Edition for 27 February 2020

Top Stories

What the European Green Deal Means for the UK (Chatham House)

  • In December 2019, the EU launched the European Green Deal, a comprehensive policy package which aims to make the continent carbon-neutral by 2050.
  • It contains a wide range of legal and policy measures including support for restoring ecosystems and biodiversity, low-carbon mobility, and sustainable food systems and healthy diets.
  • Even though the UK has now left the EU, and the UK government has made clear that there will be no regulatory alignment and no rule-taking from the EU, this will affect Britain’s markets, trade negotiations and stance in global climate action.

Presidential hopeful Warren latest to press BlackRock on climate (Reuters)

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of several vying to be the Democratic party’s presidential nominee, this week pressed the world’s largest asset manager for details on its recent vows to take more account of climate risks.
  • The five-page letter, also signed by senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Cory Booker and Chris Van Hollen, is the latest outreach BlackRock Inc has received over sustainability matters and reflects the growing interest, at least among some Democrats, in making climate a business issue for financial firms.
  • Currently, “investors lack access to basic information about the potential risk of the climate crisis on American companies,” the letter states.

Carney and Lagarde to press for business action on climate change (FT)

  • Central bank heads Mark Carney and Christine Lagarde are to issue a fresh call for business action on climate change as they address executives in London on Thursday, urging them to do more on related risk disclosure.
  • The challenge of incorporating climate change into financial decisions and financial regulation has become a central theme ahead of the UN climate summit in November, which is hosted by the UK in Glasgow.
  • The launch on Thursday of a “private finance agenda” ahead of the Glasgow climate summit, known as COP26, is seen as an attempt to get the summit back on track after a difficult start.

Court may upset Heathrow third runway plans (BBC News)

  • Judges will decide whether Heathrow’s expansion plans took into account climate change commitments.
  • The case has been brought by local residents, councils, the mayor of London, and environmental groups including Greenpeace.
  • This could involve making the highly contentious case that expansion is compatible with combating climate change or they may have to revisit UK infrastructure policy to make sure it is compatible with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Rio Tinto pledges $1.5 billion to be 'carbon neutral' by 2050 (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Mining giant Rio Tinto says it will invest $1.5 billion over five years in initiatives to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its global operations and become carbon-neutral by 2050.
  • Matching recent pledges by federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese and national carrier Qantas, the Anglo-Australian miner on Wednesday night became the latest global company to set an ambition for "net zero" emissions by 2050, and unveiled the industry's largest carbon-reduction investment to date.
  • Rio Tinto, Australia's second-largest miner, has unveiled a $1.5 billion push to reduce emissions.

Budget debate: Go further to encourage switch to electric vehicles, tackle climate change, say MPs (Straits Times)

  • The Government should go further to encourage more drivers to switch to cleaner electric vehicles as it takes steps to address climate change, Mr Yee Chia Hsing (Chua Chu Kang GRC) told Parliament.
  • Mr Yee was among four MPs that rose to spoke in support of the Government's efforts to tackle climate change on Wednesday (Feb 26).
  • Mr Heng had announced a 45 per cent rebate on the ARF of such vehicles, capped at $20,000, as part of measures to address climate change, a major limb of this year's Budget.

What Would It Take to Get More Farmers Fighting Climate Change? (Mother Jones)

  • As signs of a new drought loom over California farm country and a potential return of last spring’s catastrophic floods haunts the Midwestern corn belt, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) is out with a new plan to ready US agriculture for the insults of climate change.
  • Called the Agriculture Resilience Act, the bill would enlist growers to help slow global warming by using their soil to sponge up carbon dioxide.
  • Agriculture is responsible for nearly 10 percent of our country’s carbon emissions.

GSMA: ICT Industry Agrees Landmark Science-based Pathway to Reach Net Zero Emissions (Business Wire Technology News)

  • The ICT industry is today taking an unprecedented step forward in tackling climate change with the release of the first-ever science-based pathway to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions across the telecoms sector.
  • This supports the GSMA’s commitment to helping the mobile industry achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • The new Science-Based Target (SBT) is the result of a collaboration between the ITU, GeSI, the GSMA, and SBTi to develop a sector-specific decarbonisation pathway that allows ICT companies to set targets in line with the latest climate science.

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