Top Stories

January 17, 2022


Asia’s richest man plans to invest $76 billion in green projects

Indian multinational conglomerate company Reliance Industries Ltd, headed by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, has announced plans to invest $76 billion towards green energy projects. The company has signed an agreement with the state government of Gujarat in India for an investment that would be used over the next 15 years to build 100 gigawatts of renewable power projects and a green hydrogen network, alongside factories for making solar modules, hydrogen electrolysers, fuel cells and storage batteries. Though the investment pact is just a memorandum of understanding, it outlines a scope for the Reliance Group to become carbon neutral across its operations by 2035. Achieving this target means transitioning away from oil refining and petrochemicals, which amount to 60% of its current revenues. (Bloomberg)*


Burberry links £300 million loan to sustainability targets

Luxury fashion brand Burberry has agreed with Lloyds Bank to refinance its Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) to cover a £300 million Sustainability Linked Loan as part of its headline goal of becoming climate positive by 2040. The RCF will be linked to performance against Burberry’s sustainability targets including reducing emissions across its extended supply chain by 46% by 2030 which, if met, would see the company go beyond net-zero emissions 10 years ahead of the 1.5°C Paris Agreement pathway. Burberry is the latest to refinance an RCF to account for sustainability performance. Last year, M&S signed an £850 million RCF that will offer discounted interest rates based on it’s net-zero strategy performance. In August, RSK Group signed a £1 billion loan with interest rates also tied to sustainability target progress. (edie)


Charities urge government to ramp up insulation and clean energy

In a joint letter to the UK Prime Minister, an alliance of 25 charities has called for increased funding for energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy technologies. Among the 25 charities calling for urgent action are AgeUK, Save the Children, WWF, Tearfund and Greenpeace calling for urgent support. The letter states that investing in green energy technology such as heat pumps will help to reduce a reliance on fossil gas and to combat rising energy costs. The charity alliance estimates that fuel poverty could increase by 50% from four to six million households across the country as the UK expects an anticipated 50% increase in energy bills from April. Charity spokespersons also argue that a windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas company profits would enable the government to help finance struggling households. (Business Green)*


Six in 10 Americans ‘alarmed’ or ‘concerned’ about climate change

A study, published by research centre the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication has found that overall Americans are becoming increasingly worried about global warming, more engaged with the issue and more supportive of finding solutions to the issue. The study revealed that approximately six in 10 Americans (59%) are either ‘Alarmed’ or ‘Concerned’ about climate change, while two in 10 (19%), are ‘Doubtful’ or ‘Dismissive’ according to the study’s categorisation. Over the last five years, the ‘Alarmed’ category group has nearly doubled in size, growing by 15%. When the group first began its surveys in 2008, the ‘Concerned’ category was the largest segment and ‘Alarmed’ the second smallest as recently as 2015. The ‘Cautious’, ‘Doubtful’ and ‘Dismissive’ group categories have all shrunk in recent years. (The Guardian)


Global heating linked to early birth and damage to babies’ heath

A series of six studies published in the Journal of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology has found that climate change is damaging the heath of foetuses, babies and infants globally. Scientists from the US, Denmark, Israel and Australia found that increased heat was linked to weight gain in babies, premature birth, and increased hospital admissions of young children. One study showed exposure to smoke from wildfires in the month before conception doubled the risk of a severe birth defect, while another found reduced fertility was linked to air pollution from fossil fuel burning, even at low levels. The research adds weight to a 2020 review of 68 studies, which linked heat and pollution to premature birth risks across studies of 34 million births. (The Guardian)

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B4SI Annual Review 2021