Global Briefing: Norway smashes EV sales, again

All the green business news from around the world this week Three quarters of cars sold in Norway boast plugs Norway has long been the poster child for the electric vehicle (EV) transition thanks to its generous subsidies and impressive recharging infrastructure, but the latest sales figures from the Nordic nation will still raise eyebrows […]

Green battle lines drawn over road and aviation industry bailouts

Civil society, researchers, and business leaders argue that multi-million pound transport industry bailouts must come with climate-friendly conditions attached While the length of the current health crisis is near impossible to predict, debates on the size, shape, and allocation of bailouts to the UK’s transport sector are already in full swing, with many commentators urging […]

E.P.A. Threatens Legal Action Against Sellers of Fake Coronavirus Cleaners

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency warned Friday that disinfectants and sanitizers falsely claiming to protect against the coronavirus are flooding the market and threatened legal action against retailers that sell unregistered products. A necklace containing chlorine dioxide, a bleaching agent, that supposedly sanitizes the wearer is among the bogus products, as is a sticker […]

Government offers £3.25m to help combat coronavirus food waste spike

Food redistribution charities urged to apply for funding to help prevent 14,000 tonnes of surplus food going to waste amid Covid-19 disruption More than £3m is being offered by the government to help prevent food waste during the coronavirus crisis, with the funding aimed at supporting the redistribution of up to 14,000 tonnes of surplus […]

UK indoor farming tech firm Vertical Future secures £1.1m investor backing

Green investor Earthworm ups its support for London food technology firm as it eyes significant growth for urban and indoor farming The UK’s nascent vertical farming sector appears to be attracting growing investor interest, with London-based Vertical Future securing an additional £1.1m backing from green impact investor Earthworm. Having already been the lead investor in […]

Coronavirus Response

Leading figures from across the green economy offer their perspectives on how to respond to the Covid-19 crisis BusinessGreen asked some of the top experts from across the green economy how they thought the coronavirus crisis would impact the sector and how businesses should respond. Their many and varied responses make for essential reading.

Not just biofuels: Algae’s next wave

Biobased materials, particularly in the thorny realm of bioplastics, are a polarising subject. But for as many systemic kinks that their management lays bare, the slew of potential long-term benefits to swapping out petroleum-based products for plant-based alternatives is hard to ignore.  While sugar cane and corn are popular feedstocks, their frequent reliance on synthetic fertilizers, […]

Dirty air, tailpipes, and COVID-19

Air pollution impacts how the human body can fight infections and viruses – it is time for governments and businesses to recognise these risks Much has been written in recent weeks comparing the shocking and oppressive impacts of COVID-19 and future effects of climate change. But one of the most important links could be the one right […]

Hackney Council announces it is fully powered by renewables

A skyline view of central London from Hackney. Credit: Wikimedia Commons The clean energy milestone comes just weeks after Hackney Council revealed plans to open a ‘library of things’ where citizens can borrow useful items in a bid to reduce household waste. Hackney Council has this week revealed that it is now sourcing all of […]

A new settlement: The COP26 stakes just got higher still

The world has been turned on its head and a new settlement is needed – can COP26 provide the answer? The UN and the UK government were entirely right to delay COP26, but the planning for one of the most important Summit’s in human history has to start now “We, the delegates of this Conference, […]

EU carbon market emissions fell 8.7 per cent in 2019, data indicates

Greenhouse gas emissions traded under Europe’s ETS dropped 8.7 per cent overall last year, although many airlines saw their CO2 rise Carbon emissions regulated under the European Union’s emissions trading systems (ETS) fell by 8.7 per cent last year, marking the carbon market’s largest annual CO2 decline in a decade, according to preliminary analysis by […]

Coronavirus response: A new paradigm for climate action in the 2020s

The world can emerge stronger from this crisis if we seize the opportunity to collectively chart a course towards the future we want, argues CISL’s Dame Polly Courtice As the world comes to terms with a global pandemic that has threatened and turned upside-down the lives and livelihoods of people across the globe, it is […]

What does it really mean to be a climate leader in the corporate sector?

Once the immediate coronavirus threat has passed, corporates must ramp up their climate efforts, argues WWF’s Seán Mallon The challenge posed in tackling the immediate threat from Covid-19 by now comes as news to no-one. It has forced us to change how we work and interact as a society. Our businesses are changing to adapt…

UPS partners with Moixa to drive smart EV fleet charging project

UPS recently put in an order to 10,000 electric delivery vans from Arrival | Credit: Arrival Delivery giant and tech developer team up with UK Power Networks (UKPN), Innovate UK, and Cross River Partnership to optimise EV fleet charging An innovative smart charging project aimed at demonstrating the carbon, cost, and grid benefits associated with […]

Coronavirus Delays Key Global Climate Talks

This year’s United Nations-sponsored climate talks, widely regarded as the most important climate meeting of the past four years, were postponed on Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic. The session, known as the Conference of Parties, had been scheduled to take place in Glasgow for a week and a half in mid-November. It was postponed […]

COP26 postponed: The reaction

The UK had sought to position 2020 as the ‘Year of Climate Action’ ahead of its hosting of COP26 in November All the reaction from politicians, green business, academia, NGOs and think tanks on the momentous decision to postpone this year’s critical UN climate change summit The crucial UN climate change summit due to take […]

COP26 Climate Summit postponed until 2021 as coronavirus fears grow

BREAKING: With key Glasgow venue set to be turned into a field hospital, UN and UK government conclude crucial climate summit must be delayed until next year The crucial COP26 climate summit in Glasgow will be postponed until next year in response to the escalating global coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations and the UK government […]

Time to muck in: Soils must take centre-stage in farming policy, study argues

Farmers should be rewarded for managing health of their soils, according to the study Royal Society study author argues people ‘should be as appalled’ by badly managed soils as deforestation Growing evidence of the myriad benefits well-maintained soils can deliver by combating climate change, alleviating flooding, boosting crop yields, and supporting biodiversity, has been highlighted […]

Coronavirus: Scottish government delays publication of beefed up Climate Change Plan

Committee on Climate Change chief describes postponement as ‘entirely reasonable in the present circumstances’ The Scottish government has today confirmed it is to delay publication of the imminent update to its national Climate Change Plan in response to the escalating coronavirus outbreak. An update to the country’s decarbonisation plan had been expected by the end […]

SDG16: Six top tips for delivering peace, justice, and strong institutions

Many businesses will conclude that SDG16 is mainly the preserve of governments, but there are tangible steps companies can take to help deliver on its crucial targets SDG16’s vision to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” obviously […]

Coronavirus headwinds: Wind sector forecasts slide but record year still expected

The latest forecasts demonstrate the resilience of the wind sector, according to Bloomberg BloombergNEF downgrades its 2020 growth forecasts for global wind power capacity as pandemic disrupts supply chains The global wind power industry looks set for yet another record year of growth in 2020, even taking into account dampened activity and supply chain disruption […]

Trump administration guts Obama-era fuel efficiency standard

An analysis by the Environmental Defense fund posits that the new rules will contribute to more than 18,5000 premature deaths by mid-century. California and the Natural Resources Defense Council have pledged to challenge the regulation, which the government is touting as its largest deregulatory initiative to date, in court. The Trump administration formally launched its […]

HSBC: Companies focused on climate change 'outperformed' as virus spread

Research note suggests companies with strong ESG credentials are proving more resilient than their peers to coronavirus turmoil A growing body of research has in recent years highlighted how listed companies with strong environmental credentials outperform the wider stock market, but now HSBC has released evidence that suggests greener stocks’ relatively impressive performance is largely […]

Coronavirus Response: How is Covid-19 impacting the climate change movement

Viki Cooke of Britain Thinks argues that the short term challenges are immense, but the crisis has revealed a strength of community ties that could yet serve the climate movement well The green economy, like every other part of the economy, is feeling shockwaves right now. All sectors are having to demonstrate their agility under […]

Trump Calls New Fuel Economy Rule a Boon. Some Experts See Steep Costs.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Tuesday announced a new rule on automobile fuel efficiency, completing the president’s rollback of Obama-era standards and gutting the federal government’s most important climate change policy. President Trump lauded the measure, which his administration called the single largest deregulatory initiative of his tenure. He said on Twitter that the […]

Fastned reports surging EV charging sales ahead of social distancing slowdown

Fastned has stations in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands and intends to expand into Belgium, France and Switzerland next.Credit: Fastned Dutch fast charging company delivered nearly 8GWh of electricity to 42,800 customers in 2019, as financial results were overshadowed by coronavirus concerns Fastned’s revenues from its fast charging network grew 175 per cent to […]

'Landmark moment': Fiddler's Ferry coal-fired power station officially closes

SSE announces official closure of energy firm’s last remaining coal plant after 50 years of operation, as RWE simultaneously shutters Aberthaw coal plant in Wales The Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired power station officially closed its doors in Cheshire yesterday after almost 50 years of operation, as the UK’s shift towards lower cost green energy sources continues […]

Net zero: Green grid innovation takes centre stage in UK energy sector plans

Energy Networks Association and National Grid reveal plans to harness green and flexible energy technologies through latest innovation strategies During lockdown, swathes of businesses, industries and services have been forced to adapt to the new reality, and sadly in some cases that has meant scaling down or stopping altogether. And if the scale…

Solarcentury sells residential business to Sweden's Svea Solar

Solarcentury was the subject of takeover speculation in 2019 | Credit: Solarcentury Transaction includes Solarcentury’s partnership with IKEA and is aimed at allowing firm to focus on utility-scale projects Solarcentury has sold its residential business to Swedish installer Svea Solar for an undisclosed sum, with the UK company aiming to increase focus on its global […]

Carmakers lobby EU to delay CO2 standards as Covid-19 slams brakes on industry

Auto trade bodies call for ‘some adjustment to timing’ of EU CO2 standards, as White House seeks to weaken fuel efficiency rules in US Europe’s car industry body is pushing the European Commission to delay introduction of stricter carbon dioxide standards for new vehicles, claiming the Covid-19 pandemic limits its ability to comply with the […]

Fracking Once Lifted Pennsylvania. Now It Could Be a Drag.

CARMICHAELS, Pa. — The last time the global economy was in free fall, an economic savior showed up in southwestern Pennsylvania. Energy companies, which had discovered a way to get at the state’s vast natural-gas reserves, invested billions of dollars in the region, cushioning the blow of the Great Recession. “There were just so many […]

Equinor quits oil lobby group over 'material misalignment' on climate policy

Oil and gas giant exits Independent Petroleum Association of America and puts two other lobby groups on notice over climate stance Equinor has become the latest oil major to quit a trade body amid disagreements over climate policy, confirming late last week that it is leaving the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA). The Norwegian […]

Covid-19 bailouts, then what?

Dr Ben Caldecott argues the clamour for green strings to be attached to bailout packages could be misguided – could government take a long term stake in struggling companies instead and demand bolder climate strategies as a shareholder? There are growing clamours to attach all manner of terms and conditions to Covid-19 induced government bailout […]

U.S. to Announce Rollback of Auto Pollution Rules, a Key Effort to Fight Climate Change

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is expected on Tuesday to announce its final rule to rollback Obama-era automobile fuel efficiency standards, relaxing efforts to limit climate-warming tailpipe pollution and virtually undoing the government’s biggest effort to combat climate change. The new rule, written by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation, would allow […]

Vodka From Thin Air: An Unusual Climate Prize Hits a Coronavirus Snag

In 2017, Stafford Sheehan handed a friend an unusual bottle of booze. He had made it himself — but not the usual way. A chemical physicist, Dr. Sheehan had invented a process to make alcohol from carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas associated with climate change, not cocktail hour. “I said, ‘Hold on, you made this […]

Iberdrola-led consortium to build 10MW floating wind demonstration project

The 10MW turbine will be mounted on a semi-submersible floating concrete structure based on the OO-Star Wind Floater. Credit: Iberdrola FLAGSHIP consortium is banking on using a €25m grant from the European Commission to mount a turbine in Norway’s North Sea that will help drive the LCOE of floating offshore wind to €40-60 per MWh […]