Sunak to force firms to publish net-zero plans amid Europe heatwave warning – live


Related video: Boris Johnson says climate promises ‘100% useless’ without action

Large businesses and financial institutions will be forced to reveal publicly how they will transition to net zero, in sweeping reforms to be announced by Rishi Sunak on Wednesday.

The chancellor is also set to reveal in a speech plans to make the UK a net-zero financial centre when he addresses Cop26 delegates.

It comes after a Met Office analysis found Europe could see near 50C heat every year by the end of the century if urgent action is not taken to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

This summer’s deadly European heatwave – named Lucifer – which saw a new temperature record of 48.8C set in Sicily, would have been impossible without the climate crisis, the national weather service said.

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Rishi Sunak announces UK to become net zero financial zero

Rishi Sunak has said the world must come together to finance climate pledges as he gave more details about his plan to make the UK a net zero financial centre.

The chancellor, speaking at the summit, renewed the pledge to hit the $100bn global financing package, which has so far been missed.

He said the financial system would need to be “rewired” for net zero and that London would also support a new capital markets mechanism to issue billions of new green bonds.

“Six years ago Paris set the ambition, today in Glasgow we are provided the investment we need to deliver that ambition,” he told the audience.

Rishi Sunak speaking at the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow

(PA)

Tom Batchelor3 November 2021 09:25

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Bill Gates ‘doubts’ world will meet 1.5C target

The world will miss the target of limiting temperature increases to 1.5C, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates warned as he stressed the need to drive down the cost of green technology.

The Microsoft co-founder said he doubted that the 1.5C goal could be met as “there’s no comparable feat that mankind has ever achieved” to the task of tackling climate change.

Mr Gates said the cost of subsidising middle-income countries including China and India to develop in an environmentally-friendly way would be too great, so instead wealthy nations had to drive down the “green premium” for cleaner technology to make it affordable to all.

In an interview with former foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, for the Policy Exchange think tank, Mr Gates said: “What happened with solar panels where they were very expensive, and now they’re cheap, or lithium ion batteries – we need to do that for about six other technologies.”

He added that the 1.5C goal “will be very difficult” and “I doubt that we’ll be able to achieve that”.

Tom Batchelor3 November 2021 09:06

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Cop queues ‘concerning’, says public health expert

Seeing huge queues of people waiting to get into Cop26 is “really concerning”, a public health expert has said.

The UN climate change conference was hit by long queues for a second day on Tuesday, with crowds waiting for more than an hour to get inside.

Professor Devi Sridhar, a professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, said seeing pictures of hundreds of people in close proximity has left her anxious knowing how “fragile” the situation has been.

Asked about the queues, Professor Sridhar told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “It is really concerning, this week I have been quite anxious seeing all that and knowing how fragile the situation has been.

“We’ve controlled the situation for quite a long time. Can we control it even after this big gathering, that’s the question.

“Will it lead to a spike, will it lead to a wave, will actually the mitigation measures have been enough?

“I know they thought a lot about making sure people were fully vaccinated, people were testing, it’s a really tricky one because obviously this is the worst timing ever during a pandemic but at the same time I listened to those people who work in climate and they are saying now is the time, if not now we have an existential threat to humanity.”

Tom Batchelor3 November 2021 08:45

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Indigenous Peoples plan protest against ‘false solution of carbon offsets’

Indigenous Peoples will hold a carbon offset protest outside a key Cop26 event on voluntary carbon markets where Mark Carney, the former Bank of England governor, will be speaking today. 

The protesters, many in traditional dress, will hand out newspapers featuring full-page adverts emblazoned with the words “carbon offsets are tearing us apart” to delegates attending the event.

The adverts will highlight carbon offsets which the protesters say are a “false climate solution which destroy indigenous communities and give polluters an excuse to carry on polluting.”

Tom Batchelor3 November 2021 08:29

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Carbon tax would ‘cut emissions by 12% – and hit global GDP by only 1%’

A $75 (£56) tax per tonne of carbon emitted in rich countries could help push down global emissions by more than 12 per cent – and would pay for itself, a new report has found.

The size of the global economy measured in gross domestic product (GDP) would fall by just 1 per cent if carbon was taxed, according to proposals from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The report, from the World Economic Forum and consultancy PwC, found that over the long term, much, if not all, of that drop in GDP would be made up for by avoiding the economic hit from global warming.

The IMF scenario includes a $75 tax for each tonne of carbon emitted by 2030 in high-income countries, $50 (£36.50) in middle-income countries, and $25 (£18) in low-income countries.

Such a tax would put a price on every tonne of carbon that is emitted when a product is made and shipped.

Tom Batchelor3 November 2021 08:13

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Government won’t arbitrate on businesses’ net zero plans

As finance ministers meet in Glasgow, Rishi Sunak hopes plans to make large companies publish net-zero plans will be a greenwashing-proof new “gold standard” which will not allow businesses to boast about their eco ambitions without backing them up with action.

Mr Sunak will say on Wednesday that around 40 per cent of global financial assets have aligned themselves to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

But the government will leave it up to the market to determine if transition plans put forward by firms are adequate or credible.

Companies will be expected to start publishing their transition plans in 2023.

Tom Batchelor3 November 2021 07:58

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Europe to see near-50C heatwaves every year by end of century without urgent emissions cuts

Europe could see near 50C heat every year by the end of the century if urgent action is not taken to slash greenhouse gas emissions, according to a Met Office analysis.

This summer’s deadly European heatwave – named Lucifer – which saw a new temperature record of 48.8C set in Sicily, would have been impossible without the climate crisis, the analysis found.

Tom Batchelor3 November 2021 07:49

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Companies to be forced to publish net zero plans

Financial institutions and listed companies will be forced to publish their plans on how they will transition to net zero, in sweeping reforms the Chancellor hopes will halt so-called greenwashing.

Rishi Sunak is set to reveal in a speech on Wednesday plans to make the UK a net-zero financial centre.

Speaking at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, Mr Sunak is expected to outline how new rules will be drawn up by a task force with members from universities, civil society groups, industry and regulators.

The plans will need to include high-level targets to reduce greenhouse emissions, the steps companies plan to take to get there and milestones ahead of 2050.

But although the plans will need to be published, the aim is simply to increase transparency.

Tom Batchelor3 November 2021 07:28

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Activists say oceans pledge isn’t enough

The US on Tuesday joined the oceans pledge supported by over a dozen countries to increase investment for protection of the national waters. However, activists have demanded a more ambitious plan to rein in the impact of climate change.

Greenpeace, an environmental NGO, called the declaration “weak”, Reuters news agency reported.

“We need to see action to create a network of ocean sanctuaries that cover at least 30 per cent of our oceans by 2030,” Louisa Cason, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK was quoted by news agency.

The news agency also pointed the statement makes no mention of ending massive annual government subsidies that prop up activities such as industrial fishing, a major…



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