Top Stories

October 11, 2022


Germany to pay December gas bills for households & businesses

The German state is to pay 2022’s December monthly gas bill for all households and small- to medium-sized businesses, according to a phased two-stage cap on energy prices. Under the scheme, the one-off full reimbursement in December would be followed up next Spring with a more differentiated subsidy scheme designed to cap bills but still incentivise people to save energy. From March 2024 to the end of April 2024, private households would pay €0.12 per kilowatt hour for the first 80% of last year’s use of gas. Industry, meanwhile, would from 1 January 2023 until end of April 2024 pay €0.07 per kilowatt hour for the first 70% of last year’s use. While exact costs were hard to predict, the proposed two-step scheme could cost about €90 billion. (The Guardian)


London Stock Exchange finalises voluntary carbon market rules

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has finalised the rules for companies that want to raise funds through listings for nature-based and technological climate solutions. The LSE said its new admission and disclosure rules for offsets would drive more capital into projects that slash carbon emissions and help grow the voluntary carbon market. Funds or operating companies can use an initial public offering to raise capital from investors that would then be invested in approved climate mitigation projects, such as reforestation or carbon capture. The LSE said its solution was open to closed-ended investment funds and companies admitted or seeking admission to trading on its markets. The LSE said it was the first public stock exchange to develop a “capital raising solution” explicitly targeting voluntary carbon trading. (Business Green)*


UK firms conducting human rights and climate abuses overseas

Corporations based in the UK are getting away with human rights and climate change abuses overseas, a report has found. The Transform Trade charity says the majority of UK bilateral investment treaties contain no mention of climate change, the environment or human rights, meaning companies are not held accountable for overseas violations. By contrast, it found the UK is playing a key role in the rise of cases where corporations sue states, in private courts, for lost profits under controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms. UK corporations have brought 66 cases under ISDS in the past 10 years, the third highest of any country. Cases are said to have disproportionately targeted developing countries. Another report found that 129 attacks on human rights defenders between 2015 and 2022 were connected to UK business. (The Guardian)


Credit-focused harmonised ESG reporting tool launch imminent

The UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) said it is expecting to launch a harmonised environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting tool for the credit market. In collaboration with the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA) and Alternative Credit Council (ACC) trade associations, PRI said the tool will provide standardised minimum reporting guidance to help private companies to prioritise ESG data during the due diligence phase of securing credit. The ESG reporting tool will build upon existing frameworks including the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board. It will provide an initial set of industry-agnostic questions which provide a preliminary baseline of ESG data. The tool will then prioritise some industry-specific questions. A spokesperson for PRI said the project was spurred in response to pressure that borrowers are facing from lenders. (Environmental Finance)*


Truss’s plan to ban solar on farmland risks £20bn of investment

Up to £20 billion of investment in renewable energy is under threat from the UK government’s plan to effectively ban solar farms on agricultural land in England, the industry has warned. The prime minister, who is a longstanding critic of solar panels installed on farmland, is expected to approve measures that would dramatically curb the rollout of the fast-growing technology. The chief executive of industry trade body Solar Energy UK, Chris Hewett said the policy would threaten 30GW plus of projects currently being scoped for the second half of the decade – worth over £20 billion in capital investment. Solar developers warned the technical change would amount to an effective block on large projects by banning the technology from 58% of agricultural land and 41% of England’s land mass. (Financial Times)*

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