Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
15Jun/210

Bank of England unveils plans to set emissions targets for corporate bond holdings

Bank of England unveils plans to set emissions targets for corporate bond holdings

Investment criteria set to be published this summer following consultation with industry, bank's executive director for business establishes

The Bank of England has unveiled plans to align its corporate attachment purchase programme( CBPS) with the UK's net zero target, publishing a major article late last week that sets out proposals to introduce releases targets for its impounds, while stepping up investment in greener activities and firms.

In a communication at an event hosted by Bloomberg on Friday, the central bank's executive director for business Andrew Hauser strengthened it planned to decarbonise its corporate bond buying scheme( CBPS) and take action to ensure that the stimulus strategy - which has all along been been critcicsed for financing high-carbon firms and activities - delivers a net zero economy.

"We believe it is possible to adjust the piece of our Corporate Bond Purchase Scheme to support cyberspace zero without compromising the Scheme's primary monetary policy roles, " he said. "Doing so lies clearly within the Monetary Policy Committee's revamped remit and can be justified by noting that current market value do not yet fully reflect the inevitable increase in the darknes carbon price."

Hauser's remarks came as the Bank of England published a long-awaited policy paper setting out a raft of proposed changes for the CBPS, in the first detailed climate-focused proposal published by the central bank since the Treasury imparted it a formal cyberspace zero objective as part of the March Budget. The newspaper outlines how the central bank intends to "tilt" its obtains of bails towards eligible issuers and to set and disclose interim targets for "certain climate qualities of the CPBS portfolio". It divulges the bank "sees a character for representing eligibility for the CBPS provisional on climate-related activities by issuers", with possible excludable offenses to include a failure to deliver mandatory climate revealings or sustained be invested in works "incompatible with transition to net zero".

The brand-new strategy puts in place progressively more stringent requirements for CBPS companies, with backlashes for issuers who is not meet them. "Steeper inclines, removal of fitnes, or future the sale of ligaments could all be possible responses for issuers whose atmosphere concert does not follow a plausible cyberspace zero route, " it notes.

Hauser said the refreshed corporate bail buying scheme would actively foster firms to achieve climate objectives. "In designing a framework to guide that adjustment, our primary goal is to improve firms' motivations for delivering the adjustments necessary to reached net zero , not simply minimise the current carbon footprint of the CBPS, " he said.

The Bank of England is now consulting industry on the proposals, which will apply across the PS2 0bn corporate attachment grips it has purchased as part of the PS8 95 bn CPBS stimulus program. It aims to publish detailed investment criteria after the consultation ends in July.

The move comes really a few months after the government updated the remit of the Bank of England, the Monetary Policy Committee, and other key business regulators to introduce a mandate necessitating their activities to align with the UK's net zero destinations, as one of the purposes of a broader thrust to 'green' financing of the method as it works to deliver ever-tightening atmosphere goals.

Hauser said the green thrust would not mean the Bank of England would undoubtedly sell the bonds it deems in polluting houses, arguing that engagement with companies was a more effective tool than "indiscriminate 'portfolio decarbonisation'". "The high-emissions conglomerates whose attachments we are able to selling are the ones we most need to be at the vanguard of emissions reduction, " he said.

The move comes as central banks around the world face originating evaluation from campaigners for their financing of high-pitched carbon activity at odds with national environment aims, with calls for public spending to be decarbonised intensifying in the wake of a deluge of post-pandemic bailouts to large-hearted polluters.

The brand-new mean was cautiously welcomed by campaign group Positive Money, which saluted the move but points out that the central bank's decarbonisation programme needed to be applied across the full range of its financing activities.

"The Bank has taken an important step by setting out some possible itineraries to greening its heavily-criticised corporate bail portfolio, and it's promising that the worst offenders may be excluded from future acquisitions absolutely, " said Positive Money economist David Barmes. "These acts would send a strong signal to the rest of the economy, but in practice may exclusively move a relatively small amount of the hundreds of billions of pounds pouring into dirty acts every year."

Barmes announced on the central bank to now set out how it planned to 'green' the rest of its monetary operations and financial policies. "In order to meaningfully lean its brand-new commission into practice, the Bank must rapidly take measures to steer lending in a sustainable attitude, by penalising unclean lending and incentivising lettuce alternatives, " he said.

The Bank of England signalled its new counseling really ahead of a new report from top atmosphere scientists which has urged central banks across Europe to align themselves with the European Union's pledge to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, as well as national atmosphere goals.

The report, published this morning by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics( LSE) and Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS, University of London, has called on the European System of Central Banks and the European Central Bank to "mainstream net zero" across all operations, warning that "net zero is the best way of minimising the risks of climate change to the stability of the EU economy and fiscal system".

The report recommends that the ECB, which is currently reviewing its monetary policy strategy, update its mission evidence to include the bloc's climate neutrality goal.

Read more: businessgreen.com

31May/210

Net Zero Festival 2021: First wave of tickets made available, as latest speakers confirmed

Net Zero Festival 2021: First wave of tickets made available, as latest speakers confirmed

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd, atmosphere scientist Michael E. Mann, and Schroders CEO Peter Harrison showed as keynote loudspeakers for September's Net Zero Festival

The first wave of tickets is now available for the annual Net Zero Festival, which is set to run practically from September 29 st to October 1st, and will bring together the business leaders, investors, and policymakers who are striving to accelerate the world net zero transition.

Building on the success of the inaugural Net Zero Festival last autumn, this year's event will provide a showcase for the projects and inventions that are driving the net zero transition, as well as a unique forum in which to explore the immense challenges and opportunities associated with the lettuce industrial revolution.

Delegates can now secure their tickets for the virtual happen and check out the planned agenda for the three daytime programme, which is set to be hosted by BusinessGreen editor James Murray alongside top broadcast journalists Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Gavin Esler, and Lucy Siegle.

BusinessGreen can today reveal several of the keynote talkers for the Festival, including former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd, contributing US climate scientist Michael E. Mann, Schroders CEO Peter Harrison, and Solar Impulse chairman and solar aviation pioneer Bertand Piccard.

They will be joined by a raft of top dark-green business professionals, such as Lanzatech CEO Jennifer Holmgren, CDP CEO Paul Simpson, and former Marks and Spencer's sustainable business director Mike Barry. Further speakers are set to be announced in the coming weeks, as one of the purposes of an schedule that sheathes everything from net zero investment and supply orders to public date and the is essential for a simply transition.

The Festival will likewise boast talkers, fringe incidents, and digital content from a raft of spouses, including Schroders, ENGIE, SNC Lavalin, Bank of America, GSK, Kingspan, Boston Consulting Group, the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Carbon Tracker, Aldersgate Group, and many, many more.

In addition, BusinessGreen is today inviting submissions for proposals for fringe phenomena, which could be incorporated as part of the Net Zero Festival this autumn.

The main three era program phenomenon will take place practically from September 29 th, but this year's Festival will additionally boast - coronavirus rules letting - a VIP launch reception on September 9th and the return of the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards on September 22 nd. BusinessGreen also is interested in working with partners to add further virtual or physical fringe phenomena to the programme, alongside next week's Net Zero Nature Summit - oversteps for which continue to accessible - and a Net Zero Culture Summit in October.

"With thousands of fellowships now committed to delivering net zero emissions and the UK set to host the critical COP2 6 Climate Summit this November, the Net Zero Festival could not come at a more opportune time, " said BusinessGreen editor-in-chief James Murray. "We are going to bring together some of the world's foremost philosophers on what it takes to accelerate and expand the net zero transition and we'd urge business directors, investors, industrialists, policymakers, and campaigners to join us in exploring how to navigate what is the defining economic, political, and technological trend of the age."

Interested parties can procure their tickets for the Net Zero Festival here, is applicable for a guest ticket to the Net Zero Nature Summit on May 27 th here, and refer their entries to the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards here.

Read more: businessgreen.com

16May/210

‘Leading by example’: Green economy welcomes stretching target to slash UK emissions 78 per cent by 2035

'Leading by example': Green economy welcomes stretching target to slash UK emissions 78 per cent by 2035

But big questions remain over how the UK will assemble enormously daring brand-new targets, after authority signalled it will not sign off on all the CCC's policy recommendations

The UK government has today approved some of the world's most ambitious decarbonisation targets, effectively rubberstamping a programme that will require the phasing out of gas boilers and internal combustion machine vehicles, the massive expansion of natural carbon submerges, and the accelerated development of low-spirited carbon technologies for manufacture, shipping, and aviation.

As reported last night, the government has formally accepted the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee( CCC) and established the Sixth Carbon Budget that runs from 2033 to 2037 will require a 78 per cent cut in carbon emissions compared to 1990 tiers by 2035. Meeting the brand-new destination would move the UK more than three fourths of the way to delivering on its overarching target of structure a web zero radiation economy by 2050, cementing the UK's position as the industrialised economy to deliver the fastest decarbonisation trajectory in the process.

Crucially, the government also confirmed it would accept the CCC's calls for the target to cover emissions from international shipping and aviation for the first time - a move that should help to trigger increased investment in low-spirited carbon aviation and sending technologies, but will likewise induce the new emissions objectives considerably harder to achieve.

The government announced this afternoon that it would table legislation on the new targets in Parliament tomorrow, ahead of President Joe Biden's Earth Day virtual conference of world leaders on Thursday. The brand-new Carbon Budget is expected to then be enshrined in law by the end of June 2021.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new targets would is built around the UK's already world-leading goal to trounce emissions 68 per cent by 2030. "We want to continue to raise the bar on tackling climate change, and that's why we're setting the most ambitious target to cut emissions in the world, " he said in a statement.

He added that the targets would help to trigger substantial brand-new speculation and catalyse a raft of economic opportunities. "The UK will be home to pioneering organizations, new technologies and lettuce innovation as we make progress to net zero radiations, laying the foundations for decades of fiscal rise in a way that creates thousands of jobs, " he predicted.

And, repetition the US administration's recent pushing to help more countries to deliver more ambitious decarbonisation programmes, Johnson urged other world leaders to adopt similarly unfolding targets. "We want to see world leaders follow our extend and coincide our ambition in the run up to the crucial climate summit COP2 6, as we will merely build back greener and protect our planet if we come together to taking any decision, " he said.

COP2 6 President-Designate Alok Sharma, who has invested the past few months traversing the globe as part of a diplomatic push designed to encourage all the world's major economies to come forward with both long term net zero the objective and near word decarbonisation goals and light-green asset strategies, similarly hailed the new targets as a template for other governments to follow. "This hugely positive step forward for the UK gives a gold standard for bold Paris-aligned action that I push others to keep pace with ahead of COP2 6 in Glasgow last-minute this year, " he said. "We must collectively prevent 1.5 degrees of warming in reach and the next decade is the most critical period for us to change the perilous direction we are now on. Long word targets must be backed up with reliable bringing proposals and setting this net zero focused Sixth Carbon Budget builds on the world resulting legal framework in our Climate Change Act."

Business groups and environmental campaigners moved quickly to herald the move as a major boost to the UK's decarbonisation strategy. "Setting the Sixth Carbon Budget in line with the CCC recommendations employs the UK on a reliable direction achieve these goals net zero emissions target, " said CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith. "As COP2 6 legions, the UK government is leading by speciman by setting this stretching target. Business stands ready to deliver with the latest low-grade carbon engineerings and innovations that are driving emissions down every year. By tackling this together, we can reap the benefits of transition to a low-pitched carbon economy."

However, Newton-Smith participated with experts from across the light-green economy to warn that be conducted in conformity with the new target will require urgent moves to strengthen the current climate policy framework. "The target emphasises the importance of the 2020 s as a decade of transmission on our atmosphere aspirations, and urgent action is needed now to make this a reality, " she said.

Similarly, Shaun Spiers, executive director at think tank Green Alliance, praised the government's decision to send out "a resounding message, domestically and internationally, that the UK is taking its net zero releases target seriously", said the inclusion of international aviation and sending supported a "particularly important" demonstration of atmosphere lead. But he also should be pointed out that "what we need now is to ensure there is no breach between aspiration and program, so the UK has the right tools in its armoury to meet these targets".

In addition, executive director of the Aldersgate Group Nick Molho commended the authorities concerned for its "ambitious and evidence-based" targets, but stressed that "focus must now turn to strengthening the UK's policy framework to meet this new target, by putting in place a detailed and cross-departmental net zero strategy that will drive private be invested in low-toned carbon goods and services, supply chains, jobs and skills."

The move comes on the same day as Green Alliance published the latest edition of its Net Zero Tracker report, which analyses progress against the UK's net zero destination this parliament and today warned that based on current programs the country is on track to miss its emissions target for 2030 by around 40 per cent.

The report warned of a risk of "complacency" in the face of a decarbonisation target that can only be met through the completion of the biggest and fastest industrial revolution in biography. Nonetheless, in herald its brand-new targets for the 2030 s the government was at soreness to reject that accusation, foreground the recent publication of its Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, Energy White Paper, and North Sea Transition Deal, all of which promise to mobilise billions of pounds of brand-new investment in cutting edge low-pitched carbon infrastructure. It too should be pointed out that the UK has over-achieved against its first and second Carbon Budgets and is on track to outperform the third Carbon Budget which concludes with 2022 thanks to significant pieces in greenhouse gases across the economy that show the UK slash releases 44 per cent between 1990 and 2019. And, it reiterated that further plans to cut emissions are in the pipeline and are expected to be announced well ahead of this autumn's COP2 6 Summit.

"The UK is bringing forward bold ideas setting out its own vision for transitioning to a net zero economy and how the government can support the public in transitioning to low-toned carbon technologies, including publishing the Heating and Building Strategy and Transport Decarbonisation Plan later this Spring, " Number 10 said in a statement, said a cross-government Net Zero Strategy will likewise be published ahead of COP2 6, with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng currently commissioning manipulate across Whitehall to help inform the bold schedules across key sectors of the economy.

Kwarteng said the government's decarbonisation intentions were now firmly embedded at the heart of the UK's economic recovery strategy. "This latest target shows the world that the UK is serious about protecting the health of our planet, while also seizing the new economic opportunities it will bring and capitalising on light-green engineerings - yet another step as we improve back greener from the pandemic we head the world towards a cleaner, more prosperous future for this generation and those to come, " he said.

The government today too sought to head off concerns about the potential cost of meeting its brand-new targets, confirming that the Treasury will publish its much-anticipated Net Zero Review in the coming months.

It hinted that the conclusions of its consideration of the item are likely to be significantly more positive than previous evaluations that have been accused of over-estimating the costs of decarbonisation. "Government analysis finds that costs of action on climate change are outweighed by the significant benefits - abbreviating polluting releases, as well as bringing fuel savings, improvements to air quality and enhancing biodiversity, " Number 10 said. "The government expects the costs of meeting web zero to continue to fall as lettuce technology advanceds, manufactures decarbonise and private sector investment grows. Reaching net zero will also be essential to sustainable long-term growth and therefore the health of public finances, as well as open up new opportunities for the UK economy, jobs and trade - and the government's grandiose proposals are essential to clutch these opportunities."

It is an assessment that will be music to the ears of countless dark-green the enterprises and investors. But significant questions remain over precisely how the government intends to meet the new targets.

In a expose text in its statement, the government said it agreed with the CCC's advice that a 78 per cent cut in emissions by 2035 was feasible, but it would not be signing off on all of the Committee's recommendations. The CCC's report on the Sixth Carbon Budget had foreseen a decarbonisation trajectory that would require the development of a zero emission electricity grid, fundamental changes in land use, the phasing out of gas boilers, and significant emissions reductions from industry and agriculture. But Number 10 hinted that in potentially controversial ranges, such as encouraging people to eat less meat to as to reduce their carbon footprint, it would stray in favour of technological answers over programs designed to alteration behaviours.

"The government will look to meet this reduction target through investing and capitalising on brand-new dark-green technologies and innovation, whilst maintaining people's freedom of choice, including their nutrition, " it said. "That is why the government's Sixth Carbon Budget of 78 per cent of cases is based on its own analysis and does not follow each of the Climate Change Committee's specific policy recommendations."

It is a line that will spark intense speculation over what will make it into the government's much foreseen net zero policy, especially after various of its recent decarbonisation policy bundles, such as the Energy White Paper and North Sea Transition Deal, have been criticised by campaign radicals, reporters, and opposition MPs who have warned the government's contrives remain cruelly underpowered.

Labour's Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband sought to emphasise this gap between passion and plan in his reponse to today's announcement, welcoming the higher ambition target for 2035 as "the right thing to do" while disagreeing the government "can't be trusted to match rhetoric with reality".

To underscore his object, he highlighted plans to develop a new coal sentiment in Cumbria, the recent decision to scrap the flagship Green Homes Grant retrofit voucher scheme, and the fact that the UK still remains off track for fit its atmosphere objectives from the late 2020 s onwards.

"Ministers have failed to bring forward an grandiose dark-green recovery, extending up three main monetary affairs to do so, " he said. "We need both governments that discuss the environment disaster as the emergency it is. That represents greater intention than this government matched with much more decisive activity. This year, as emcees of COP2 6, the UK has a particular responsibility to lead the world and show the way forward for a greener future. This government isn't up to the task."

But while push is undoubtedly bearing down on the government for more policy precision on the domestic front, which can in part help bolster its international climate leader credentials in the run up to COP2 6, that it is acting decisively to set in the statute books one of the most ambitious interim decarbonisation targets to date of any major industrialised economy lured a warm welcome from the CCC's "delighted" president of the united states Chris Stark.

The decision to follow the Committee's advice and legislate for the 2035 target is "important and historic", he said, set the UK "at the forefront of global efforts to reach net zero". "By implementing our recommendations in full, the government's decision rests on the most comprehensive ever assessment of the path to a fully decarbonised economy, " said Stark.

But, as he pointed out , now that target has been set in stone, every facet of UK society and the economy must now stand up and be counted - and meter is running short to do so. "Now we have mounted this goal in constitution, government, the enterprises and beings up and down the country can shed their full value behind specific actions needed to get us there, " said Stark. "It means that every selection we procreate from now is required to be the right one for our climate."

Read more: businessgreen.com

28Apr/210

Net Zero Festival: Michael E Mann confirmed as first keynote speaker

Net Zero Festival: Michael E Mann confirmed as first keynote speaker

Globally renowned atmosphere scientist to deliver opening keynote, as curve of high profile spouses established for the second largest annual Cyberspace Zero Festival

Leading climate scientist and generator Michael E Mann has been confirmed as the first keynote loudspeaker for the Net Zero Festival 2021, as the programme for this autumn's landmark celebration of the net zero transition takes shape.

Mann will speak to BusinessGreen editor James Murray on the first day of a three daytime programme, which kickings off on September 29 th and will bring together some of the world's top business leaders, politicians, academics, and activists to explore all aspects of the net zero mission.

BusinessGreen can today too has demonstrated that the occasion will be hosted by a listing of passing broadcasters, including Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Gavin Esler, and Lucy Siegle. Further talkers and details of a series of virtual and in-person fringe events are to be announced in the coming weeks.

"With a critical mass of governments, municipalities, and corporates pledging to build a net zero emission economy within three decades it has never been more important to fetch people together to explore how best to accelerate climate action and tackle the many barriers to progress, " said Murray. "As such we're delighted to be joined by one of the world's most reverenced environment scientists in Michael E Mann to discuss the true magnitude of the challenge onward and how it might be overcome. His is the first name in what is set to be a stellar fete line up that we will be announcing during the coming weeks."

Now in its second year, the Festival is also drawing on the assistance provided by a raft of high profile spouses that are all working to advance the net zero transition, including cause spouses Schroders and SNC-Lavalin, prime place patrons ENGIE and Bank of America, and Net Zero Fringe partner GSK.

In addition, NGO marriages such as CDP, WWF UK, Green Alliance, the Green Building Council, Bankers for Net Zero, Carbon Tracker, the IIGCC, the UN Global Compact Network, the Zemo Partnership, and many others are also supporting the development of the Festival.

You can now register your interest in attending the Net Zero Festival or staging a fringe contest through the Net Zero Festival website.

The Net Zero Festival is part of year-long series of events exploring all aspects of the net zero transition, which kicked off with the inaugural Net Zero Finance Summit earlier this month and continues on May 27 th with the Net Zero Nature Summit, tickets for which are now available.

"A third of the UK's biggest rostered firms are now committed to delivering net zero emissions and the pursuit of a perfectly decarbonised economy is the top priority for the historic COP2 6 Climate Summit in Glasgow this November, " said Murray. "As such the net zero transition is now well established as the defining trend of the senility for businesses of all sizes and the Net Zero Festival provides a unique opportunity to unite business, policymaker, and activists in discussing how to steer the tumultuous and tremendously eliciting dark-green industrial revolution."

Read more: businessgreen.com

23Apr/210

Net Zero Finance: Navigating the booming climate, green and transition bond market

Net Zero Finance: Navigating the booming climate, green and transition bond market

VIDEO: Climate Bond Initiative's Sean Kidney, LaFargeHolcim's Nicolas Vaniet, MSCI's Elisabeth Seep, and Ben Caldecott of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme discuss the trends, challenges and potential of the rapidly evolving dark-green bonds grocery

The emergence of brand-new ligaments in support of the net zero transition has is an element of the large-hearted storeys of the past few years, with light-green finance issuance set to surge by 60 per cent in 2021. What are green ligaments - and surely, climate ligaments, modulation alliances, and blue alliances - and why are they important? How can the sector progress to meet the demand? What division can the government play in this market?

To discuss these issues and offer their expert insight on this fast growing sector, Climate Attachment Initiative co-founder and CEO Sean Kidney, LaFargeHolcim's head of fund and front office Nicolas Vaniet, MSCI's executive director for ESG concoctions Elisabeth Seep, and Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at Oxford University's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, gathered together for a fascinating chat at BusinessGreen's recent Net Zero Finance summit. Their conversation can be watched in full above.

All of the panel debates, keynote speeches, and presentations from BusinessGreen's recent Net Zero Finance summit event - which took place on 16 March and featured values of top talkers from business, politics and academia - are now available to watch again on demand for those who have signed up to the incident through the Net Zero Finance website and on Swapcard.

Read more: businessgreen.com

18Apr/210

Net Zero Finance: TCFD ASAP

Net Zero Finance: TCFD ASAP

VIDEO: CDP's Paul Simpson, Eversheds Sutherland's Michelle T Davies, PCAF's Giel Linthorst and WRI's Nate Aden explore some of the best practice for assessing and disclosing climate risk for investors and businesses

Reliable climate-related financial information is crucial for markets to avoid a destabilising transition to a low-spirited carbon economy, and vital for investors, lenders and insurers to understand where danger - and opportunity - lies.

Thankfully growing numbers of investors and companies are engaging with the process of assessing and reporting the threats to business posed by the changing climate through the Taskforce on Climate-relased Financial Disclosures( TCFD) - although these guidelines are still far from being universally adopted.

So, at BusinessGreen's recent Net Zero Finance summit, four resulting professionals passing the nature on the agenda items - Michelle T Davies, international Head of Clean energy and sustainability at Eversheds Sutherland; Giel Linthorst, executive director of the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials( PCAF ); CDP's CEO Paul Simpson; and Nate Aden, major associate for the World Source Institute's Climate Program - explored some of the best practice for assessing and disclosing risk, the benefits of enhanced reporting for corporates, and the latest reporting mechanisms available for companies and investors.

Their fascinating and immensely informative discussion can be watched in full above.

All of the panel debates, keynote speeches, and presentations from BusinessGreen's recent Net Zero Finance summit happen - which took place during 16 March and boasted compositions of top speakers from business, politics and academia - are now available to watch again on demand for those who have signed up to the happen through the Net Zero Finance website and on Swapcard.

Read more: businessgreen.com

18Apr/210

Avoiding a climate culture war: How can the UK maintain broad support for net zero action?

Avoiding a climate culture war: How can the UK maintain broad support for net zero action?

Difficult policy questions lie ahead that could sow grains of partition- but could a 'patriotic sense of national mission' help smooth the path to net zero releases?

Just as the UK perceives itself extending the world's efforts to set out on an epoch-defining economic transition to a net zero economy, the country - from both a political and cultural standpoint - has rarely felt more divided.

The UK is already five years in to a period of significant constitutional agitation, political indecision, and economic headwinds, first from Brexit and then from the coronavirus crisis. These historic challenges, coupled with the sluggish productivity and glaring inequalities that have come to define the 13 times since the global financial crisis, have reshaped age-old political devotions and supported the foundations for the purposes of an escalating culture combat that identifies political and media rivals scrap topics such as statutes, mask-wearing, political correctness, and flag-waving.

Against this volatile backdrop, the political consensus on the need for climate action has, perhaps suprisingly, been generally maintained. Extinction Rebellion's approach to protest and Greta Thunberg's interventions may not have secured universal approval, but political parties across the spectrum still concur with their central meaning - that climate change is an emergency that requires urgent and sustained action. Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have been willing to stoke the culture war on multiple breasts, but when it comes to climate change he has attacked the consensus and sought to position climate action as a central board of his agenda. Meanwhile, the private sector organizations remains more committed than ever to accelerating the net zero transition.

However, one only has to look across The Pond to America to see the constant hazard of climate change and the net zero agenda slipping into the racial war countenance quarry, where striking divisions between the Republican and Democratic gatherings have long held back policy progress. Is there a danger of the same happening here in the UK - of net zero becoming a brand-new territory in increasingly fraught culture combat? For Tim Lord, senior companion at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, if political leaders prove self-complacent - if they think it could never happen here - the health risks is a very real one.

"Difficult policy decisions lie ahead which will directly affect the way people live and work, and if they aren't designed and communicated in the right way then politicians gamble leaving the field open for climate change to become a divisive party-political issue, and even weaponised as the next culture fighting, " he alerts. "Support for net zero can be maintained - but action is needed to build and communicate a positive lawsuit for act which reverberates across the political spectrum."

Lord, who has almost 20 years' suffer working on environment, vigor, and industrial program - most recently as superintendent of the UK government's decarbonisation strategy - has co-authored new research for the Institute which today seeks to address some of the crucial political questions circumventing the next stage of the UK's net zero modulation, which will increasingly necessary the direct participation and subsidize of the British public.

Fortunately, the research begins by arguing the present situation is a good one as far as public and political expressed support for net zero is concerned. Assessing various sources of public polling on atmosphere topics in the last decades, including regular study by the Pew Research Centre and the UK government's own Public Attitudes Tracker examinations, it concludes expressed concerns about climate change is at record levels. Not simply that, but unlike after the global financial crisis in 2007 -0 8, that concern has been sustained despite the chao of Covid-1 9. Climate change is now a major issue at the ballot box and, contrary to some media preconceptions, it is not just an issue for certain subsets of voters either, but is of growing concern across all age groups, income levels, and urban and rural areas of the country, according to the report.

In short-lived, politicians can be confident there currently exists strong and sustained desire for climate act right across the board. "Climate change is here to stay as a political issue, " the report states.

Yet that is far from the whole picture. To date, life-styles have been broadly unaffected by decarbonisation that has witnessed the UK cut its emissions in half since 1990. But as anyone in the green economy knows, the second half of that jaunt promises to be much harder, involving tough political choices that instantly alter the public through changes to their transport, nutritions, and home heating. Meanwhile, there are fractures beginning to show in the broad coalition in support of the net zero mission, which in many ways follow the same dividing lines as those between 'Leave' and 'Remain' supporters that has defined British politics since the EU referendum in 2016. Polling indicates socially conservative voters tend to be much less supportive of climate action than more socially liberal voters, and that divide increasingly manifests the bases of the two main political parties in the UK.

Recent debates bordering plans to build the UK's firstly coal pit in 30 years require a case in point. While environmental campaigners and the Labour Party have argued the project will add to greenhouse gas emissions and undermine the UK's climate leadership credentials in the run up to COP2 6, some Conservative MPs have vocally argued that the pit is crucial for jobs and growth in the area. Against this backdrop, the government has flip-flopped on the issue, first tacitly supporting the project, and now launching its examination of the controversial plans.

As such, today's report argues that in order to ensure a long-term political alignment of support for the net zero transition commanders across the political range will need to work hard to maintain it. "Getting this right - developing a unifying politics of the environmental issues that speaks to the concerns of the large bulk of the electorate - is perhaps the most important long-term political challenge of our time, " it states.

For its part, the authorities concerned appears to be considering these risks. Earlier this month two cases of handiwork commissioned by government departments for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy( BEIS) be issued, one report on net zero public action and participation by Cardiff University's Dr Christina Demski and another which solicited public beliefs on net zero that was carried out by Newgate Research and the University of Cambridge. Both universally support the view that, over the coming decade and beyond, the public may be required to far more directly involved in the net zero modulation than they have been so far, which will in turn necessitate brand-new date approaches from politicians and businesses to avoid pushback and division.

Demski's report warns of a lack of public awareness about many of the challenges required to meet net zero, and warns that high levels of concern about climate change do not undoubtedly translate into committed support for the types of changes that may be required. As a outcome her analysis warns that "overall public date and participation may have the potential to impact the tempo of transmission, cost and success of net zero delivery".

The Newgate and University of Cambridge work, meanwhile, involved a total of 93 participants from across the UK in online research, which sought to identify the easiest and toughest challenges for delivering decarbonisation, as well as how best to engage people with net zero programs. The two most contentious policy areas, it knew, were around vehicle possession and nutritions, with a clear desire among some groups to maintain freedom over choice over how and when they buy a private automobile or feed meat and dairy. Yet such research also emphasized "very limited awareness" among the public of possibilities policies that could be looked at in the course of the year in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

"Ultimately people wanted net zero to be achieved in ways which respected individual choice and promoted wellbeing, which were seen to be fair in their distributional significance, and which did not limit interpersonal relationships or result in the widening of social prejudices, " it concluded.

Clearly, participation with the public that openly addresses the new challenges, payments, and modifies ahead in the drive to net zero must be at the top of the agenda for the UK government's environment policy, taking the baton from where exercises such as the recent citizens' Climate Assembly UK began.

To do that, Lord today says lessons must be learned from the fallout of the Brexit referendum so as to avoid further polarisation and department on climate act. In particular, he points to the Remain campaign's focus on the economic assertions for EU membership, while the Leave campaign opted for a more values-driven campaigning approach that was arguably more effective. "Similarly now[ with net zero ], you have to think about how are we frisking to a really wide prepare of values, so we're not just talking about the 'just transition' and economic right, we're not just talking about the moral disagreement for atmosphere activity, " he tells BusinessGreen. "I wouldn't dismiss either of those arguments, as they're both important, but they're not going to resonate with a wide enough group of voters for the kind of action that is needed for net zero to be politically sustainable."

Consequently, his report indicates political leaders need to not only strengthen voters' understanding of what net zero actually means for them, but pattern and communicate public policies that appeal to voters with different quality across the growing divide. It also sets out how fears that the transition could adversely affect jobs and communities must also be addressed head on, with clear assurances from political leaders that the mistakes of the past have been learned after the shuttering of industry in the 1980 s without the financing and transitional strategy that could have alleviated much of the resulting economic agony and social dislocation. And it points to the fact that moral and economic controversies for environment action are not enough on their own - instead a "patriotic sense of national mission" should be provoked which places emphasis on regional ownership of climate solutions and ensures that green growth and jobs are delivered "in a way that is meaningful and visible".

Yet bringing patriotism into the realm of climate act also arguably views its own jeopardies. As antagonisms between the UK and EU over AstraZeneca's Covid-1 9 inoculation roll out reveals, national grandstanding can serve to undermine much-needed international cooperation on crisis of world-wide proportions.

Lord, nonetheless, contends a constructive patriotism has a role to play. "Firstly I think what that's really about is climate change being a polity rather than a politics of separation, because patriotism can be about requiring better communities, healthier life-styles and better places, etc, " he says. "And furthermore, a hasten to the top on decarbonisation is undoubtedly a good thing. Some countries have different challenges and strongs in terms of getting to net zero. A patriotic framing of this that introduces a sense of national duty and shared endeavour can be really positive for the orders of the day. The other thing I'd say is that if parties was concerned at excessive patriotism, then a much bigger concern for me would be a world where we haven't dealt with climate change, and what that will do in terms of world-wide geopolitics. Because the disruption to supply chains and some of the unmanaged affects, I see, will be very risky from a political perspective."

As an example for businesses, he foreground General Motors' recent electric vehicle push, which included a major advertising campaign pioneered by Hollywood comedian Will Ferrell that was screened to big audiences during the US Super Bowl. The advert light-heartedly calls for Americans to build driving EVs part of a patriotic mission to catch up with Norway, one of the world leaders on artillery vehicle approval. Interestingly, the ad does not once mention the words 'climate change'.

"I assume that's because GM thinks that is the most effective message for purchasers, and it's an assertion around patriotism, and around the fact that these products are better than the high-pitched carbon or unsustainable alternative, " Lord memoranda. "I think there's a really interesting lesson, or at least a extent of reflection, in there for businesses thinking about how to sell themselves to consumers."

Whether carefully-framed patriotism and national contender is the answer to avoiding a climate culture war and still further political fraction remains to be determined, but it is a compelling argument that - certainly in the case of Boris Johnson's 'world leading' claims and GM's TV adverts - is clearly already being tested out by both politicians and top businesses.

Whatever the answer, with tougher decarbonisation challenges onward, the wider public cannot be excluded from the net zero conversation for long, and ensuring unity of support for climate action is almost certain to become one of the most important missions for policymakers over the next decade. Indeed, the success of the entire net zero project relies upon it.

Read more: businessgreen.com

19Mar/210

‘Opportunity to reset’: How MPs are urging the Treasury to use tax policy to drive green recovery

'Opportunity to reset': How MPs are urging the Treasury to use tax policy to drive green recovery

Environmental Audit Committee Chair Philip Dunne talks to BusinessGreen about the need for 'a tax system fit for net zero Britain' and the right time to judge whether the government has delivered on its light-green retrieval predicts

MPs are urging the government to use the upcoming Budget to usher in a major alteration of the tax system to align the UK's spending plans with its net zero and biological diversity commitments, alerting experience is running short to deliver on its promise of a dark-green economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee( EAC) today launched a wide-ranging report on the government's lettuce recuperation agenda which says major reforms to UK taxation and the speedy release of long-awaited policy approaches will be central to laying the foundations of a greener, job-rich economy that protects nature.

Among a long list of proposed actions, it calls for cuts in VAT for light-green produces, the creation of a new National Nature Service to help protect wildlife, and scoping work to explore the potential for implementing an economy-wide carbon tax and carbon territory adjustments to drive investment in low-toned carbon infrastructure and action 'carbon leakage' from the UK economy.

Other recommendations include urgently delivering clear strategies to deliver new carbon capture and storage( CCS) and hydrogen projects, specifying clear and ambitious targets in the delayed Environment Bill, lay the foundations of domestic EV battery manufacturing at magnitude, and aligning the UK's net zero and sort agendas.

It likewise calls on the government to "rigorously" assess its PS27bn road building programme against the UK's air quality, atmosphere, and biodiversity objectives before individual programmes continue - a recommendation that follows disclosures arising from an on-going law challenge that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps overrode official advice that the controversial program should be reviewed on environmental grounds.

Philip Dunne MP, chair of the EAC, said the Covid-1 9 pandemic was a symptom of the wider environmental crisis the world currently faces, and should be treated as a "wake-up call" for Ministers to set the UK on a far more ambitious pathway to a net zero release, biodiverse future.

"The economic recovery will mold our national economy for decades to come, and it necessary that tackling climate change and rebuilding nature is at its core, " said the Conservative MP for Ludlow. "There will be no inoculation against runaway climate change, and it is our responsibility now, abusing the opportunity of the economic recovery, to set the UK on track for net zero."

The Chancellor is set to deliver the Budget on 3 March, and the EAC implored Rishi Sunak to grasp the opportunity to bring forward a raft of proposals to encourage green behaviour change and drive investment in low carbon engineerings and nature-recovery efforts.

One of the main recommendations in the report centres on slashing VAT on green concoctions for house energy efficiency upgrades and low-spirited carbon construction measures, as well as for repair services and products containing reused or recycled fabrics to boost uptake and investment in circular economy endeavors - a suggestion that was propagandized up the agenda earlier this month with the launch of a brand-new safarus by the Daily Express similarly calling for VAT to be axed on dark-green products.

The EAC also repetition calls for an overhaul and increase for the troubled Green Homes Grant programme, following weeks of negative headlines arising from administrative problems with the arrangement and approval from the government last week that it is withdrawing over PS1bn from the initial budget of the stimulus package.

Further tax motivations is appropriate to be given to ultra-low emission vehicles to boost uptake, while other current environmental taxes - such as Air Passenger Duty - should be reformed in order to better reward and drive efforts to develop greener aircraft technology, the EAC argued.

And, the Committee urged the government to begin scoping work on an economy-wide carbon tax - which it said would be "one of the most economically efficient ways to incentivise low-toned carbon choices" - in addition to looking at the potential merits of carbon territory adjustments.

"A tax system fit for net zero Britain is key, " said Dunne. "It will encourage innovation, give confidence to the sector and patronage a corporation to fix the low-carbon transition. There are endless initiatives that can lead to a greener future and the Chancellor should use his upcoming Budget statement to start this process."

Whether or not the Chancellor will take up the recommendations remains an open question. The report follows criticism from the government's spending watchdog, the National Audit Office( NAO ), last week which accused the Treasury and HRMC of having exclusively a "limited understanding" of how the UK's tax regime patronizes atmosphere and environmental objectives. Meanwhile, political opponents have thrown the authorities concerned for failing to deliver a multi-billion pound lettuce stimulus program similar to those adopted by Germany and France.

As such, calls are growing for the government to deliver on its promised 'build back better' agenda on variou figureheads. The EAC's calls for VAT reform resemble those which have frequently come from a range of business and environmental groups over the past year, such as Green Alliance, the REA, and even the Sustainable Restaurant Association( SRA ), while proposals for an overhaul of carbon pricing program and the urgent verification of a raft of decarbonisation policies have widespread backing from business leaders.

Dunne told BusinessGreen he was looking to the upcoming Budget for the government to set a more ambitious course for a light-green retrieval, as he said there was a need for a "wider debate" about how taxation could be used to support the UK's net zero transition.

"What it is essential to do as we pate towards net zero Britain is to open up a debate across the country about how should tax policy and concedes - incentives as well as retributions - be directed to help people change behaviour, " he said.

Green asset

The report also takes aim at the Bank of England's money programmes, following criticism from green campaigners that in the wake of the first Covid-1 9 lockdown last year the central bank did not place enough 'green strings' to the financial and lend supporter it offered to struggling high carbon companionships, such as airlines.

Going forward, the Bank should therefore ensure it includes climate and nature objectives in future pandemic-support programmes, such as requiring that recipients publicly disclose the climate threats facing their business in line with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure specifications, according to the report. It should also be given a specific mandate to help drive the net zero transition, and reduce the carbon intensity of its corporate ligament portfolio, the report added.

Meanwhile, the report says the government should ensure its proposed National Infrastructure Bank( NIB) escapes a same fate to its effective predecessor - the Green Investment Bank - which was sold off to the private sector in 2017. It calls for an "unequivocal guarantee", potentially in law, that the NIB will remain a populace academy for the long term, adding that it should be given a mandate to promote projects focused on nature recovery, in addition to its proposed net zero mandate.

'Opportunity to reset'

The government has repeatedly sought to position its pandemic recovery plans as an opportunity to build a greener economy, particularly given the UK is set to co-host the critical COP2 6 UN climate change summit in Glasgow later this year. Last-place time, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to "build back better" from the crisis, before unveiling his 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution in the autumn.

But amid several adjournments to crucial cyberspace zero programs - such as the Transport Decarbonisation Plan - as well as the contentious withdrawal of funding from the government's flagship Green Homes Grant scheme last week, environmental groups have questioned the Treasury's commitment to delivering a genuinely dark-green recovery.

"What such reports to consider ways to point towards is that some things[ the authorities concerned] have doing well, and some things they may have been disconcerted and haven't gone to plan, " reasoned Dunne. "So there's an opportunity to reset and get back on board."

Caterina Brandmayr, head of climate policy at Green Alliance, said the EAC's report "rightly articulates the spotlight on what the government still needs to do to deliver a light-green recovery".

Harnessing the Budget and forthcoming net zero strategies to deliver an environmentally responsible stimulus would "benefit businesses and communities across the country, and ensure the UK is seen as an environmental world leader as it prepares to host firstly the G7 and then COP26", she said.

Responding to today's EAC report, nonetheless, the authorities concerned vowed it was committed to a light-green retrieval, and foreground its plans to launch the UK's firstly sovereign light-green attachment this year and acquaint mandatory climate danger revealings across the economy by 2025.

"We're committed to building back better and greener from the pandemic, which is why the Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan will employ the UK at the forefront of the world-wide lettuce industrial coup and make hundreds of thousands of green occupations, while the Treasury's Net Zero Review is examining how the transition to net zero should be funded, " the government said in a statement.

Green homes award fiasco

But concerns and confusion continue to surround the government's flagship programme that was meant to be at the heart of its much-trumpeted 'green recovery' agenda.

The PS1. 5bn Green Homes Grant scheme was launched last-place summertime in a bid to provide discount vouchers that would reduce the cost of energy efficiency modernizes on homes. However, the arrangement has suffered from a multitude of difficulties from the beginning, with entrants facing administrative hurdles in accessing the programme and procure accredited tradespeople to carried out under the residence refurbishes, while there have been reports of installers themselves losing money, faculty, and business due to late pays through the scheme.

And in a surprise move last week the government sanctioned plans to remove potentially over PS1bn from the scheme's budget that remains unspent by the end of March. The authority blamed householders' reluctance to have tradespeople enter their homes as the primary motive of the Green Home Grant Scheme's travails, but this explanation was roundly disagreed by business groups and political opponents.

The EAC has kept a close gaze on the scheme, earlier this month revealing simply over 21,000 vouchers towards the cost of home improves have been issued to date, a fraction of the government's ambition to hand out 600,000 lettuce improvement vouchers.

Dunne too told BusinessGreen that in the evidence he had seen from applicants to the scheme nobody had cited Covid-1 9 frights related to installers participating their residences as a core problem. "The fact that merely a third of those applying for vouchers have had them approved tells a slightly different story, " he said.

For its part, the government said it would "continue to bring forward bold measures to cut emissions, with plans to invest PS9bn in improving the energy efficiency of buildings forming part of our wider commitment to end our contribution to climate change by 2050 ".

However, while BusinessGreen has repeatedly sought to confirm whether or not the government's goal of improving 600,000 residences through the Green Homes Grant scheme remains in place given its drastically reduced budget, BEIS has yet to provide clarification.

The EAC today therefore reiterated its demand for the authorities concerned renovation the anxious arrangement, and give it beyond its current March 2022 cut-off date in order to provide businesses and householders the long-term certainty they need to hire and train additional installers and submit applications for vouchers.

Fund evaluation

Whether the UK government can deliver a truly light-green convalescence from the current economic crisis remains to be seen, but with its leadership on climate change under the spotlight in the run up to COP2 6, it will be under significant influence to back up its encouraging 'build back better' rhetoric with discernible activity. The latest controversy over the Green Homes Grant, recent failures scrutinizing this reputational impairment incurred by allowing the progress brand-new coal mines, and the huge pipeline of long-awaited light-green policy decisions, have all served to undermine confidence that Minister have the key priorities straight-out, with the Treasury widely considered to be one of the key barriers to the development of a believable light-green recovery strategy.

For Dunne, however, the window for action is still open, and the coming weeks and months now offer a critical opportunity to set the government's recovery efforts on an daring lettuce track. The upcoming Budget and following few months therefore look set to provide the clearest exam hitherto of whether the government's light-green recovery predicts will be met.

"That will be the time to assess how effective[ the government's endeavours] ought to have, " said Dunne.

Read more: businessgreen.com

14Mar/210

Green uniforms: David Luke Schoolwear completes 1,000-panel rooftop solar plant

Green uniforms: David Luke Schoolwear completes 1,000-panel rooftop solar plant

Solar plant at garb provider's Manchester headquarters established possible by dark-green loan from HSBC

David Luke Schoolwear, one of the UK's biggest clas attire providers, has installed more than 1,000 solar battery on the rooftop of its headquarters in Manchester, in a move designed to slash energy bill costs and curb its environmental footprint.

The completion of the project was announced this week by HSBC, which provided the family-run business with a "six-figure" loan to finance the clean-living vitality project.

David Luke Schoolwear is now expecting to save up to 3,600 tonnes in carbon emissions over the 25 -year lifetime of the 295 kWh installation, which covers an an area of 1,700 square metres, it said.

Kathryn Shuttleworth, managing board of David Luke Schoolwear, indicated by the savings generated by the solar facility would pay back the upfront installation cost of the regalium within eight years.

"We're delighted to see the completion of this project, the latest in a germinating roll of successful green strategies across the business, " she said. "These solar panels support our long-term sustainability targets, but the financing will also recognize monetary returns, with the solar roof expected to pay for itself in cost savings after only seven to eight years."

She added that the project was "the latest in a proliferating roster of successful light-green initiatives" from the business, which also includes making garbs from recycled polyester wool from plastic bottles.

HSBC's relationship director Richard Beaumont said the light-green lend required in order to David Luke Schoolwear was the first the bank had required in order to a mid-sized enterprise in the North of England. "We're unbelievably proud to be to finish the deal with David Luke Schoolwear, " he said. "The family-run business has proven its dark-green credentials at the highest level and this investment in solar panels signals another positive move for the future."

Meanwhile, Robert King, the bank's head of sustainability, indicated by the light-green loan programme was a critical element of the bank's drive to becoming a' net zero' institution by mid-century.

"The work being done on HSBC UK green credits across the country is innovative and an integrated part of our commitment to help business thrive in the transition to cyberspace zero, " he said. "By supporting SMEs, mid-sized enterprises and sizable corporate organisations with dedicated sustainable funding, we can ensure the long term financial and environmental health of UK businesses."

Want to find out more about Net Zero Finance and the speculation trends impacting the enterprises and investors of all types? Then join us at the Net Zero Finance pathway event, as one of the purposes of the Net Zero Festival 2021, which will take place online on March 16 th. You can request an invitation to the event now.

Read more: businessgreen.com