Top Stories

January 16, 2023


COP28 president wants renewable generation to triple by 2030

The new president of COP28 has called for a tripling of renewable energy generation by 2030 while highlighting the need for oil and gas from the “least carbon-intensive producers”. Sultan al-Jaber, chief executive of state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, was appointed to the role by host country the United Arab Emirates. In a speech, he said the world was “way off track” to meet its climate goals and was “playing catch-up”. To rapidly slash greenhouse gas emissions, the world must triple renewable energy generation by 2030 and “more than double” production of “low carbon hydrogen”, Jaber said. Jaber’s appointment provoked backlash from climate experts, who said his position presented a conflict of interest and raised concerns that the host country may undermine efforts to reduce use of fossil fuels. (Financial Times)*


Shell claimed £200m from Ofgem followed by record profits

Oil giant Shell claimed £197 million for costs associated with taking on 500,000 customers whose suppliers had gone bankrupt in 2021, before generating record profits in 2022. Shell’s utility business Shell Energy made a £97 million loss on picking up extra customers from five energy suppliers that collapsed due to soaring wholesale gas and electricity prices. Ofgem’s ‘Supplier of Last Resort’ rules let utility companies reclaim the costs of taking on customers from collapsed suppliers, in a process that adds costs to UK household bills. However, when energy markets stabilise, Shell Energy, which has 1.4 million customers, could generate profits from those 500,000 customers in the future. Shell later made record profits of £25 billion in the first three quarters of 2022, capitalising on surging natural gas prices. (City AM)


Call for new taxes after 1% pocket two-thirds of all new wealth

Global NGO Oxfam has called for immediate action to tackle a post-Covid widening in global inequality after revealing that almost two-thirds of new wealth amassed has gone to the richest 1%. In a report to coincide with the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, the charity said the best-off had pocketed $26 trillion in new wealth up to the end of 2021. That represented 63% of the total new wealth, with the rest going to the remaining 99% of people. Oxfam said for the first time in a quarter of a century the rise in extreme wealth was accompanied by an increase in extreme poverty and called for new taxes to be levied on the super-rich. Oxfam added a 5% tax on the world’s richest could raise $1.77 trillion annually. (The Guardian)


90% of firms view carbon credits as crucial to decarbonisation

Almost 9 in 10 business leaders globally believe carbon credits will play an important role in decarbonisation targets in line with the Paris Agreement, but concerns about quality persist. A new global survey of more than 500 business leaders, coordinated by Conservation International and We Mean Business Coalition has explored the priorities of businesses seeking to reduce emissions. The survey found that 92% of businesses view long-term decarbonisation as a priority and 100% of businesses are already working towards these targets. One-third of businesses said they are actively investing in the voluntary carbon market, with 51% viewing it as a viable option in the future. However, 44% raised concerns about greenwashing, another 33% questioned quality of credits, and a lack of regulation was referenced by 38%. (edie) 


Revolut calls in psychologists after corporate culture criticism

Fintech firm Revolut is assembling a team to track whether staff are being “approachable” and “respectful” as it tries to address criticisms about its aggressive corporate culture. While the crypto trading to payments company is valued at $33 billion and has 6,000 global staff, it has so far lacked a UK licence that would bring the firm within regulated customer protection schemes. The new division, which will include psychologists and behavioural science experts, will be part of a package of measures designed to encourage a more “human” approach to a divisive working environment that has driven out staff. The move comes after a string of controversies over Revolut’s culture, with former staff claiming they were set unachievable targets, forced to do unpaid work and put under severe pressure. (The Guardian)

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