Our monthly Climate News by Graduate Consultant Drew Stewart reports on the most important climate headlines in the UK, Europe and World-wide as well as informative key webinars taking place.
The latest round-up of climate new includes the publication of the third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment, further international adoption of TCFD reporting and a series of webinars over the coming weeks focused on ESG/responsible investment and climate related physical risks.
• The Third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2022 has now been published. It details that the climate crisis will wipe at least 1% a year off the UK’s economy by 2045, if global temperatures are allowed to rise by 2C, the government has said. Climate change is to cost the UK economy up to £20bn a year by 2050, with impacts to the UK’s food production, infrastructure, from extreme weather, and the risks of flooding, are all likely to cost more than £1bn a year each.
• The UK Government is being taken to court by Friends of the Earth and ClientEarth over its Net-Zero Strategy and Heat and Buildings Strategy, with the groups claiming that the policies detailed will not result in the emissions reductions promised under legally binding climate targets. Read more here.
• A survey of senior decision-makers at more than 1,000 UK businesses has revealed that less than one-third (29%) have a strategy for reaching net-zero before or in line with the Government’s 2050 target. Promisingly, 56% of the representatives of businesses with a net-zero strategy said their organisation has a budget for delivering decarbonisation.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has set a target for London to be net zero carbon by 2030. To support this ambition he has commissioned experts Element Energy to analyse the possible pathways to achieving net zero (read the report here). The Mayor has selected a preferred pathway to net zero – the Accelerated Green pathway. Amongst other things, achieving this will require:
• Nearly 40 per cent reduction in the total heat demand of our buildings, requiring over 2 million homes and a quarter of a million non-domestic buildings to become properly insulated
• 2.2 million heat pumps in operation in London by 2030
• 460,000 buildings connected to district heating networks by 2030
• A 27 per cent reduction in car vehicle km travelled by 2030
• Fossil fuel car and van sales ended by 2030 and enforced in line with Government’s existing commitments.
• A long-simmering debate about the future of natural gas in Europe has come to a head this month, as a draft version of the EU’s green energy taxonomy classifying some projects involving the fossil fuel as sustainable investments under certain conditions. Official advice for the private sector is due to be published by the end of January. Meanwhile the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based intergovernmental organisation, says the world needs to stop all investment in new gas and oil projects from 2021 onwards in order to keep on track to meet net zero emissions by 2050.
• Canada announces plans for mandatory climate-related financial disclosures. The country has identified the probable source of the framework for its mandatory disclosures, naming the recommendations produced by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Within the UK, TCFD disclosure will become a mandatory requirement for large companies from 6 April 2022.
• New York City bans natural gas in new buildings. The law would apply to new buildings under seven stories high at the end of 2023 and those over seven stories in 2027. There are exceptions for new buildings used for certain activities, including manufacturing, hospitals, commercial kitchens and laundromats.
• Chrysler have announced plans to launch its first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) in 2025, before delivering a full electric vehicle portfolio by 2028.
• Indonesia plans to name its new capital Nusantara, replacing Jakarta. The government hopes it will reduce the burden on Jakarta, a city of 10 million, which suffers regular flooding, and is one of the fastest sinking cities in the world due to the over extraction of groundwater. Parts of north Jakarta are falling at an estimated 25cm a year, due to subsidence – including even the seawall designed as a buffer for communities.
• BloombergNEF (BNEF) is forecasting that carbon offset prices are set to increase 50-fold by 2050 – at highs of up to $120 per tonne, compared to between $2-3 in 2021.
• S&P Global Beyond ESG: From Climate Disclosure to Action. Wednesday 19th January @ 15.00. Register here
• Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) A Legal Framework for Impact: Investing for sustainability impact in the UK. Wednesday 26th January. Register here
• MSCI 2022 ESG Trends to Watch. Thursday 27th January @ 16.00. Register here
• The Investor Agenda Investor net zero targets & climate action plans: The Road from COP26. Tuesday 1st February 2022 @ 15.00-16.00
• Eurosif An update on Sustainable Finance developments Thursday 3rd February @ 14.00-14.45 Livestreamed here
• UKGBC Measuring and Reporting Climate-related Physical Risks. Tuesday 8th February @ 12.00-13.00. Register here