'A far cry from what science tells us is needed': COP25 reaches 'disappointing' conclusion

Green campaign groups, UN officials and business representatives have expressed disappointment after two weeks of negotiations at COP25 came to a close today (15 December), almost two days behind schedule.

Talks at COP25 were due to conclude on Friday evening (13 December), but ran through to Sunday afternoon. Image: UNFCC

At the start of the annual climate summit on December 2, the UN’s secretary-general António Guterres told delegates that the “point of no return is no longer over the horizon” regarding climate change.

He emphasised the IPCC’s findings in its landmark report on warming of 1.5C and 2C, bolstered by the UN’s damning emissions gap report, and urged world leaders to use the occasion to set more ambitious commitments.

In particular, the UN

View Original

'Promises are not enough': Green economy reacts to Boris Johnson's historic election win

After the Conservative Party secured a landslide victory in the UK’s General Election, members of the nation’s green economy are calling on Boris Johnson to turn the green ideations in his party’s manifesto into action.

Key green economy figures are urging Johnson’s government to implement ambitious short, mid and long-term environmental legislation 

Despite talks of a left-wing ‘youthquake’, the Tories secured 47 additional seats in this week’s general election, while Labour lost 59. The Conservative Party passed the 326 seats required to form a majority a 5:05 this morning and ultimately secured 364 seats, giving leader Johnson strong footing to deliver his Brexit deal.

Those in the sustainable business sphere waking up this morning to recap the night’s events will be receiving mixed

View Original

Sustainable Business Covered: Christmas special deliveries and festive feasts

Episode 77 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast sees the edie editorial team return to discuss business CSR initiatives over the festive period, featuring four exclusive interviews with redistribution platform Neighbourly, e-commerce firm Tinggly and business networks Team London Bridge and the UKSSD.

The edie team delivers four early Christmas presents in the form of interviews

edie’s ever-presents Matt Mace and Sarah George are joined by a ghost of Christmas past, as insight editor James Evison returns to host the 2019 Christmas special.

As well as recapping their favourite moments of the year, discussing Christmas movies and indulging in a big fat sustainability quiz of the year, the team discuss how businesses are doing things differently this Christmas.

First up, in his

View Original

Committee on Climate Change chief issues warning for next government

The next government must be strong enough to make tough decisions as 2020 shapes up to be “critical” in the battle to cut emissions, the chief executive of parliament’s climate change watchdog has warned.

The CCC provided the Government with advice to develop its net-zero target

Chris Stark, who heads the Committee on Climate Change, told the annual conference of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association this week that the “strength of the Government” will be “a massive issue” after the election.

“The things we know we need to do, almost regardless of who is in No 10, will involve some tough decisions,” he said, adding that the next Government cannot duck the net-zero emissions target since it was enshrined in legislation

View Original

Reach 'peak meat' by 2030 to tackle climate crisis, say scientists

Livestock production needs to reach its peak within the next decade in order to tackle the climate emergency, scientists have warned.

Land use by humanity – most of which, by area, is for agricultural purposes – generates 23% of greenhouse gas emissions annually

They are calling for governments in all but the poorest countries to set a date for “peak meat” because animal agriculture is a significant and fast-growing source of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Cattle and sheep emit large amounts of methane while forests are destroyed to create pasture and grow the grains that are fed to intensively reared animals.

The world’s scientists agree that huge amounts of carbon dioxide will have to be removed from the atmosphere to limit global

View Original

Will 2020 be the year of mandatory climate disclosure?

Leading experts believe that it is “highly likely” that disclosing climate-related data to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD’s) will become mandatory and have called on business professionals to start collecting and mapping data now.

Reports suggest that the UK won’t reach its net-zero target without making the disclosure mandatory

Experts from Avara Foods, Landsec and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) discussed how businesses should interact with the recommendations of the TCFD to improve sustainability, as part of a webinar that is now available to watch on-demand.

The speakers were in unanimous agreement that climate disclosure would become mandatory in the near future, and urged businesses to start their TCFD journey now.

“The G7 country national banks are in

View Original

General Election result: Conservative landslide victory raises fresh concerns for green economy

The results are in and Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has won the 2019 General Election with an historic landslide majority, prompting fresh concerns about the strength of environmental regulations in the UK post-Brexit.

Returning Prime Minister Brosi Johnson will now turn his attention to ‘getting Brexit done’, despite also having a raft of green policy issues to deal with. Image: Chatham House (Flickr) https://www.flickr.com/photos/chathamhouse/30562517863

The Conservative’s landslide victory in the 2019 General Election saw the Party surge pass the 326 seats required to form a majority Parliament in the early hour. This gives returning Prime Minister Johnson an even stronger footing to deliver his Brexit deal than he had before, casting some extra uncertainty over green policy post-Brexit.

— ‘Promises are not enough’: Green economy

View Original

Four green policy concerns Boris Johnson must address immediately

After achieving a Conservative Party majority in the 2019 General Election, Boris Johnson will now forge ahead with his Brexit plans. But, with climate and environmental standards featuring throughout the Party’s manifesto, the returning Prime Minister will need to quickly address some key green policy concerns.

It’ll be a busy few days for Boris Johnson and the green economy

The Conservative Party delivered a landslide victory in the 2019 General Election. The result gives Prime Minister Boris Johson strong footing to deliver his Brexit deal and cast extra uncertainty over environmental standards post-Brexit.

‘Promises are not enough’: Green economy reacts to Boris Johnson’s historic election win

Johnson looks set to prioritise “getting Brexit done” during his first few days within his new

View Original

Tesco to help customers visualise the environmental impact of their shopping

As part of its collaboration with WWF, Tesco has produced a new metric which enables customers to track the environmental impact of some of its most popular products.

WWF UK boss Tanya Steele and Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis. Image: Andrew Parsons

The metric will track the environmental impact of 20 of Tesco’s most frequently sold own-brand items across seven issues: climate change; deforestation; sustainable diets; sustainable agriculture; marine impact; food waste and packaging waste.

Each of these impacts will be allocated a different weighting to give products an overall percentage score, with climate change given the highest (25%) weighting and packaging waste (8%) the lowest.

By early 2020, Tesco and WWF will have analysed data and produced an overall score for

View Original

UK towns and cities to benefit from Google's climate management tech

Google will enable more than 100 global areas across to access a digital tool which helps towns and cities to measure and reduce their carbon footprint, including major UK cities.

The EIE uses Google’s data sources and technology. Image: Google 

The tech giant is currently working to expand access to its Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) – a digital tool which uses big data to help local authorities and regional governments to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on a city-wide basis. Building and transportation emissions are the main two sources analysed by the EIE.

The EIE then uses this data to run scenario analyses, helping users to visualise future challenges and opportunities, and to develop their own decarbonisation plans. It notably also assesses

View Original

London businesses turn to cargo bikes to slash Christmas logistics emissions

During the Christmas period, workplace deliveries of personal online shopping rose by nearly two-thirds (62.5%) with 77% concerned about environmental impact, according to Transport for London (TFL).

The bikes aim to reduce both emissions and costs 

The figures were released by TfL to illustrates the importance of using cargo bikes and low emission transportation for last-mile deliveries to avoid an increase in air pollution. London already has significant issues with air quality – often hitting its annual levels for pollution with  

As a result, TfL and its Team London Bridge Business Improvement District have worked with more than 40 local businesses to transition to emission-free cargo bike deliveries since the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) was introduced in April 2019.


View Original

Beyond Paris: 500 companies target net-zero by 2030

More than 500 businesses certified as B-Corps have committed to becoming net-zero by 2030 – 20 years ahead of the IPCC’s deadline for limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5C.

Pictured: Representatives from B Corp members at COP25. Image: Dr Ann Smith

Companies covered by the commitment, which is being orchestrated by B Lab and the Sistema B Global Network, include the likes of The Body Shop, innocent Drinks, Patagonia, Guardian Media Group, Allbirds and Forster Communications

The commitment covers Scope 1 (direct), Scope 2 (power-related) and Scope 3 (indirect) emissions for all signatories. While it does not require signatories to avoid the use of offsetting to reach net-zero, it implores partaking companies to use them as the last aspect of their

View Original

America's Pledge and Europe's Green Deal: What happened on days 8 & 9 of COP25?

COP25 – the UN’s annual two-week-long climate summit – has entered its second week in Madrid. Here, edie rounds up all the key news and views from the last few days of the event.

Images: UNClimateChange Flickr

While UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was posing for photos with fish and nicking phones from journalists, other world leaders were still articulating the urgency and need to respond to climate crisis at the COP25 summit in Madrid.

Despite climate debates and voter concerns, climate change has taken a backseat to Brexit and the NHS in this week’s General Election, but in Madrid, it is centre stage.

COP 25 is well into its second week, and has already captured global media attention following the arrival

View Original

Europe's 'man on the moon moment': Green Deal to create world's first climate-neutral continent

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has unveiled 50 sweeping plans to enable the EU to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, claiming that the Green Deal was “more than just a vision, it is a roadmap for action”.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the strategy at a special session at COP25

The European Green Deal was formally unveiled at COP25 on Wednesday (11 December), outlining a comprehensive climate and nature package of measures to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.

Headline targets listed in the Green Deal include a 50-55% emissions reduction target for 2030; a climate law to reach net-zero emissions by 2050; a transition fund worth €100bn and a series of new sector policies to ensure

View Original

General Election: The key green policy considerations for climate-focused voters

As the public takes to the polls tomorrow to decide the next Government, edie lists all the potential impacts and ramifications of short-term and long-term green policy in the UK, helping those still undecided to cast crucial votes.

All parties are committed to net-zero, but the pathways to get there differ wildly 

Politics through the lens of green business is verging on paradoxical. For once, the major political parties are aligned on the trajectory of a green economy, with Labour, the Conservatives, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats all committing to a net-zero mandate in their respective manifestos.

It is a shame, however, that the furore over Brexit and the rightful concerns over potential privatisation of the NHS have turned this impromptu

View Original

Almost half of global GDP covered by net-zero targets and commitments

Around 40% of the world’s annual GDP now derives from nations and regions that are discussing or have set legislative net-zero emissions targets, to be achieved by 2050 at the latest.

Just six months ago, analysis by the ECIU found that 16% of GDP was covered by net-zero carbon emission ambitions

The latest analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), a London-based think-tank, found that more than $34trn in annual GDP is covered by nations where targets are under active political discussion, where leaders have made a political declaration, where legislation is under development and where it has been enacted. The think-tank’s tracker also notes that Bhutan and Suriname are already absorbing more greenhouse gases than they emit.

ECIU’s director Richard

View Original

Mars and Nestle spearhead chemicals recycling scheme for plastics

Mars and Nestlé have teamed up with packaging solutions firm Citeo, energy giant Total and recycling technology provider Recycling Technologies to develop an industrial chemical recycling process for plastic packaging in France.

Mars’s circular packaging plan includes a goal for 100% of its plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, while Nestlé is part of the UK Plastics Pact pledge

The companies from all points of the plastic packaging value chain have teamed up to examine the technical and economic barriers and feasibility of developing recycling solutions for packaging such as multi-layered food-grade packaging. The initiative is targeting types of plastics deemed non-recyclable that are sent for incineration or disposed of in landfill instead.

“We are delighted to join this

View Original

Boardroom blocks: Less than 10% of UK CEOs have financial bonuses to combat climate change

Only 6% of UK chief executives have financial incentives and bonuses tied to environmental strategies and performance across the business practice, a new study has found.

Analysis of the 159 firms found that more than 90% had no financial incentive to focus on environmental sustainability

Research from Vlerick Business School has found that 6% of the 159 UK companies analysed have a bonus in their KPI focusing on the environment, with less than 1% having long-term, rather than annual, incentives focused on environmental sustainability.

The study examined the pay levels, and incentives of both chief executives and chief financial officers at 899 European businesses, mainly focused on the STOXX 600 index of the 600 largest firms across European countries, including 159 UK

View Original

edie's guides to net-zero carbon continues with construction sector

The fourth report in the series of edie guides on net-zero carbon has launched with a focus on the construction sector.

Following the launch of edie’s net-zero guides on the utilities, manufacturing and food and drinks manufacturing sectors, edie has now launched the fourth of its insight reports, which investigates how the construction industry is scaling up its decarbonisation ambitions.

Published today (11 December), the 17-page report breaks down exactly how sustainability and energy professionals working for contractors and property companies can drive the low-carbon transition – from agreeing and setting targets to scaling up on-site solutions and delivering goals across the supply chain.

The report, supported by Integrated Environmental Solutions, follows the UK’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and the increasing focus on zero carbon

View Original

Zalando commits to onsite solar and green building certification across fulfilment centres

Online fashion platform Zalando has committed to placing solar panels and low-carbon technology on all its new and existing fulfilment centres by 2023, as the company pushes ahead with its net-zero commitment.

Zalando avoided 40,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2018

The German-based online retailer committed to carbon neutrality in its own operations and all of its deliveries and returns. Through energy efficiency measures and offsetting, Zalando confirmed to edie in October, that it was operating at net-zero emissions for Scope 1 and 2. 

The company has recently switched to renewable energy to power 90% of its energy needs globally and carbon emissions that are not eliminated by operational improvements or green delivery options that are set to be rolled out will

View Original