Top Stories

January 14, 2022


Carbon offset prices set to increase 50-fold by 2050

Market research provider BloombergNEF (BNEF) has forecasted that carbon offsetting prices could reach highs of up to $120 per tonne by 2050, up from $2 and $3 in 2021. The findings have been published in its Long-Term Carbon Offset Outlook report, with projections estimating that carbon offset prices could see a moderate increase to an average of $47 per tonne in 2050, assuming efforts to improve carbon credit quality are not sufficient. Persistent issues include double-counting and inefficient offsetting schemes. However, if markets are restricted to just credible removal-based offsets, BNEF predicts there will not be enough supply to match surging demand. This could result in a scenario where credits rise to $224 per tonne by 2029 before falling to $120 per tonne in 2050 as carbon capture technologies mature. (edie)


Bank of England tells banks to quantify climate risks properly

The Bank of England (BoE), the UK’s central bank authority, has told banks that they must be “ambitious” in properly quantifying risks from climate change or face intervention by regulators if they fall short. In a letter to bank CEOs, the BoE said banks should pay attention to how they incorporate climate-related risks into business strategies and stressed that climate risk was a supervisory priority for the coming year. The BoE said that most banks were focused on the business opportunities presented by climate change despite the increasing business risks involved. Foreign banks with branches in London will also be expected to focus on climate change, with the BoE saying it would increase its engagement with their home state supervisors on this issue. (Reuters)


EU faces investor backlash as gas headed for green rulebook

Major investors belonging to the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), have voiced strong opposition to the EU’s plans to include natural gas in its green taxonomy rulebook. The IIGCC – which includes asset management arms of JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, and oversees around €50 trillion in assets – argues that the decision risks undermining efforts to reach climate neutrality by 2050. In a letter sent to EU member state representatives, lawmakers and the European Commission President, the IIGCC argues that the inclusion of natural gas would undermine the EU’s ambitions to set international “science-based standards for classifying sustainable economic activities”. The European Commission has proposed including gas in the EU’s green taxonomy to help central and Eastern European countries within the bloc shift away from more carbon intensive coal. (Bloomberg)*


Foreign workers criticise UK post-Brexit farm labour scheme

According to a UK government review, seasonal workers in the UK on a post-Brexit pilot scheme to harvest fruit and vegetables were subjected to “unacceptable” welfare conditions. Issues cited by workers included a lack of health and safety equipment, racism, and accommodation without bathroom facilities, running water, or kitchen space. The seasonal workers pilot scheme was launched in 2019 due to labour shortage concerns post-Brexit. The survey found that many of the 2,481 workers under the scheme had not been given employment contracts in their native language, lacked health and safety equipment and were subject to unfair treatment by farm managers. The findings have raised concerns that conditions for foreign workers in the UK’s agricultural sector have not improved in recent years, despite commitments to crackdown on exploitative conditions. (The Guardian)


Natural disasters cost world US$280 billion in 2021 

Data published by global insurance firm Munich RE says that natural disasters cost the world $280 billion in 2021, a third more than in 2020. The costliest nature-related disaster was Hurricane Ida, which caused $65 billion in damages when it struck the east coast of the US and several Caribbean nations. Meanwhile, European floods caused $54 billion in damages, and damages in Asia-Pacific were estimated at $50 billion for 2021, predicted to rise to $160 billion annually by 2030. The data shows that the fraction of insured damages due to climate-related disasters rose to 43% in 2021 up from 34% in 2019. An increase in expected extreme weather events is expected to raise insurance premiums, with global insurer Swiss Re, expecting property insurance prices to rise by 22% by 2040. (Eco-Business)

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