Top Stories

April 11, 2022


Data shows methane in Earth’s atmosphere rose by record amount in 2021

US government data has shown that atmospheric levels of methane gas has increased by a record amount for the second year in a row in 2021. The concentration of methane in the Earth’s atmosphere jumped by 17 parts per billion in 2021, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This makes it the largest annual increase recorded since measurements began in 1983. The previous record increase was set in 2020. Methane is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in trapping heat and acts as a significant short-term driver of the climate crisis. Scientists say record increases in methane suggest it is being leaked from oil and gas drilling operations and is released from agriculture at dangerous rates. (The Guardian)


Wahaca introduces carbon labels to its restaurant menus in climate drive

Restaurant chain Wahaca has added carbon ratings to its menu, in an effort to promote sustainable consumer purchases. The rating system was introduced at the same time that mandatory disclosures of calorie labels on menus came into effect in UK restaurants. The ratings involve labelling dishes as ‘low’, ‘medium’ and ‘high’ carbon. Wahaca has worked with measuring and climate communications start-up Klimato to develop the labelling system. Emissions calculations account for all ingredients of a dish across the value chain, including farming, processing, transport, storage and cooking. To lower transport-related emissions, Wahaca has already ended the airfreighting of ingredients into the UK. A Wahaca spokesperson said the company is aiming to source “ingredients from closer to home, from suppliers we trust”. (edie)


NatWest launches £1.5m climate training programme for its 16,000 staff

Retail banking company NatWest is partnering with the University of Edinburgh to launch a £1.5 million climate education programme. The aim of the three-year programme is to train more than 16,000 NatWest relationship managers and other staff working with clients in order to boost the company’s green financial expertise. Alongside offering corporate sustainability advice, the training will allow NatWest employees to identify opportunities created by the UK’s net-zero economy. Experts from the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Business, Climate Change and Sustainability will work alongside NatWest’s business banking specialists to deliver the 12-week online courses to the bank’s staff through to 2024. NatWest said it would work with the University to develop training, tools and content to support greater climate education and awareness. (Business Green)*


Google removes apps for secretly harvesting personal user information

Technology company Google has removed more than a dozen apps from its ‘Play Store’ after learning they contained malicious code. The code harvested people’s locations, phone numbers and email addresses. These include a QR code scanner, a weather app and Muslim prayer apps. Some of the apps had been downloaded more than 10 million times. Google has warned that app developers need to be clear with users about the information they share. One such app, a QR scanner, was secretly sending users’ sensitive data, including their phone’s unique IMEI identification number, to a Panama-based company with links to a company in Virginia in the US. Google says that apps banned for prohibited harvesting of user data can apply for reinstatement in the Google Play Store if the offending code is removed. (BBC News)


UK set to introduce Zero Emission Vehicle mandate for car manufacturers

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has established new plans to require auto manufacturers to produce a certain quantity of zero-emission vehicles from 2024. Called the Zero-Emission Vehicle mandate, the aim is to ensure that automakers are preparing for the 2030 ban on new pure petrol and diesel car and van sales. Hybrid sales will be permitted through to 2035, provided they meet the government’s emissions requirements. With transport having been the UK’s highest emitting sector since 2016, the mandate could help the UK stay within its future carbon budgets. The DfT opened its consultation to form its mandate in April 2022, with plans to complete it in June the same year. Consultation documents confirm the DfT is intending to introduce secondary legislation in 2023 to support businesses. (edie)

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