Top Stories

November 29, 2021


Further UN shipping talks set for 2022 after failure to speed up carbon exit

Further shipping talks are scheduled for next year after delegates at an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) meeting that sought to speed up decarbonisation of the sector failed to make progress. The IMO claims has agreed a commitment to revising its short-term GHG strategy by 2023. However, that timeline is not seen as fast enough by environmentalists and some member countries. Among the discussions that will extend into 2022 is a proposal to create a $5 billion research and development fund to find the right technology to meet the targets, which include a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050. The sector, which transports about 90% of world trade, is under pressure to deliver solid action including introducing a carbon levy. (Reuters)


Developers challenged over carbon footprint of new UK buildings

Marks & Spencer has become the latest company to be challenged over the climate impact of its buildings, with opponents warning that the planned demolition of its 90-year-old flagship store on London’s Oxford Street and replacement with a new structure will create so much carbon dioxide that 2.4 million trees would need to be planted to offset it. The company claims that, after 16 years of operation, its new building will offset the carbon impact of its construction and will be more energy-efficient. The focus comes amid rising concern at the impact of construction on climate. The World Green Building Council calculates materials and construction of buildings cause 11% of global energy-related carbon emissions, and research from Chatham House estimates the production of cement accounts for 8% of global carbon emissions. (The Guardian)


Lush shuts various social media accounts over safety concerns

British cosmetics retailer Lush has shut its FacebookInstagram, Snapchat and TikTok social media accounts, after whistleblowers called attention to the negative impact social media sites such as Instagram are having on teenagers’ mental health. The accounts were deleted last week on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, which the company’s CEO estimates to have resulted in a £10 million loss to sales. The company has presented itself as an ethical beauty empire since its origin in 1995. This is not the first time the company has deleted its social media accounts on ethical grounds. In 2019, the British brand shut its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts over concerns about misinformation and social media’s algorithm practices. (The Guardian)


Chemical giant BASF launches unit to accelerate low carbon projects

Chemical and materials giant BASF has launched its ‘Net Zero Accelerator’, a new unit focused on implementing and accelerating projects relating to low CO2 production technologies, circular economy, and renewable energies. The Accelerator is aimed at helping BASF accelerate the achievement of its climate goals, which include a 25% emissions cut by 2030 targeting net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050. Ongoing projects managed by the unit include BASF’s circular economy activities such as ‘ChemCycling’, a project focused on plastic waste that is not recycled mechanically for technological, economic, or ecological reasons, as well as CO2-free technologies such as methane pyrolysis. Renewable energies are another field of activity, including BASF’s agreement with Vattenfall to acquire a 49.5% stake in the world’s largest offshore wind farm earlier this year. (ESG Today)


BP plans major green hydrogen project in UK to decarbonise transport

Energy giant BP has announced plans to develop a large-scale green hydrogen facility capable of delivering up to 500 MWe of hydrogen production by 2030. The HyGreen Teesside project seeks to help establish the northeast UK region into a clean hydrogen hub and advance the decarbonisation of industrial and heavy transport sectors. The project is anticipated to be developed in multiple stages, matching production with demand, with BP planning to initially develop 60 MWe of installed hydrogen production capacity by 2025. BP’s plans for HyGreen Teeside follows the company’s announcement earlier this year of proposals for a blue hydrogen production facility in the region, H2Teesside, with production capacity targeted at 1 GW by 2030, making it the largest hydrogen project in the UK. (ESG Today)



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