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November 15, 2021


World leaders agree final Glasgow Climate Pact at COP26

World leaders at the UN COP26 climate summit have agreed the new Glasgow Climate Pact, which calls on nations to set new climate targets and phase down unabated fossil fuel usage and inefficient subsidies. The Pact mandates nations to formulate and publish updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement for 2030, by the end of 2022, asking nations to strive to align their climate targets and plans with a 1.5oC temperature pathway. In a first for any COP, the final text mentions fossil fuels, stating that “unabated” coal power should be “phased down” as a priority and that “inefficient subsidies” for all fossil fuels should be removed. In last-minute objections to global negotiations, the likes of China and India called for a weakening on the language on fossil fuels, while the US and EU managed to remove proposals for a Loss and Damage finance facility to support developing nations. The agreement has received much criticism with COP26 President Alok Sharma stating that the pulse of the 1.5oC target is “alive” but “weak”, and Pacific representatives condemning the outcome as “watered down” and a “monumental failure” that puts Pacific nations in severe existential danger. (edie; The Guardian)


Nokia agrees 100% renewable energy use target by 2025

Telecommunications and networking technology company Nokia has set a new target to reach 100% renewable electricity use across its facilities by 2025. According to the company, in 2020, 39% of Nokia’s total purchased electricity was from renewable sources. It is now targeting to reach 100% purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025 to power its offices, R&D labs, and factories. In addition to its new target, Nokia has called for accelerated digitalisation and green energy uptake. Nokia stated that while recent research suggests the COVID-19 pandemic sped up digitalisation by an average of six years, the greater part of the world’s economy lacks access to digital technologies. According to Nokia, digitalisation is critical for making industries more sustainable, as it results in less waste, more resource efficiency, and greater productivity. (ESGToday)


Palm oil land grabs “trashing” nature and displacing people

Businesses and governments must stop the growing rush of commodities-driven land grabbing, which is “trashing” the environment and displacing people, according to new research by Verisk Maplecroft. An analysis of 170 commodities shows that palm oil and cobalt are extreme risks for land grabs. The research warns that other minerals used for “clean” technology, including silicon, zinc, copper, and goods such as coconuts, garlic, tea and cocoa are also high risk for land grabbing. It states that demand for more land to produce goods has been accompanied by displacement of indigenous communities and damage to natural capital – “such as clean air and water, pollinating insects, and soil quality” – crucial to battling the climate crisis. The report urges corporations to take responsibility for conducting diligent supplier audits. (The Guardian)

Fast fashion giant Shein’s suppliers working 75-hour weeks

Workers for some suppliers of the Chinese fast fashion giant Shein are doing excessive overtime, according to an investigation by Swiss advocacy group Public Eye. A number of staff across six sites in Guangzhou were found to be working 75-hour weeks, clocking up to three shifts per day often with only one day off per month. Public Eye suggests the fact that workers, mainly migrants, are paid per item of clothing encourages them to work long hours. Although such hours aren't unusual in Chinese production hubs, they violate local labour laws, which set out a maximum working day of eight hours, as well as a 40-hour working week. A spokesperson for Shein stated that the company  “will initiate an investigation” once they have reviewed the report. (BBC News)


ENGIE & Crédit Agricole acquire renewable power firm Eolia

Power company ENGIE and Crédit Agricole Assurances have acquired Eolia Renovables, one of the largest renewable power producers, from Canadian investment manager Alberta Investment Management Corporation. According to ENGIE, the deal will enable the company to boost its presence in the fast-growing Spanish renewables market, and will help the company to meet its goal to reach 50 GW of renewable capacity by 2025. Earlier this year, ENGIE unveiled a major repositioning strategy, including plans for major investments in renewables and energy solutions, along with €9-10 billion of asset disposals. It aims to annually add 3-4 GW through 2025, and anticipates reaching 80 GW of renewables capacity by 2030, with projects including onshore wind, offshore wind and solar across Europe, North America, and Latin America. (ESGToday)


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