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July 05, 2022


Study: methane four times more sensitive to global heating

Methane is four times more sensitive to global warming than previously thought, a study published in Nature has found. The result helps to explain the rapid growth in methane in recent years and suggests that, if left unchecked, methane related warming will escalate in the decades to come. Over a 20-year timespan, methane is more than 80 times as potent than carbon dioxide, and since 2007 has undergone a rapid rise, with measurements from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recording it passing 1,900 parts per billion in 2021, nearly triple pre-industrial levels. The study warns that global heating is four times more influential in accelerating methane emissions than previous estimated, with rising temperatures escalating methane production while at the same time slowing down the removal of methane from the atmosphere. (The Guardian)


ECB to revamp corporate debt holdings to favour greener firms

The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced plans to gradually revamp its €344 billion corporate debt portfolio to favour greener firms, taking another step in aligning monetary policy with climate change goals. In one of its biggest moves yet, the ECB said that it will tilt reinvestments of cash maturing from corporate debt towards firms with lower greenhouse gas emissions, more ambitious carbon reduction targets and better climate related disclosures. The ECB bought corporate debt for much of the past decade as part of its ultra-easy monetary policy and while new purchases have already ended, cash from maturing bonds will be reinvested back into the market indefinitely. The ECB will, however, not exclude any company from its investment portfolio, in a move it hopes will incentivise big polluters “to become greener”. (Reuters)


Kellogg’s loses court challenge over high-sugar cereal rules

Food manufacturing company Kellogg’s will not be allowed to promote special offers for its sugary cereals, a UK court has heard. In-store promotions on food and drink high in fat, salt or sugar will be restricted under new rules for England. Kellogg’s had taken the government to court arguing the rules did not consider the nutritional value of added milk. However, the Royal Courts of Justice ruled in favour of the government. From October 2022, foods deemed high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from prime spots such as checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends and their online equivalents. Kellogg’s will not appeal against the judgement but urged the government to rethink the new rules, stating restrictions will mean “people face less choice and potentially higher prices”. (BBC News)


UN Ocean Conference sees signing of the ‘Lisbon Declaration’

The United Nations Oceans Conference (UNOC) concluded on July 1 in Lisbon after five days of discussions and events aimed at achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal to protect life below water. SDG14 consists of 10 targets, including reducing marine pollution, protecting and restoring ecosystems, reducing ocean acidification, ending subsidies that contribute to harmful fishing practices and more. Representatives have adopted a statement called the ‘Lisbon Declaration’, which presents a series of science-based actions needed to tackle the “global emergency facing the ocean”. Participants registered nearly 700 commitments at the conference, many including adopting new protective measures around coastal territory, and several countries also announcing marine protected areas. Additionally, philanthropic groups, including the Bezos Earth Fund and Bloomberg Philanthropies committed to invest a total of $1 billion in ocean conservation. (Eco-Business)


Survey finds cost-of-living a “barrier” to greener lifestyle choices

Cost pressures on households will “only intensify” through the rest of 2022, British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s CEO has warned. The supermarket admitted that sales at established stores fell 3% in the 16 weeks to 25 June. The drop was led by an 11% fall in sales of general merchandise and a 10% drop in sales of clothing. Grocery sales also fell 2.4% year-on-year as shoppers opt for cheaper products, such as frozen and tinned foods. In related news, a survey commissioned by Deloitte has found that the rising cost of living is creating a barrier to sustainable consumer choice. Over half of 2,000 survey respondents said sustainable and ethical consumer options were too expensive, with 57% saying they would be keen to go greener if such options were more affordable, and over 25% blaming economic uncertainty for not buying sustainable choices. (The Guardian; Business Green*)

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