Top Stories

December 01, 2022


Court denies RWE and Uniper compensation for plant closures

The Dutch state does not have to compensate energy suppliers RWE and Uniper for the decision to close coal-fired energy plants in the Netherlands by 2030, a Dutch court has ruled. RWE owns two of the current four coal-fired energy plants in the Netherlands, and Uniper one. Both filed lawsuits in 2021 to seek compensation for the Dutch government’s 2018 decision to ban the use of coal in electricity generation this decade, shutting all coal-fired plants by 2030. But the court said the government had acted in good faith, as it sought to reduce CO2 emissions in the Netherlands in line with European climate goals. The court said both companies were given time to adjust to the plans and seek ways to transform their plants to sustainable sources of energy. (Reuters)


EU unveils plans to cut Europe’s plastic and packaging waste

The EU executive wants to ban mini-shampoo bottles in hotels and the use of throwaway cups in cafes and restaurants, as part of sweeping legal proposals to curb Europe’s waste. A draft EU regulation also proposes mandatory deposit and return schemes for single-use plastic drinks bottles and metal cans, as well as an end to e-commerce firms wrapping small items in huge boxes. The rules, which will have to be approved by EU member states and the European parliament, are intended to tackle the surge in plastic and other packaging waste. Under the proposals, EU member states would have to reduce packaging waste per capita by 15% by 2040 compared with 2018. Officials think this could be achieved by more reuse and refilling, as well as tighter packaging controls. (The Guardian)


Twitter ends Covid-19 misinformation content moderation

Social media company Twitter says it has stopped enforcing its policy on misleading information about coronavirus. According to the company’s website, it stopped acting against tweets breaching its Covid rules on 23rd November. Twitter had previously reported suspending more than 11,000 accounts for Covid misinformation as of September 2022. Its other policies on false information remain on Twitter's website, without a similar notice saying they will no longer be enforced. Under its Covid-specific policy, Twitter operated a “five-strike system” for accounts posting “demonstrably false or misleading” content that may “lead to significant risk of harm” – such as exposure to Covid or damage to public health systems.  Since the ban has been lifted, Twitter has reinstated the accounts of users who fell foul to the platform’s previous covid-19 misinformation rules. (BBC News)


Airbus boss warns of delay in decarbonising airline industry

The launch of commercial flights of aircraft designed to reduce aviation’s damaging impact on the climate could be delayed by a shortage of net-zero fuels, the chief executive of Airbus has warned. Speaking at a briefing about the manufacturer’s emissions-cutting plans, Guillaume Faury said he had concerns about the pace of investment in facilities to produce “green” hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Green hydrogen, produced from water using zero-carbon electricity, offers one possible solution, while SAF, can be used in existing gas turbine engines without adding to the total carbon in the atmosphere. Airbus said it aims to fly zero-emissions hydrogen aircraft in commercial service by 2035, but Faury warned a lack of green production of the gas “could be a reason for delaying the launch of the programme”. (The Guardian)


CDP: firms failing to turn biodiversity commitments into action

The majority of companies worldwide are not translating commitments on biodiversity to action, according to data reported by CDP. The data found that just 31% of companies have made a public commitment or endorsed biodiversity-related initiatives, with another 25% planning to do so within the next two years. If these companies follow through, by the end of 2024, more than 56% will have voluntarily made commitments or endorsed initiatives related to biodiversity. More than half (56%) of companies with a public commitment have not taken action to progress their biodiversity-related commitments in the past year. Nearly three-quarters (70%) of these companies do not assess the impact of their value chain on biodiversity. The data suggests that many companies are still failing to take meaningful action to stop biodiversity loss. (edie)













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