Top Stories

November 09, 2021


Food systems emissions rose 17% over past three decades, UN says
Global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and food production have risen by 17% over the past 30 years, which underscores their importance in limiting climate change, according to a detailed analysis by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization released at the COP26 climate summit. The sectors accounted for 31% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, or 16.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Deforestation was the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, at about 6% total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. The sectors also produced 53% of global methane and 78% of nitrous dioxide. The data also showed that factors, such as transport, storage and food preparation unrelated to on-farm activities and land-use changes were also growing, accounting for more than half of the carbon emissions from agri-food systems. (Financial Times)*


UK and other nations commit millions for climate adaptation globally

The UK Government looks set to commit £290 million in new funding towards climate adaptation globally, with other multi-million pound commitments set to be earmarked by nations at COP26. The majority of the UK’s funding will be spent in the Asia and Pacific regions to help them plan, invest and improve resiliency through nature conservation and low-carbon innovation. Additionally, £15 million will be issued through a global Adaptation Fund, which nations including the US, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Italy, Qatar, Spain, Switzerland, Quebec and Flanders have contributed over $232 million to. In related news, over 70 governments have also backed new local-based adaptation measures by supporting the Principles for Locally Led Adaptation, with more than $450 million mobilised for local-based adaptation. (edie)


UK Government & Rolls Royce partner in small modular reactor project

The UK government has announced it will provide £210 million of funding to support engineering giant Rolls Royce’s plans to develop a fleet of small modular reactors (SMRs) in the UK, predicting the technology could play a major role in enabling the transition to net zero emissions. The funding package is set to be matched by over £250 million of private investment to further develop SMR design and take it through the regulatory processes to assess the suitability of potential deployment in the UK. Advocates of SMRs argue their modular nature mean they have the potential to deliver zero emission power at lower cost and on faster timescales than large scale new nuclear plants, with each SMR capable of providing enough power for one million homes. (Business Green)


AXA fund arm to ditch oil and gas climate laggards in three years

AXA Investment Managers, the fund arm of the French insurer, announced at COP26 it will sell out of oil and gas companies after three years if they haven’t science-based targets in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Beginning in early 2022, AXA will divest from companies for which oil sands represent more than 5% of total production, down from a previous 20% threshold, from companies getting more than 10% of their production from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) region, and from firms reliant on shale or fracking for more than 30% of output. AXA said it would engage with oil and gas companies not captured by the tougher exclusions, including oil majors like Exxon Mobil and BP, over their climate objectives. (Reuters)


Greenpeace Germany sues Volkswagen over carbon emissions targets

Spokesperson of the international movement for Climate Youth in Berlin Clara Mayer and the heads of Greenpeace Germany have sued Volkswagen in German court, accusing the automaker of failing to do its part to combat climate change. The claimants had given Volkswagen eight weeks to consider their demands, which included ending production of internal combustion engine cars by 2030 and reducing carbon emissions by at least 65% from 2018 levels by 2030, before filing the suit. Volkswagen has rejected the demands. A similar lawsuit was filed in late September by the heads of German environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe against BMW and Daimler, when both companies also rejected demands to end production of fossil fuel-based cars by 2030 and limit CO2 emissions before then. (Reuters)



Would you love to work in sustainability, supporting big brands in their responsible business journeys? Click here to see info on our current openings. We can't wait to hear from you



17th, 24th and 25th of November, 2021

B4SI Annual Conference: Creating an environment for Social Impact

1st and 2nd December 2021

Post COP26: How to align your climate change strategy