Top Stories

March 09, 2022


Business coalition commits to create 100,000 acres of UK-wide wetlands

A coalition of businesses have pledged to create an expanded network of healthy wetlands across the UK, as part of an initiative backed by the Prince of Wales. The Blue Recovery Leaders Group, working with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) on the new initiative, said healthy wetlands could help fight the “climate, nature and wellbeing crisis”. Members of the Blue Recovery Leaders Group include Berkeley Group, the Church Commissioners for England, Cushman & Wakefield, Eversheds Sutherland, Jacobs, National Grid, People’s Postcode Lottery, Severn Trent, and Triodos Bank. Collectively, the Blue Recovery Leaders Group announced a goal of helping to create 100,000 hectares of new and restored wetlands across the country, with each member working to identify, develop and deliver pioneering projects that would support WWT reach its target. (Business Green)*


McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Pepsi cease Russian operations

Food and drinks conglomerates McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have joined the mass exodus of western brands from Russia, pausing their operations in the country following its invasion of Ukraine. PepsiCo is to suspend all advertising in Russia and stopping the sale of its brands after a similar announcement by its rival Coca-Cola. Fast-food giant McDonald’s said it will temporarily suspend operations at its 850 locations. The company, which owns 85% of its stores in Russia, could take a big financial hit because of the closures with its restaurants in Russia and Ukraine contributing 9% in annual revenue. McDonald’s said it will continue to pay its 62,000 Russia-based employees. Starbucks said it is suspending all business activity in Russia, including shipment of its products and cafes run by a licensee. (The Guardian)


US beef industry left almost “unscathed” by Biden’s methane pledge

The US beef industry has escaped “relatively unscathed” from President Joe Biden’s attempts to curb methane emissions, according to leaders at the industry’s recent CattleCon convention. The US and the EU unveiled a global pledge to cut methane gas by 30% by 2030 at COP26 with evidence pointing to cattle production as a significant contributor of methane. However, information obtained by Greenpeace’s investigative unit Unearthed found industry lobbyists relieved at no additional regulation on ranchers and feedlots at the convention. Rather than mandatory reduction requirements, as imposed on oil, gas and coal industries, the Biden administration has chosen to incentivise ranchers and feedlots to reduce emissions. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has expressed concern that voluntary actions and incentives will not be enough to slow climate change. (The Guardian)


UK Online Safety Bill scope adjusted to target scam advertisements

Social media sites and search engines could soon have to stop paid-for scam adverts appearing under an updated proposal for the UK’s Online Safety Bill. The UK government is also launching a consultation on how online advertising is regulated. Under the addition to the bill, social media platforms will be required to put in place processes to block and remove fraudulent ads appearing online. The objective is to better protect people from scams where criminals impersonate celebrities or companies to steal personal data, promote unsafe financial investments or break into bank accounts, which can cause financial and emotional harm to victims. Consumer group Which? welcomed the news after calling for scams to be included in the bill, although argues the scope could go further to target third-party website adverts. (BBC News)


Net-Zero Technology Centre unveils funding for low-carbon tech

The UK’s low-carbon innovation initiative the Net-Zero Technology Centre has unveiled a new £10 million funding competition for low-carbon technologies, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS). The funding will be awarded to innovations that can be trialled and deployed within the UK continental shelf. The Net-Zero Technology Centre, which is backed by £180 million in UK and Scottish government funding, aims to mobilise innovative, low-carbon solutions to be deployed in the North Sea. The 2022 Open Innovation Programme will consist of two phases with the first to allocate £7 million for initiatives focused on carbon capture storage, hydrogen and clean fuels, renewables and energy storage. This will be followed with a further £3 million competition for data, automation and smart technologies to run in October 2022. (edie)

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