Top Stories

October 21, 2021


Document leak reveals nations lobbying to change key climate report

A huge leak of documents seen by BBC News shows how countries are trying to change a crucial scientific report on how to tackle climate change ahead of COP26 climate summit at the end of the month. The leak reveals Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia are among countries asking the UN IPCC to play down the need to move rapidly away from fossil fuels, and some wealthy nations are questioning paying more to poorer states to move to greener technologies. Additionally, Brazil and Argentina, two of the biggest producers of beef products and animal feed crops in the world, argue strongly against evidence in the draft report that reducing meat consumption is necessary to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The leaked documents consist of over 32,000 submissions made by governments, companies and other interested parties to the team of scientists compiling the UN report designed to bring together the best scientific evidence on how to tackle climate change. (BBC News)


Stora Enso aims for net positive biodiversity & climate impact

Forest products company Stora Enso announced a significant acceleration of its sustainability ambitions with a new overall goal to become a net-positive contributor to enhance biodiversity. The company committed to achieving a net-positive impact on biodiversity on the species, habitat and landscape levels in its own forests and plantations by 2050 through active biodiversity management. Other targets include aims to offer 100% regenerative products and solutions by 2050, and 2030 carbon reduction targets for reducing Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from a 2019 baseline, which have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). (ESG Today)


Allianz, Calpers to cut portfolio emissions by up to 30% by 2025

By 2025, twenty-nine of the world's biggest pension funds and investment firms, including Allianz SE and the $487 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, intend to have cut the emissions of their portfolio holdings by 25% – 30%. The targets, which cover publicly traded equities, corporate bonds and real estate portfolios, were announced by the United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance. The emissions reduction targets only cover direct emissions and those produced from energy sources that the company buys, so-called Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. The Alliance's members should track Scope 3 emissions, but they aren't required to set targets until the data become more reliable. Alliance members also are required to report on the amount of financing they have provided to "climate solutions." (Bloomberg*)


Global heating ‘may lead to a global epidemic of kidney disease’

Chronic kidney disease linked to heat stress could become a major health epidemic for millions of workers around the world as global temperatures increase over coming decades, warn doctors. Epidemics of chronic kidney disease of uncertain cause (CKDu) have already emerged primarily in hot, rural regions of countries such as El Salvador and Nicaragua, where abnormally high numbers of agricultural workers have begun dying from irreversible kidney failure. CKDu has also started to be recorded as affecting large numbers of people doing heavy manual labour in hot temperatures in other parts of Central America as well as North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa and India. There is emerging consensus that CKDu should be recognised as a heat stress-related injury, with doctors calling for urgent research into the link. (The Guardian)


Facebook fined by UK competition watchdog for ‘deliberate’ breach

Tech and social media giant Facebook has been fined £50.5 million for breaching an order imposed by the UK competition regulator, which is probing its takeover of gif-sharing platform Giphy. The order is designed to ensure companies continue to compete as they would in the absence of a merger and it prevents them from integrating further. Facebook is legally required to provide the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) with regular updates to show that it is complying with the order but the CMA said Facebook “significantly limited the scope of those updates” despite repeated warnings. The regulator added it “consciously” refused to report all the required information,  suggesting that Facebook’s failure to comply was “deliberate,” noting that the company was given multiple warnings. (CNBC)


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