation carbon credits for using electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies. The move, which aligns with the U.S. aviation industry's goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, includes the companies deciding on how the credits will be created, validated and used in the aviation carbon market. While electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies are in their nascent stages, operations using those technologies will begin to reduce emissions in the short-haul category on a per-seat-mile basis, the companies said. U.S. lawmakers in May planned to introduce a bill that would create a tax credit for lower-carbon sustainable aviation fuel, which they hope will slash emissions of greenhouse gases from the aviation industry. (Reuters)

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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