Top Stories

November 21, 2022


COP27: landmark deal for loss & damage, concerns over 1.5°C

Negotiators at COP27 have finally agreed on a crucial cover text of the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan that draws the climate summit to a close. While a monumental agreement was delivered that will see developed nations contribute to a loss and damage funding facility, delegates expressed disappointment at the weakening of key language in the final text that creates potential loopholes around “low emissions” energy to be used alongside renewables. Analysts warn such wording could enable transitional sources like gas to spiral or even enable fossil fuel development. The final text calls for a “phase-down” of fossil fuels, a significant weakening of the “phase-out” wording agreed upon at COP26. Negotiations also saw a record number of fossil fuel lobbyists at COP27, dwarfing most national delegations in terms of numbers. (edie)


Business giants call on corporates to halve value chain emissions

Businesses including Unilever, BT and IKEA have issued a declaration at COP27, calling on other corporates to join them in a collective initiative to halve value chain emissions by 2030. The Exponential Roadmap Initiative, launched in 2020, has seen the likes of technology giant Telefónica, food manufacturer Nestlé and waste management firm Ragn-Sells all join. The initiative calls on other businesses to join in setting targets and taking action to cut supply chain emissions by at least 50% by 2030. For most large businesses, indirect emissions from the supply chain and/ or consumer use of products and services will account for a larger portion of overall emissions than those from direct operations. CDP estimates the average large firm will have supply chain emissions 11.4 times greater than its direct emissions. (edie)


Diversity becoming key factor in clients’ choice of law firm

New research has shown that 25% of corporate legal departments now use diversity data when selecting which law firms they work with. The study by Thomson Reuters showed that law firms that fail to improve the diversity of their teams were more likely to lose out on instructions from corporates. In addition, nearly half (46%) of corporate legal departments now assess the data security arrangements law firms have in place. The 2022 ‘Legal Department Operations Index’ also revealed that 14% of corporate legal departments intended to implement diversity and inclusion programmes to improve their performance over the next year, while 33% of departments have established them in the last two years. A further 12% have had diversity and inclusion initiatives in place for more than two years. (Personnel Today)


Activist vote at AGL likely to increase climate boardroom battles

A board rebellion at Australian energy giant AGL has seen four “climate competent” directors elected, a move likely to embolden similar action across the country according to market observers. A spokesperson from shareholder advisory firm Regnan said nominating directors is a power that has “been rarely used historically” by investors in Australia, despite the “relative ease” with which it can be done. All four candidates put forward by Grok Ventures, the activist fund which holds an 11% stake in AGL, achieved majority support. Another company that might be i the next target of investors is oil and gas major Woodside Energy, whose transition plan was supported by just 49% of shareholders – the lowest tally to date for a “Say on Climate” vote. (Responsible Investor)*


Tiffany & Co sets 2040 net-zero target for operations, supply chain

Global luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co has set new 2030 climate goals to support a new vision of achieving a net-zero carbon supply chain and operations base by 2040. The brand has committed to reducing its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 70% in absolute terms by 2030, against a 2019 baseline. Changes that will help to achieve these targets include procuring 100% renewable electricity, up from 89% in 2021. Tiffany will seek to generate more of its renewable electricity itself this decade. The business will continue to upgrade lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling, and look to enhance its building energy management systems. Tiffany has also pledged to reduce its Scope 3 emissions by 40% by 2030 against a similar 2019 baseline. (edie)

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