Top Stories

October 26, 2021


Rich nations won't deliver $100bn climate finance promise until 2023

The COP26 Presidency has outlined plans to finally fulfil a commitment from OECD nations to provide $100 billion of climate finance to poorer countries annually, but stated that the full amount will not be delivered until 2023. The Presidency’s Climate Finance Delivery Plan is the most in-depth roadmap on when and how developed nations will meet the goal, which has been missed every year since it was first announced in 2009 and formally ratified at COP15 in 2015. According to the new plan, the $100 billion milestone is unlikely to be achieved in 2020 or 2021, nor in 2022. However, in 2023, it should be met, and in the years that follow, exceeded. According to predictions, some $117 billion of climate funding should be provided by richer nations in 2025. (edie)


Australia commits to 2050 net zero goal, but lacks detail & modelling

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has released the government’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and updated Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction projection to between 30% and 35% in preparation for the COP26 United Nations climate summit. The plan is underpinned by an updated technology roadmap that prioritises investment in clean hydrogen, ultra-low cost solar, energy storage, low emissions steel and aluminium, and carbon capture and storage. The overall technology investment totals $20 billion. The plan has been criticised for showing almost a third of the abatement task to be comprised of cuts via unspecified “technology breakthroughs” and “global trends” while a further 20% will be achieved through unexplained offsets. The government has refused to release modelling underpinning the plan and is keeping details of the package secret. (The Guardian)


Plastics set to overtake coal plants on GHG emissions, study shows

Plastics will outpace coal plants in the US by 2030 in terms of their contributions to climate change, according to a report by Beyond Plastics, a nationwide anti-plastics movement based at Bennington College in Vermont. The report states that while there has been widespread media coverage on plastic waste and microplastics, policymakers and businesses are not currently accounting for the plastics industry’s full impact on climate change and face “little public scrutiny and even less government accountability.” The report found that the US plastics industry is presently responsible for at least 232 million metric tons of greenhouse gases every year, the equivalent of about 116.5 gigawatts in coal plants. This number is expected to rise still as dozens of plastics facilities are currently under construction across the US. (Eco-Business)


London's ULEZ expands, with new zone 18 times the original perimeter

London's Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has expanded to cover all of inner London. The expansion means the ULEZ is 18 times bigger and now covers 3.8 million people who live and work within the ULEZ, with the area size representing one-quarter of Greater London. Drivers of non-compliant vehicles – whether individual motorists or working as part of a business fleet - will be charged a daily rate of £12.50 for cars. It is hoped that the expansion will improve air quality and deliver progress against London’s 2030 net zero target, encouraging businesses to electrify their fleets. The existing ULEZ and the Low-Emission Zone (LEZ), which covers all of inner London and applies to heavy vehicles, have already delivered a improvements in air quality with 44% reduction in roadside NOx concentrations pre-pandemic. (edie)


Waitrose to sell potato milk as demand for plant-based options grows

In February 2022, British supermarket Waitrose will start stocking Swedish potato milk brand Dug, owned by plant-based drinks start-up Veg of Lund, which claims to be the most sustainable milk alternative on the market. Waitrose issued a report, based on analysis of its sales data for the past 12 months as well as a poll of 2,000 consumers, predicting the rise in consumer demand for potato milk. The report also points to the rise of a new diet regime it calls “climatarianism”, with nearly 70% of those surveyed said the carbon footprint of their food was either “very” or “somewhat” important to them. Sales of plant milk are booming in the UK with the market now worth about £400 million a year as Britons reduce their consumption of animal products. (The Guardian)



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