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December 14, 2022


EU negotiators strike deal on world-first carbon border tariff

The European Union has struck a political deal to impose a carbon dioxide emissions tariff on imports of polluting goods such as steel and cement. It is a world-first scheme aiming to support European industries as they decarbonise. European negotiators reached a deal on the law to impose CO2 emissions costs on imports of iron and steel, cement, fertilisers, aluminium and electricity. Companies importing those goods into the EU will be required to buy certificates to cover their embedded CO2 emissions. The scheme is designed to apply the same CO2 cost to overseas firms and domestic EU industries – the latter of which are already required to buy permits from the EU carbon market when they pollute. The levy is designed to prevent European industry from being undercut by cheaper goods. (Reuters)


Diageo to use net-zero glass bottles from hydrogen furnace

Spirits and beer company Diageo has announced a new partnership with glass manufacturer Encirc to build a hydrogen-powered furnace for the first-ever at-scale net-zero glass bottle production. Diageo stated that by 2030, it aims to produce up to 200 million bottles annually from the facility for use by its Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Gordon’s and Tanqueray brands. Under the partnership, Encirc will build a new furnace at its UK-based plant, using zero-carbon electricity and hydrogen. The furnace is expected to reduce overall carbon emissions by 90% through its use of both green electricity and low-carbon hydrogen, with any remaining emissions expected to be offset by 2030 through the use of carbon capture technology. The furnace is expected to become fully operational by 2027. (ESG Today)


Britvic serves up climate requirements in its supplier contracts

Soft drinks brand Britvic is embarking on a push to decarbonise its value chain by asking its key European suppliers to agree to climate obligations in their contracts. Britvic said it would be asking its suppliers over the next 12 months to agree to advanced contractual requirements, which are to be assessed on a case-by-case basis but could include commitments to set science-based climate targets and reporting on emissions in line with the ‘Greenhouse Gas Protocol’. As a first step, the company said it would also ask its suppliers to sign up to sustainability platforms Sedex and EcoVadis to help address any environmental and ethical risks they may face and track progress against their commitments. Britvic has a target to reduce its scope 3 value chain emissions by 35% by 2025. (Business Green)*


HSBC announces end to new oil and gas fields financing

Financial services company HSBC will no longer provide new lending or capital markets finance for new oil and gas fields, as part of a wider update to its energy policy. The bank said it will continue funding natural gas projects for now, given the global energy crisis and the pressures placed on supply by the war in Ukraine. HSBC said it seeks to align its financed emissions to net-zero by 2050 or sooner in line with the Paris Agreement. It has already set out plans to cut exposure to thermal coal financing and to stop funding the industry via investment funds it actively manages, as part of its broader climate commitments. HSBC has recently faced criticism over its sustainability commitments after its former global head of responsible investing downplayed climate change risks. (Reuters)


London gold market sued over ethical labels for Tanzanian mine

The London Bullion Market Association (LMBA) is facing a High Court lawsuit over claims it wrongly certified gold from a Tanzanian mine as being responsibly sourced. This is despite claims the mine was at the centre of multiple allegations of human rights abuses. LMBA is being sued by the families of two men who were shot dead at the mine at Barrick Gold’s Tanzanian site. The lawsuit claims the bullion market acted negligently and breached its duty of care in wrongfully certifying gold as free from human rights abuses under its ‘Responsible Gold Certificate’. The LMBA has continued to certify Barrick’s products as compliant with its human rights standards, despite claims from lawyers and NGOs that the mine’s security has participated in acts of abuse, torture, and killings. (City AM)

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