Top Stories

September 20, 2021


Bill Gates raises $1billion as corporate CEOs join race to scale clean tech

Bill Gates raised more than $1 billion in corporate funding for a new Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, drawing on support from BlackRock and Microsoft. The Catalyst aims to accelerate the commercial viability of four key solutions to the climate crisis: green hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuel, long-duration battery storage and carbon capture from the air. From 2022, the Catalyst will supply the funding needed to get capital-intensive projects off the ground, before debt financing and government funds can be raised to cover the remaining 90% of the cost. BlackRock is making a five-year, $100 million grant from its charitable foundation. Microsoft and the other backers — General Motors, Bank of America, American Airlines, Boston Consulting Group and ArcelorMittal — are providing a mix of equity capital and/or purchase agreements tied to the projects. (Bloomberg)*


Climate commitments must redouble to meet Paris Agreement, UN says

Nations must redouble planned climate targets if the world is to meet the minimal threshold of the Paris Agreement, according to a new UN report warning that while emissions are being reduced, the pace of progress is falling behind required rates. The report found that Nationally Determined Contributions would contribute to a projected decrease in global emissions of 12% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels. In comparison, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that a 45% reduction would be required by 2030 to reach 1.5oC. Nonetheless, the UK Prime Minister has expressed fears there is only a 60% chance that the $100 billion in climate finance viewed as key to an ambitious outcome to the COP26 summit will be in place by the time world leaders meet.(edie; The Guardian)


Heineken to trial low-carbon barley farming to reduce beer emissions

Dutch brewing company Heineken has announced plans to trial more sustainable approaches for growing barley, one of the main ingredients in beer, as part of the its efforts to reduce agricultural-related emissions by 33% over the next 10 years. Heineken has partnered with malt supplier Muntons, sustainable agriculture consultancy Future Food Solutions, and Yorkshire barley farmers to launch the trial this autumn. The farmers will grow the grain using sustainable farming techniques, such as inter-row cropping, growing cover crop mixes to protect the soil, and optimising nitrogen use. The success of the trial will be measured in terms of the amount of CO2 captured in the soil and amount of nitrogen needed to produce healthy yields, with outcomes to influence the roll-out of low-carbon techniques across Heineken's barley suppliers. (Business Green)


Evian water debuts 100% recycled plastic bottle with Loop partnership

Evian water has today unveiled a new recycled plastic bottle in partnership with clean technology company Loop, marking a major step towards its goal of using 100% recycled plastic in all its plastic bottles by 2025. The bottle is made from recycled PET (rPET), recycled polyethylene terephthalate, a polyester used in most plastic bottle manufacturing that is nearly impossible to breakdown and is a large contributor to plastic waste. Loop has engineered technology which breaks down low-value PET plastics, found in packaging, synthetic fabrics, and even waste found in the ocean, so it can be purified and transformed into Loop rPET plastic packaging. The new bottle, which is the first commercial production of a consumer drinks bottle made entirely from Loop's 100% rPET, will launch at the beginning of 2022. (Business Green)


UN claims work-related deaths kill nearly 2 million people each year

An estimate from UN agencies has showed nearly 2 million people die from work-related causes each year, including from illnesses associated with long working hours and air pollution. The study by the World Health Organization and International Labour Organization, the first assessment of its kind, found that work-related diseases and injuries were responsible for the deaths of 1.9 million people in 2016. The study considers occupational risk factors including long working hours and workplace exposure to air pollution, asthmagens, carcinogens and noise. A disproportionate number of work-related deaths occurred in workers in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, in males, and in those over 54 years of age. The study does not yet include deaths caused by rising heat associated with climate change nor communicable diseases such as COVID-19. (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