Top Stories

October 13, 2022


World Bank to launch trust fund for emissions reduction grants

The World Bank said it is launching a trust fund aimed at pooling public funds to provide grants for projects to reduce carbon emissions, including decommissioning coal-fired power plants. The ‘Scaling Climate Action by Lowering Emissions’ (SCALE) fund will provide grants to developing countries as they deliver pre-agreed results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. SCALE will be the new umbrella trust fund for the bank’s results-based climate finance activities. The Bank said it expects to launch the new fund at COP27. It also said it had identified three areas suited to its results-based financing grants: natural climate solutions based on agriculture, forestry, land use and oceans; sustainable infrastructure such as energy and transport; fiscal and financial solutions that directly mobilise resources for climate action. (Reuters)


Indigenous groups push palm oil plantation out of UNESCO site

In a victory for Indigenous communities in Malaysian Borneo, the Sarawak state government has revoked a contested palm oil concession in the Mulu region. This comes after protests against the project and joint legal action by the Penana, Berawan and Tering Indigenous communities. A local court was due to hear the case when the government stepped in and cancelled the 4,400-hectare concession, which is adjacent to the UNESCO-listed Gunung Mulu National Park. The government did not explain why the concession was suddenly cancelled, but community leaders claim the company, Radiant Lagoon, had begun clearing massive trees in the concession area without a permit. Community leaders said the concession, had it gone ahead, would have threatened their livelihoods. (Eco-Business)


LeapFrog looks to smartphones to address financial exclusion

Private investment firm LeapFrog Investments said it is looking to harness the spread of smartphones to grow its positive impact. It comes following its analysis that found smartphones to be critical to addressing the themes of ‘financial inclusion’ and ‘health & wellbeing’. LeapFrog said it surveyed nearly 4,000 low-income consumers across eight markets to produce its ‘Emerging Wealth and Health Index’. The impact investor said its analysis demonstrated a ‘two-tiered economy’ for the digitally enabled versus the digitally excluded, adding that smartphones have become the “dominant distribution method” for many emerging market ‘wealth and health’ products, such as microfinance and health screening. The investor found that 41% of respondents were unable to access financial products in the last 12 months. (Environmental Finance)*


Corporate carbon offsets market ‘not working’, CCC warns

Corporate offsetting and voluntary carbon markets “aren’t working”, according to evidence published by the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC). The committee says there is an absence of clear guidelines, standards and regulations which are enabling businesses to avoid cutting their emissions. The CCC has found that companies are disincentivised to reduce their emissions when purchasing money to sequester internal emissions. The committee warns that owing to weak standards and oversight, there is a shortage of high-integrity carbon credits. As a result, offset projects often deliver far fewer climate benefits and emissions reductions than claimed, and even potentially cause damaging environmental impacts or crowd out the efforts to achieve wider green objectives. However, the CCC accepted that the introduction of greater oversight could ensure offsets make a positive contribution to the UK’s net-zero drive. (Business Green)*


Half of the poorest countries cut health & welfare spending

According to a report by NGO Oxfam, many of the world’s poorest countries have cut health spending during the last two years, sometimes to make debt repayments to rich creditors. Analysis of national budgets across 161 nations found that despite the biggest global health emergency in a century, half of low- and lower-middle-income countries cut health spending, while almost half cut their welfare budgets and almost three-quarters cut education spending. Oxfam said in its report that rich countries, including the UK, are “exacerbating an explosion of economic inequality” by overseeing demands by lenders for huge debt repayments while the pandemic ravaged annual spending plans. Oxfam accused the International Monetary Fund of driving economic inequality and poverty in poor countries by insisting on new austerity measures to reduce debts and budget deficits. (The Guardian)

*Subscription required 








Would you love to work in sustainability, supporting big brands in their responsible business journeys? Click here to see info on our current openings. We can't wait to hear from you



Actions for Business 2022

B4SI Annual Review 2021