'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

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A sustainability lesson from IBM: take the lead and your supply chain might follow

This is an excerpt from “Small Actions, Big Difference: Leveraging Corporate Sustainability to Drive Business and Societal Value” by CB Bhattacharya, released Oct. 1. Reprinted here with permission from the author.

Passing on the lessons of sustainability

It was a drizzly and dreary morning in May 2015, and I was on the 8:44 a.m. Metro North train from Grand Central Station to Croton Falls, on the edge of New York City. I had been invited by sustainability champions Wayne Balta and Edan Dionne to spend the day with IBM executives at

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Which Vegan Hot Dogs Are the Best?

Vegan hot dogs have come a long way. Numerous brands and restaurants offer animal-free hot dogs these days, and many even offer different flavors of hot dogs, sausages, and frankfurters. Your next barbecue won’t know what hit it when you roll through with a package of vegan hot dogs — pile on the fixings and your friends won’t even know the difference.

By choosing a veggie hot dog over an animal-based one, you are making a great choice for the environment, for the animals, and for your personal health. So read on for answers to all your questions about vegan hot dogs, plus a list of a few of the best options on the market.

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9 Holiday Gifts Your Zero-Waste Friend Will Appreciate

When it comes to gift-giving, it’s the thought that counts — but a thoughtful gift can still cause unnecessary waste, which can cause a bit of stress for a zero-waster. One of the tenets of the zero-waste lifestyle is not buying things you don’t need. So if you’re planning to exchange gifts with someone doing their best to live sustainably, the kindest thing you can do is give your present some extra thought.

And even though there are so many gift guides around the Internet listing zero-waste present ideas, it’s safe to say that your zero-waste friend probably already has a reusable water bottle, stainless steel straw, to-go coffee cup, cotton produce bags, and travel utensils. 

Luckily, there are plenty

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10 Experiential Holiday Gift Ideas to Keep Things Zero-Waste

For many of us, gift-giving is a big part of the holiday season. But if you’re zero waste or trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you’re probably already getting a bit anxious thinking about all the waste that exchanging presents brings.

Every time we buy a tangible gift — whether it be clothes, electronics, home decor, or whatever else — we are using resources, and creating more demand for those resources. There’s also a pretty good chance that the gift will one day go a landfill. Not to mention, between gift packaging, boxes, ribbons, and wrapping paper (which is not recyclable if it contains any metal or glitter), holiday gift exchanges usually result in a ton of trash.

A great

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Why We’re Recommending REI for Green Gifts This Season

This post is generously sponsored by REI. As always, EcoCult only works with companies we believe are doing good things. Support EcoCult editorial by supporting them!

You might think that any outdoor apparel or gear company would be much more likely to operate sustainably, since its key customers are passionate about respecting and preserving the natural world. 

But we also know that turning a large apparel brand sustainable is a difficult journey in today’s global capitalist system. Even some of the sustainable outdoor trailblazers have been surprised to find modern-day slavery in their supply chains. And there are in fact some other large outdoor apparel brands that are falling even further behind.

Still, no brand is doing things 100% “right.” So

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'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

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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

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The moral hazard of celebrating incrementalism

I’m not in Madrid this week at COP25 – a.k.a. “Conference of Parties,” the annual gathering at which world leaders discuss a coordinated approach to climate goals in meetings hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Instead, I’ve spent the last two weeks reading articles and newsletters capturing slivers of conversation, commitments and actions. After all, COPs are remembered by the stories they tell as much as the accords they ratify.

During this COP, two loud, dissonant narratives are springing from the headlines

The first: things

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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

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Episode 200: Biomimicry maven talks Project Positive, Walmart exec chats up Project Gigaton

Week in Review

Commentary of some of this week’s stories begins at 7:37.

Why human health must be at the center of climate action Will the private sector be held liable for climate change?

As the climate crisis grows, Big Oil finds itself over a barrel

Features

Share your voice (21:09)

In the last GreenBiz 350 podcast of December (Dec. 20) and the first podcast of January (Jan. 10), we will feature the voices of the GreenBiz community, responding to the following two questions: What was the most important

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How Dow seeks to turn plastic waste into a circular resource

Haley Lowry, global sustainability director at Dow, has big plans for plastic.

Representing one of the largest plastics producers in the world, she is working to create new systems, products and technologies — such as advanced recycling and finding new uses for recycled plastics — that are intended to scale the circular life of plastics, creating new revenue streams while lifting people out of poverty. We talked about her efforts at Dow to create paths to reducing plastic pollution. Here are excerpts from our conversation, edited for clarity and length.

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Climate change poses an existential risk to ocean industries. Here’s how they can respond.

Never before has the urgency of climate action for ocean health been more pronounced. In September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its first Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, finding that climate-induced declines in ocean health will cost the annual global economy $428 billion by 2050 and $1.98 trillion by 2100.

Now, building on this analysis, a new paper commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy unpacks what these economic losses are at the country and regional level across three of the ocean-based

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Vegetarian vs. Vegan: What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between vegetarian and vegan? While vegetarians and vegans have one big thing in common (they do not eat animals), the two lifestyles are not interchangeable. A vegetarian or vegan lifestyle looks a little different for everyone, and becoming vegetarian or vegan can bring about so many benefits for animals, the planet, and your health!

Read on to learn about the key differences between vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians, reducetarians, flexitarians, and more. 

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Can Vegans Eat at Dunkin’ Donuts? How to Order Vegan at DD

A vegan’s environmental impact has been shown to be up to 84 percent less than those who eat animal products and byproducts. A majority of this statistic has to do with plant-based eaters cutting out high carbon footprint foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs. With these items gone from your diet, not only is your environmental impact lower, but you might also feel more energized and ultimately, healthier.

Still, despite all the advantages and benefits of going vegan, you may feel daunted or worried about eating out. The good news is some fast-food or chain restaurants are actually more vegan-friendly than you may think. Take Taco Bell, for example — just ask for your Meatless Meal “fresco style” and

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