Top Stories

May 10, 2022


World on course to breach 1.5°C warming threshold within 5 years

The World Meteorological Organization and the UK Met Office have warned there is a 48% chance the earth’s annual temperature will exceed 1.5°C, compared with pre-industrial levels, in one of the years between now and 2026. The report admitted that the probability is likely to keep rising. The chance of exceeding 1.5°C of warming was close to zero just seven years ago for the subsequent five-year period, according to the report. Global emissions have been rising as economic activity has rebounded after the pandemic, with carbon dioxide emissions in 2021 reaching the highest levels ever recorded. The report analysed around 120 climate forecasts to calculate the chance of temporarily breaching 1.5°C. It concluded that the hottest year on record is likely to fall within the next five years, between 2022-2026. (Financial Times)*


Just one of 50 aviation industry climate targets met, study reveals

The international aviation industry has failed to meet all but one of 50 of its own climate targets in the past two decades according to a report commissioned by the climate charity Possible. The report assessed every target set by the industry since 2000 and found that nearly all had been missed, revised or quietly ignored. The charity says the findings undermine a UK government plan to leave airlines to reduce their emissions through self-regulation. Air travel accounted for 2.1% of human-produced carbon dioxide emissions in 2019. It is estimated that 15% of people take 70% of all flights, Possible says. The report findings found that unclear definitions, opaque monitoring and inconsistent reporting made targets difficult to assess, with many also suddenly changed, replaced or dropped within the study period. (The Guardian)


National Grid report argues for HGV-compatible charging network

New analysis from grid operator National Grid details how expanding the UK Government’s Rapid Charging Fund (RCF) to account for demand from heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) could slash road transport emissions. The government’s current plans to expand its electric vehicle (EV) charging network may struggle to keep pace with growing demand from the emerging fleet of zero emissions HGVs, leading to higher road transport decarbonisation costs, warned National Grid. The report found that a relatively small increase in the government’s £950 million RCF could drastically boost HGV recharging and hydrogen refuelling capacity. Its modelling also stipulated that 53-78% of on-route charging and hydrogen refuelling could be provided at no extra cost to the RCF. The report was welcomed by leading HGV manufacturers that are building zero emission models. (Business Green)*


Amazon targets four firms with legal action over falsified reviews

E-commerce giant Amazon is suing four companies it has accused of deliberately flooding its platform with fake reviews. Three of the firms, which act as unofficial brokers between Amazon sellers and reviewers, had nearly 350,000 reviewers working for them. The reviewers get free products and a small fee in return for each review. The firms Amazon is taking legal action against are accused of collectively targeting its platforms in the US, UK, Europe, Japan and Canada. Amazon says that as part of its settlement, one firm has agreed to share data about who its customers are. Under new proposals currently under consideration in the UK it would become illegal to pay someone to write or host fake reviews. (BBC News)


Government plans to cap student numbers would hit social mobility

Proposals to cap the number of students going to university are “flawed” and “turn back the clock on social mobility” university vice-chancellors have warned. In February, the UK Department for Education (DfE) launched a consultation on introducing a system of “student number controls” for higher education institutions in England. The DfE said it was considering a “sector-wide cap”, limiting the numbers on specific courses at different institutions. However, Universities UK (UUK) – which represents vice-chancellors – said student number caps “would hurt those from disadvantaged backgrounds the most.” UUK said the cap would limit student choice and “entrench disadvantage because students who are unable to move location to attend university have fewer opportunities to apply and be accepted to university.” (iNews)

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