ESG Essentials: in the news last week

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It doesn’t feel like we had an extra year to plan for COP26 as a sense of chaos descends on COP26 planning. As the noise builds it’s a hard time to be an environmental correspondent so kudos to The Sun’s new climate journo Natasha Clark for introducing herself with this tweet.

COP15 sets a lowish bar for 26

The first phase of the decade’s largest biodiversity conference, COP15 (not to be confused with climate COP26), set the stage for the adoption of a post-2020 global framework to ramp up biodiversity protection. The second phase is scheduled to be an in-person event in April 2022. 

The UN view was, “The adoption of the Kunming Declaration, and the strong political direction provided by many ministers have put us firmly on the path to the adoption of an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework that will engage the entire world in the task of putting nature on a path to recovery by 2030.”

Investment in clean energy must triple by 2030 to curb climate change 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has called for investment in renewable energy to be tripled by the end of the decade if the world hopes to effectively tackle climate change. This comes in the midst of power prices rising to all-time highs and widespread energy shortages affecting Asia and Europe, alongside record demand on fossil fuels as economies look to bounce back following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The IEA has warned that investment in renewables like solar, wind and hydropower energy will need to form a far greater share of the market if economic recovery is to be made sustainable. In 2020, renewable energy only accounted for 12% of the world energy supply, but predictions envision that this will need to increase to 66% if climate change is to be limited to near 1.5 degrees. This comes ahead of COP26, where we are likely to see governments committing to accelerate states’ reliance on clean energy. 

Read the full story here

​​World Food Day: ‘New momentum’ for food system fix but words need to be put into action

World Food Day took place on Saturday, and the United Nations said it sees ‘new momentum and energy’ around the transition to a sustainable food system. 

New research from the FAIRR Initiative shows that the food sector has seen a wave of climate commitments, and despite some progress, there is much further to go.

Jo Raven, Senior Manager, Research & Engagements at FAIRR said:

“This World Food Day, the FAO has stressed the importance of a sustainable food system to ‘deliver food security and nutrition for all’. Currently, food production contributes to ⅓ of global emissions, is responsible for approximately 80% of global deforestation and uses 70% of global freshwater; this demonstrates the vital need for change, as our food system cannot be secure until it is more sustainable. 

“FAIRR’s Sustainable Proteins Engagement has seen notable signs of change from food retailers and manufacturers over the past 5 years. The number of firms adopting formal targets for protein diversification has grown from zero to seven in three years, however, there’s work to do to ensure food companies are putting their words into actions. Some key food firms are over-reliant on offsets rather than tangible long-term decarbonisation to reach their net-zero goals and a number of firms are still failing to disclose their emissions footprint across their value chains.

“This World Food Day, FAIRR is keen to see more firms setting targets for protein transition, addressing deforestation in their supply chains, being transparent about their carbon footprint and setting science-based targets to reduce it. These steps will prove crucial to delivering healthy and nutritious food to growing populations in a warmer world and should be front and centre at COP26.”

ESG Awards 2021

The other breaking news last week… ESG Communications was shortlisted for Boutique Consultancy of the Year Award in the inaugural ESG Awards. Fingers crossed for the announcement in mid-November.

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