Top Stories

December 13, 2021


Work on Cambo oilfield paused after Shell withdrawal

Work on the Cambo oilfield off Shetland is being paused, its developers have said, plunging the future of oil exploration in the area into doubt. Energy giant Shell, which was to develop the field with the private equity-backed fossil fuel explorer Siccar Point Energypulled out of the project after fierce opposition from environmental activists. Despite claims of ongoing talks with the UK government over the future of the oil field, Siccar Point has announced it is now “pausing the development” as the “Cambo project cannot progress on the originally planned timescale”. The move throws the future of the project into doubt and raises questions within the UK’s oil industry over other large-scale oil schemes in the North Sea. (The Guardian)


US to stop funding carbon-intense fossil fuels projects abroad

The Biden administration has ordered US government agencies to immediately stop financing new carbon-intensive fossil fuel projects overseas and prioritize global collaborations to deploy clean energy technology, according to US diplomatic cables. The documents state the US government engagements should reflect the goals set in an executive order issued at the start of the year aimed at ending American financial support of coal and carbon-intensive energy projects overseas. In related news, Germany's new coalition government is to pass a supplementary budget that will see €60 billion of unused debt from this year's federal budget channelled into a climate and transformation fund. The coalition wants to deploy the funds to make critical public investments in climate protection measures, including charging points for electric vehicles,and better insulating homes. (Reuters 1; Reuters 2)


AB InBev brews up net-zero value chain goal for 2040

The world’s largest brewer AB InBev has announced plans to achieve net-zero emissions across its entire value chain, pledging to deliver net-zero for its supply chain and product use and disposal by 2040. The company said the emissions reductions were driven in part by the opening earlier this year of its first carbon neutral breweries in Wuhan, China, and Ponta Grossa, Brazil, as well as its first carbon neutral malthouse in Brazil. The projects are expected to provide a template for the company's wider push to achieve net-zero emissions. The announcement formed part of an update on the brewing giant's 2025 sustainability goals. The business is now working to have net-zero operations in five major breweries by 2028, and is ramping up investment in renewable electricity generation and energy-saving technologies. (Business Green)


US sanctions China, Myanmar & North Korea over human rights

The US has imposed extensive human rights-related sanctions on dozens of people and entities tied to China, Myanmar, North Korea and Bangladesh, and added a Chinese artificial intelligence company to an investment blacklist. Canada and the UK joined the US in imposing sanctions related to human rights abuses in Myanmar, while the US also imposed new sanctions on North Korea and targeted Myanmar military entities, among others, in action marking Human Rights Day. On Friday, the US Treasury added Chinese artificial intelligence company SenseTime to a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies,” accusing it of having developed facial recognition programmes that can determine a target’s ethnicity, with a particular focus on identifying ethnic Uighurs. As a result, SenseTime will fall under an investment ban for US investors. (Al-Jazeera)


World Bank accused of poor leadership on climate change

The World Bank, led by president David Malpass, has been accused of pushing for the joint statement by development banks at the UN COP26 climate summit to be shortened and weakened. In an email to the other banks, a World Bank Group representative said Malpass made clear he had “no appetite for a long joint statement,” instead proposing “a very short statement”. An earlier four-page draft statement said the banks would “shift financing towards low-carbon, climate resilient development” and help countries “align their national budget” with the goals of the Paris accord to limit global warming to 1.5ºC. However, the final two-page statement omitted the budget commitment. The institution is being accused by the UN and climate change experts for being “missing in action” on climate and faces calls for new leadership. (Financial Times)*


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B4SI Annual Review 2021