Top Stories

August 02, 2022


BP reports quarterly profits of $8.45bn as energy bills escalate

Energy giant BP has reported huge profits for three months to June after oil and gas prices soared. BP saw underlying profits hit $8.45 billion – more than triple the amount it made at the same time in 2021. The figure is the second highest in the firm’s history and takes its half-year profits to $14.6 billion. The news comes at the same time as typical UK household energy bills have been forecast to hit more than £3,600 a year, hundreds of pounds more than previously predicted. The bumper profits have prompted calls from campaign groups Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth as well as Labour and the Liberal Democrats parties to call for a tougher windfall tax on oil and gas firm profits.  (BBC News)


Hens to be fed insects to lay carbon-natural eggs for Morrisons

British supermarket Morrisons will offer consumers the first “carbon-neutral” eggs to be produced by feeding hens insects raised on its own food waste. Chickens laying the eggs will have a soya-free diet including insects fed on food scraps from the retailer’s bakery, fruit and vegetable sites. Cutting out soya avoids the emissions associated with large-scale deforestation to grow the crop in places such as Brazil, and transport pollution from shipping the feed. As part of Morrisons’ drive to be directly supplied by zero-emissions British farms by 2030, insect “mini farm” containers have been installed at egg suppliers in Yorkshire by start-up Better Origin. Morrisons said insects are a normal part of a chicken’s diet and their new regime will not affect the quality or taste of the eggs they produce. (The Guardian)


Banks perform poorly on climate-friendly lobbying statements

The banking sector “still has a long way to go to align with the 1.5°C pathway” of the Paris Agreement, according to an investor-led framework. The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) in collaboration with the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) published an investor-led framework aimed at examining approaches to net-zero across key stewardship indicators. The framework assessed 27 banks across six key areas – net-zero commitments, short- and medium-term targets, decarbonisation strategies, climate governance, climate policy engagement, and audit and accounts. The framework found that while some banks are progressing on decarbonisation strategies by scaling up green finance, the sector is lacking established financing conditions to enforce targets. In addition, none of the banks investigated published a position statement on lobbying. (edie)


African nations expected to make case for rise in fossil fuel output

African countries are expected to use the COP27 Climate Summit in November to push for new investment in fossil fuels in the continent, according to a technical document seen by The Guardian newspaper.  Soaring gas prices have made the prospect of African supplies more attractive with developed countries, including EU members, indicating they would support such developments. The document, prepared by the African Union, suggests many African countries favour a common position that would inform their negotiating stance at COP27. However, environmental experts stress that large-scale fossil fuel exploration would undermine global climate targets, and likely make it close to impossible for the world to limit global heating to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Experts also warn new gas exploration could prevent renewable energy development in Africa, and likely enrich multinational corporations instead of ordinary people. (The Guardian)


Climate change: research needed for possible human extinction

Catastrophic climate change outcomes, including human extinction, are not being taken seriously enough by scientists, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Cambridge argue that the world needs to prepare for the possibility of what is termed the “climate endgame”, calling on UN scientists to investigate the risk of extinction. The researchers found that estimates of the impacts of a temperature rise of 3°C are under-represented compared to their likelihood. The report warns that compound and knock-on effects of high temperatures such as food or financial crises, conflicts or disease outbreaks will exacerbate the potential for disaster. The report also argues there  should be more focus on identifying potential tipping points, where increasing warmth triggers further natural events that accelerate temperature increase. (BBC News)







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