Top Stories

November 29, 2022


Climate leading issue voters swung Labor in Australia

Concern about the climate crisis was the leading issue that prompted Australians to switch their vote to an independent candidate in the 2022 federal election, according to research. It was the second leading issue that led to people to swing to Labor, behind concern about the cost of living. The results are from a study known as Climate Compass, which interviewed 3,636 people after the election to gauge attitudes on climate change. It found 47% of voters who swung independent and 42% of those who swung Labor this year did so primarily due to concern over the issue. More than half (58%) had become more concerned about climate change over the past two years, and 74% believed governments should be doing more to address it. (The Guardian)


Rolls-Royce, easyJet run first ever green hydrogen aircraft

Car manufacturer Rolls-Royce and airline easyJet have announced the first-ever run of an aircraft engine powered by hydrogen. The achievement represents a milestone for the partnership which was designed to demonstrate the potential of hydrogen to power a range of aircraft by the mid-2030s. Hydrogen is viewed as a promising long-term solution for the aviation industry, given its potential to be produced through carbon-free methods, and its energy attributes, containing significantly more energy per weight than jet fuel. The ground test was conducted on an early concept demonstrator and took place at an outdoor facility in the UK, using a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A regional aircraft engine and a supply of green hydrogen from the European Marine Energy Centre. The hydrogen was created with wind and tidal power. (ESG Today)


BT awards tens of thousands of staff £1,500 as strikes end

Telecommunications company BT has awarded tens of thousands of staff hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis a £1,500 pay rise, bringing an end to national strike action. The company, which said it would table a new pay deal to the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) after freeing up money thanks to a government energy subsidy for businesses, is to give all staff earning £50,000 or less a year the permanent rise – a total of about 71,000 employees. The deal means that all of BT’s approximately 58,000 frontline workers, including call centre staff and engineers, will benefit, as will about half of the managers in its UK operation. BT said about 85% of its UK-based staff would benefit from the cost-of-living pay rise. (The Guardian)


Coca-Cola, Unilever unconvinced by plastic credits solution

Two of the world’s largest corporate users of plastic, Coca-Cola and Unilever, have said that they are not convinced by plastic credits as a solution to the marine litter crisis. Similar in principle to carbon credits, plastic credits allow polluters to offset their plastic footprint by purchasing certificates that represent plastic removed from the environment or recycled. Coca-Cola said it had explored the viability of plastic credits but was “not convinced” they were a suitable solution for a multinational. A Unilever spokesperson said plastic credits could work as an extension of an extended producer responsibility scheme, but that credits would not be “at the heart” of Unilever’s plastic management efforts. The credits have faced criticism as a way producers can divert attention away from solutions to reduce their plastic footprint. (Eco-Business)


DHL publishes sustainability-linked finance framework

Logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL has announced the introduction of its ‘Sustainability-Linked Finance Framework’, enabling the company to issue sustainability-linked bonds. The firm says the solution creates “a direct relation between its sustainability strategy and its financing strategy”. The sustainability-linked bonds issued by DHL under the new framework would have coupon payments tied to the company’s performance against its emissions reduction goals, specifically its commitments to reduce absolute Scopes 1 and 2 emissions by 42%, and to absolute Scope 3 emissions from fuel- and energy-related activities, upstream transportation, and distribution and business travel by 25% by 2030, against a 2021 baseline year. If the targets are missed, DHL would be required to pay higher interest rates to investors. (ESG Today)

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