Top Stories

November 01, 2021


UK sets formal plan for mandatory climate disclosure to become law

The UK government has announced formal plans to introduce legislation requiring mandatory climate-related disclosure by companies and financial institutions. The legislation is expected to become law in April 2022, at which time more than 1,300 of the country’s largest publicly listed companies and financial institutions will become the first to provide reporting in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Companies to be covered by the new legislation include UK registered companies, trading on a UK registered market, with more than 500 employees, as well as private companies with over 500 employees and £500 million in revenue. The announcement follows the publication last week by HM Treasury of “Greening Finance,” a new report detailing the government’s sustainable investing roadmap. (ESG Today)


Poor countries at COP26 concerned by G20’s limited climate progress

Leading figures representing more than one billion people from poor countries have expressed concerns that the G20 is “failing poor and vulnerable countries” by not agreeing to a climate plan that would ensure their people’s survival. In last week’s G20 summit in Rome, G20 leaders pledged to reach net zero emissions by around 2050 and act this decade to limit global heating to 1.5⁰C, but poor countries said the promises lacked clear plans. They urged G20 leaders at COP26 to come up with more ambitious plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, such as phasing out coal and halting fossil fuel subsidies. The leaders blame powerful private-sector interests for the G20’s failure to come up with better plans, and warn that developed countries will also suffer the consequences of climate breakdown. (The Guardian)


Salesforce pledges $300m to reforestation, and L'Oreal invests in nature

Salesforce and the venture capital firm run by its founder Marc Benioff have announced $300 million in climate-related investments. Salesforce plans to donate $100 million to non-profits focused on climate action over the next ten years, with employees to deliver 2.5 million volunteer hours to these non-profits. Through Benioff’s TIME Ventures, a separate $100 million will be invested in reforestation ventures and other entrepreneurial projects working to restore ecosystems. A further $100 million will be provided to the World Economic Forum’s initiative, which aims to conserve, restore and plant at least a trillion trees globally by 2030, with a focus on emerging economies. On the same day, cosmetics giant L'Oreal confirmed the first recipient of funding from its €50 million nature fund to  support UK-based rewilding activities. (edie)


China's state-owned firms struggle to meet country’s climate goals

China's carbon-intensive state corporations are at risk of falling short of meeting the country’s climate pledges, amid confused policy signals and other constraints, according to a study from the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, which tracks the environmental and climate records of big corporations in China. The study  assessed 58 listed units of Chinese state-owned enterprises from sectors such as steel, petrochemicals, electric power and aviation. It found that although they are generally ahead of their private sector counterparts, some state corporations are lagging, with sectors such as steel falling behind global rivals on energy efficiency. Of the 58 units studied, 91% have disclosed climate and emissions data in their official reports. More than half have taken action to reduce emissions, but only 16% so far have announced targets. (Reuters)


UK Government slashes domestic flight taxes in half ahead of COP26

The UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak faces criticism for cutting domestic flight taxes in the run-up to the COP26 climate summit, accused of going “headlong in the wrong direction” about tackling climate emergency at a pivotal point for Britain. The chancellor has halved the tax on domestic flights, which are cheaper and more polluting than train journeys. Meanwhile, air passenger duty has been increased by £4 on “ultra-long” flights of more than 5,550 miles, from £87 to £91. Opposing political parties have criticised the announcement as “astonishing”, ahead of COP26 where global leaders will be gathering to speed up decarbonisation plans across the world. Critics added that the government should be encouraging people to use the UK’s train network in place of taking domestic flights. (The Guardian)



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