Top Stories

August 23, 2021


Climate laggards banned from booking Glasgow's venues for COP26

Glasgow City Council has passed a motion to prevent companies that "contribute towards catastrophic climate change" from its venues during COP26, which will run from 31 October until 12 November this year. The Council has published eligibility criteria for all organisations looking to book such spaces during the conference. Large businesses are required to have either set or pledged to set science-based targets for reducing emissions, or have joined the UN’s Race to Zero Campaign. Applicants should also have no convictions for major breaches of environmental law, nor reported violations of human rights laws. Race to Zero Campaign notably updated its own eligibility criteria earlier this year, in a bid to prevent misleading claims from gaining verification. The campaign is not, for example, taking applications from large fossil fuel firms. (Edie)


Carbon from UK’s blue hydrogen bid still to equal 1 million petrol cars

The UK Government’s plan to use ‘blue’ fossil-fuel hydrogen alongside the green version has raised concern among campaigners. Opting for hydrogen that is made using fossil fuels rather than renewable electricity could create up to 8 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year by 2050, according to an analysis of government data. If the government  use  “blue hydrogen” to meet a third of the UK’s forecast demand, it would create the same carbon emissions each year as over 1 million petrol cars, compared with using zero-carbon “green hydrogen”. Ministers plan to use both blue and green hydrogen to replace fossil gas in factories, refineries and heating, but new figures show an over-reliance on blue hydrogen would still lead to millions of tonnes of carbon emissions entering the atmosphere every year. (The Guardian)


Female directors still paid a small fraction of their male counterparts

Female directors at the UK’s biggest companies are still being paid a fraction of the amount their male counterparts receive, according to research by New Street Consulting Group. The average pay for FTSE 100 female directors stands at just £237,000 which is only slightly more than a quarter of the £875,900 paid to their male counterparts. With female directors paid 73% less, the figures show the gender pay gap at blue-chip companies is far worse than the overall population, with women paid 15.5% less than men in the broader jobs market, based on official data. The large pay gap at board level is mainly due to the majority of female directors at FTSE 100 companies holding non-executive jobs which attract lower salaries than executive roles. (The Guardian)


Norway wealth fund should push firms to net-zero by 2050, says panel

Norway's $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, should push firms it invests in to eventually cut their greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement, according to a government-appointed commission. Climate risk should also be made a part of the mandate of the fund, which is managed by Norway's central bank. The fund should continue to invest across industries, including the oil and gas sector, and push companies to decarbonise. The Norwegian fund, owns 1.4% of all globally listed stocks on average, across more than 9,100 companies. In 2019, the fund estimated its portfolio’s carbon footprint to be 107.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent – roughly twice Norway’s 2020 emissions. (Reuters)


Government makes net-zero plea to manufacturing, tech, & retail sectors

Companies across the UK's manufacturing, technology, and retail sectors have been urged to formally commit to delivering net-zero emissions in the run up to the crucial COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow later this year by the government's ‘Net Zero Business Champion’ Andrew Griffith MP. In open letters to leading industry bodies late last week, Griffith urged firms across the three sectors to set their sights on halving their carbon emissions by 2030, on the way to reaching net-zero emissions before 2050, and to commit to such goals ahead of the UN summit in November. He explained that the government had developed bespoke advice geared at helping small and medium sized firms in the three sectors drive down their emissions while also delivering business benefits. (Business Green)


Senior Climate Change Consultant, London

Executive Assistant and Office Manager, New York

Sustainability Senior Consultant, North America

Sustainability Senior Researcher, North America