Top Stories

July 16, 2021


SBTi increase minimum target-setting requirements by 2022 to 1.5oC

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is updating its strategic approach to increase the minimum ambition for corporate climate action from "well below 2oC" to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels, as envisioned by the Paris Agreement. When the SBTi was introduced in 2015, it encouraged businesses to set targets in line with the Paris Agreement pathways, namely 2oC, “well below” 2oC and 1.5oC trajectories. Six years on, the movement now covers nearly 20% of the global economy. As part of the new strategy, “well below” 2oC targets will be phased out from the validation framework. Any corporate that had targets approved in 2020 or earlier has until 2025 to update targets. All companies and financial institutions that submit targets from 15 July 2022 will need to align to the new criteria. (Edie)



Shell & Scottish Power submit plans for floating offshore windfarms

Energy companies Royal Dutch Shell has joined forces with Scottish Power to develop the world’s first large-scale floating offshore windfarms in the north-east of Scotland. Multiple plans have been submitted for a string of large floating offshore windfarms to Crown Estate Scotland as part of the property manager’s latest leasing round for access to the coastline. Floating turbines, which have no fixed subsea foundations, will play a key part in the government’s plan for an offshore wind boom because they can be developed in areas of very deep water where traditional offshore windfarms are not feasible. The new venture is expected to build on Scottish Power’s track record as one of the biggest offshore wind developers in the UK, and Shell’s decades-long experience working in the North Sea. (The Guardian)



More than 150 companies urge US Congress to pass voting rights act

More than 150 companies including Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, Google and PepsiCo urged US lawmakers to introduce and pass a voting reform act in a signed letter, as other efforts have stalled in Congress. The companies are part of a group of corporate executives called ‘Business for Voting Rights’. Some companies have spoken up in support of voting rights reforms and against restrictions on voting that have passed in Republican-controlled states including Georgia. The companies called on lawmakers to reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, an act that would help prevent voting discrimination and set up an improved system for states to report changes in election law. Democrats are expected to reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. (Reuters)



Insurers plan sustainable replacements for car & property write-offs

Insurers could replace written-off or stolen petrol cars with electric vehicles, and damaged gas boilers with more sustainable models as part of a wide-ranging plan to improve sustainability. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said its Climate Change Roadmap could "herald a new approach" to the many thousands of claims settled each year. The ABI believes it can have a significant impact on improving transport emissions and other environmental issues, aiming to move insurers towards a net-zero target. As part of its plans, consumers may be encouraged to accept repaired or recycled items as part of a settlement for damaged or stolen property, rather than brand new items. Under the roadmap, insurers will also investigate how items damaged during a flood or storm could be sent for re-use or repair. (BBC News)



Net-zero Statement of Support signed by 14 major UK pension funds

The chairs of corporate pension funds including Tesco, Barclays, HSBC, Unilever, BT and Pennon are among the signatories of the new ‘Net-Zero Statement of Support’ commitment to halve portfolio emissions by 2030 and bring them to net-zero by 2050. Signatories of the commitment, led by the Prince of Wales’ ‘Accounting for Sustainability’ (A4S) initiative, collectively manage almost £268 billion in assets, and it is hoped that dozens more names will sign on ahead of COP26 in November. The initative commits supporters to announcing net-zero targets within 12 months of signing on, supported by 1.5oC-aligned interim goals. For signatories that have already set net-zero targets, their key aims of participating in A4S’s commitment will be sharing experiences and practices with other members and encouraging other schemes globally to follow suit. (Edie)

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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