Climate Change Agreement

DEFINITION: A UK Government policy which provides a 90% discount for businesses within energy-intensive sectors that agree upon targets to improve their energy efficiency or reduce carbon emissions.

See also: Climate change

See also: Climate Change Act

 

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The 4 big ideas for net-zero carbon strategies

Experts across energy management came together at edie’s SPARK! 2.0 event to discuss the role that strategy could play in the delivery of net-zero carbon targets.

The roundtable was chaired by Business in the Community’s environmental director Gudrun Cartwright and included 16 other sustainability and climate leaders

Climate leadership roundtable: Are we on the right track for a net-zero economy?

The UK Government's recent move to legislate for net-zero emissions by 2050 has been widely welcomed across the green economy - but how should businesses respond? edie recently convened a group of sustainability leaders from an array of industry sectors to discuss exactly that.

TCFD uses scenario analysis to map company performance against various global warming trajectories

Can TCFD recommendations communicate a business response to the 'climate emergency'?

Against a backdrop of Extinction Rebellion protests and declarations of a "climate emergency", businesses will need to articulate their role in combatting climate change. Could the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures' (TCFD) recommendations create the ideal framework to do so?

SDG Spotlight: How businesses can achieve Goal 13 - Climate Action

This brand-new edie report maps out exactly how the business community can collectively achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 - Climate Action - within the next decade.

The FRC will consider how investors are addressing climate change under a new Stewardship Code, which will be issued from the beginning of 2021

Financial Reporting Council launches 'major' review of corporate climate reporting

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is set to launch a major review into the quality of how companies and auditors are reporting on climate change impacts and risks, including the pace at which the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework has been adopted.

The Met Office's current Cray computers (pictured) will be phased out from 2022. Image: Met Office. 

Government unveils plans for £1.2bn climate 'supercomputer'

The Government has promised to strengthen the UK's resilience to flooding and drought by investing £1.2 billion in the world's most advanced weather and climate forecaster.

The strategy also commits to a year-on-year reduction of construction waste

Sir Robert McAlpine targets net-zero emissions by 2024

Building and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine has announced a new public commitment to implement carbon reduction initiatives to reach net-zero emissions in the next five years.

Of the 856 cities reporting climate data to CDP, 105 (12%) received an 'A' grade

Which UK cities are climate 'A-Listers' - and why?

CDP has this week published its Cities A List, revealing the global cities that are leading efforts to tackle climate challenges. Here, edie looks at the five UK cities to have made the cut, summarising their green plans and progress to date.

Flights could account for around 25% of the UK’s emissions by 2050

Hubbub targets stag and hen dos to lower UK flying climate impacts

Environmental charity Hubbub has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the impacts of flying, after research commissioned by the group found that almost half of all flights taken by men aged 20-45 and a third of flights from women in the same age group were for stag and hen dos.

The UN is warning that there is only a limited time left to avert the world's sixth mass extinction. Image: NPS Climate Change Response 

World leaders urged to 'step back from precipice' of ecological ruin

Humanity's ongoing destruction of nature threatens the survival of our species, a group of former foreign ministers has warned, calling on leaders to step back from "the precipice" of irreversible ecological ruin and protect nature.

As of September 2018, Bezos's net worth has stood around the $152bn mark. Image: Seattle City Council, CC BY 2.0

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveils $10bn climate fund

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, widely regarded as the richest man in modern history, has pledged to funnel $10bn (£7.7bn) of his personal fortune into a new fund aimed at tackling climate challenges.

Just nine months ago, analysis by the ECIU found that 16% of GDP was covered by net-zero carbon emission ambitions

Report: 49% of world's GDP covered by net-zero targets

Just under half of the world's annual GDP is now covered by nations, regions and cities that are legislating for a net-zero emissions target, a new study has revealed.

Helena Helmersson spent more than five years in H&M’s sustainability team before taking the helm as CEO

Journey to the top: Are today's sustainability professionals tomorrow's chief executives?

H&M's appointment of Helena Helmersson as chief executive marks the first time a global corporation has appointed a former sustainability manager to lead the company. Could this be a sign that sustainability is becoming so integral to business that today's CSR professionals are tomorrow's corporate leaders?

Since 2005, Delta has reduced its absolute GHG footprint by 11% from 46 million metric tonnes to 41 million metric tonnes. Image Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines commits $1bn to become carbon neutral

US-based Delta Air Lines has committed $1bn over the next decade to mitigate emissions from its business to become carbon neutral, with the company pledging to minimise its reliance on the carbon offset market.

Each of these success stories exemplifies how businesses are ramping up ambitions and actions in all areas of sustainable development 

RBS's climate goals and Aldi's plastic bag crackdown: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

Sharma has a busy 10 months ahead. Image: Gov.uk

Alok Sharma: What we know about the COP26 President's views on climate change

In an unexpected announcement, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has been replaced by International Development Secretary Alok Sharma, who has also been named as COP26 President. Here, edie examines Sharma's track record on climate legislation to date.

The Working Group, National Church Institutions and every cathedral body and Diocesan Synod will provide progress reports and updates towards the net-zero ambition every three years

Church of England commits to net-zero emissions by 2030

The Church of England will "urgently examine" what will be required to reach net-zero emissions, after a vote was passed to set the target for 2030, 15 years ahead of an initially recommended date.

Sky will target a 50% absolute reduction in emissions by 2030

Dissecting the challenge: How Sky is approaching its net-zero target

EXCLUSIVE: Sky is facing the daunting task of engaging with 11,000 companies and 24 million customers as part of its new commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030. The group's head of responsible business Fiona Ball outlines how Sky is "dissecting" this target to manage the transformation.

More than 8,000 people objected to the expansion. Image: Bristol Airport

Plan to expand Bristol airport rejected after climate protests

A scheme to expand Bristol airport has been rejected following protests that it would exacerbate the climate emergency, damage the health of local people, and harm flora and fauna.

Most of the costs will be caused by the loss of natural coastal protection services, which in turn will lead to increased flooding 

Nature loss to rock global economy by £8trn by 2050

The UK is set to take an annual economic hit of at least £16bn through the destruction of natural ecosystems, with global costs set to spiral to almost £8trn by 2050, a new WWF report has warned.

The new COP26 president will be announced this week, with Gove tipped as one of the fore-runners

Michael Gove urges 'most transparent ever COP' for Glasgow

Former Environment Secretary Michael Gove has laid out his big asks for COP26 preparations and denied rumours that he will replace former Energy Minister Claire O'Neill as the event's president during this week's cabinet reshuffle.

Green groups are critical of the project's approach to carbon reduction and biodiversity 

Can HS2 comply with the UK's net-zero target?

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving the green light to the £100bn HS2, edie examines whether the controversial high-speed rail project can align with the UK's net-zero emissions future.

Any waste beer produced that fails to meet the company’s quality standards will be distilled and turned into Vodka

BrewDog to upcycle and trade used cans for company equity

Craft beer firm BrewDog has unveiled a new sustainability action plan that will allow consumers to trade in beer cans for upcycling and recycling in exchange for an equity stake in the company.

The Telegraph has reported that Barclays looks set to act on shareholder calls to ditch fossil fuel investments

Reports: BlackRock and Barclays to act on climate investment calls

As reports emerge that Barclays is set to agree on shareholder calls to phase-out fossil fuel investments, BlackRock has already made strides on its stance to remove fossil fuel firms from its portfolio.

Businesses are gearing up to redefine their purpose

10 ways business leadership will evolve during a crucial decade for sustainability

Sustainability experts and thought leaders were in attendance at edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum to outline how the role of business in a society battling social and environmental crises like never before will change.

Five key takeaways from edie's net-zero energy masterclass

Last week, edie undertook a masterclass with Smartest Energy on evolving your energy strategy for net-zero, which included a case study with property giant JLL.

Khan's damning letter has been sent to the Secretaries for Housing and BEIS, as well as the London Minister and 10 Downing Street. Image: City Hall 

Government's plans for low-carbon homes are 'a step backwards' on climate, London Mayor warns

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged Ministers to improve plans for decarbonising the UK's built environment sector, claiming that the capital and other cities are already going further and faster in the face of the climate emergency.

Image: NI Assembly

Northern Ireland declares 'climate emergency' as UK moves coal phase-out forward

In the same week that the UK Government announced green policy changes around coal and electric vehicles, the Northern Ireland Assembly has declared a 'climate emergency'.

The UK Government has just moved the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales forward to 2035. Image: OVO Energy

Northern Powergrid and OVO Energy make fresh bids to spur EV uptake

Northern Powergrid has launched a new digital tool to help business customers install electric vehicle (EV) charging points, in the same week that OVO Energy partnered with Mitsubishi to offer free EV miles to individual customers.

Pictured L-R: ClimateCare CEO Vaughan Lindsay; IFC director Ousseynou Nakoulima; Interface's Erin Meezan; Vattenfall's Annika Ramskold and Futerra's Solitaire Townsend discussing how businesses can respond to the climate emergency. 

Seven top tips for kick-starting your organisation's net-zero transition

Last year, dozens of 'climate emergency' declarations were made by governments, local authorities, political parties and businesses. But how can sustainability, CSR and energy professionals help their organisations respond to these declarations with ambitious, impactful and long-lasting actions?

Johnson yesterday announced a call to help other nations set net-zero legislation, but continues to face criticism for his handling of the COP26 preparations domestically

Boris Johnson promises urgent climate action after stinging criticism

Boris Johnson has promised "urgent action" on the climate crisis, taking personal leadership of this year's UN climate talks after a blistering attack by the sacked former minister who was to lead them.

WATCH: Mary Robinson on net-zero, climate justice and being 'prisoners of hope'

Chair of The Elders and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson delivered an inspiring keynote speech to kickstart edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum, which is available to watch in-full.

Sustainable Business Leadership Survey 2020 - The results...

This second annual survey reveals what "business leadership" looks like for sustainability, CSR and energy professionals across the UK, following our inaugural report in 2019.

A “Sustainable Aviation Fuels Road-Map” has also been released today, noting that alternative and sustainable fuels could account for one third of the UK’s demand for aviation fuel by 2050

UK aviation launches net-zero commitment for 2050, but won't cap growth

Key members of the UK aviation industry, including Boeing, Virgin Atlantic and London City Airport are among a coalition that has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the sector by 2050, to assist with the UK's overall net-zero strategy.

The cement industry is one of the high-emitting sectors which the study researched.

Report: Heavy industry making "slow progress" on Paris Agreement

A new study has shown there has been slow progress on climate action in high-emitting industries, with just one in five corporates operating in line with a 2C trajectory. 

Boris Johnson and Mark Carney will be two of the key figures attending COP26 later this year

COP26: Boris Johnson to move diesel ban forward to 2035 and call for global net-zero transition

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the COP26 climate conference to call on other nations to follow the UK in setting a net-zero target and is also set to reveal plans to move the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars forward five years to 2035 as part of a "year of climate action".

Sky has recorded a 55% reduction in carbon intensity and a 39% reduction in business travel emissions

'A critical decade': Sky commits to net-zero emissions by 2030

Broadcaster Sky has today (4 February) unveiled a new commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 through strategies to make its products more energy efficient, its film and TV more sustainable and by engaging consumers and the value chain to "go zero".

Reports suggest that government officials expressed concerns over O'Neill's ability to steer COP26 proceedings 

Claire O'Neill removed from COP president position

Former UK energy minister Claire O'Neill will be replaced as the president for the upcoming COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this year, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to launch a new dedicated strategy for the conference.

The report by Carbon Tracker, a financial thinktank, warns that sudden changes in policy in the future could halve the value of fossil fuel investments

Change climate policy now to avert oil market crisis, warns thinktank

The oil industry is at risk of a global market shock that could halve the value of fossil fuel investments if governments delay setting policies to tackle the climate crisis, according to new analysis.

The company's carbon-neutral strategy revolves around energy efficiency, renewables and offsetting. Image: EY 

EY targets carbon neutrality by end of 2020

Professional services giant EY has pledged to become a carbon-neutral business by the end of the year, through investments in decarbonising its operations and in carbon offsetting schemes.

Some businesses are now looking outside of their own operations to become 'carbon-negative' rather than 'net-zero'

Greenwashing 2.0? Defining what it means to be a 'net-zero' business

Net-zero emissions has been scientifically heralded as a necessity to reverse the worst impacts of climate change. But a flurry of recent business commitments to become 'carbon-negative' and 'resource-positive' raises a critical question: does achieving 'net-zero' actually constitute business leadership?

 edie rounds up the commentary on key areas of the Environment Bill

'A much-need overhaul': Green groups react to revamped Environment Bill

Green groups have welcomed the reintroduction of the Government's 'gold standard' Environment Bill today (30 January), noting that it could be "truly transformative" if it is able to set out legal guarantees on the delivery of a raft of new policy commitments.

A Drax spokeswoman said the company’s ambition was to be removing, not adding carbon to the atmosphere, by 2030

UK sued for approving Europe's biggest gas power station

The UK government is being sued for approving a large new gas-fired power plant, overruling the climate change objections of its own planning authority.

The Bill confirms that the OEP will cover all climate change legislation, including the commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050

UK Government's 'gold standard' Environment Bill reintroduced

The UK Government's long-awaited Environment Bill has finally been reintroduced to Parliament, outlining powers to stop the exports of plastic waste to developing countries, and revamped governance systems on clean air and biodiversity and two-yearly reviews to update the Bill if required.

In 2019, Heathrow had around 80 million passengers board flights at the airport 

Heathrow Airport launches flight offsetting tool for passengers

Passengers on flights to and from Heathrow Airport now have the option to offset the emissions of their journeys, after Heathrow.com announced a new partnership with the CHOOOSE 'climate streaming service' offsetting platform.

Water and emissions targets were found to be particularly lacking, while efforts on climate disclosures remained low. Image: Ceres-FAIRR 

Fast food firms failing to face up to climate challenges, investment giants warn

Some of the world's biggest fast food brands including Domino's, Chipotle and Burger King are failing to take "real" action on environmental issues including climate change and water.

UK charitable foundations provide more than £4bn of funding every year 

Comic Relief among charities pledging to end fossil fuel investments

Comic Relief, Power to Change, and Guy's and St Thomas' Charity are the latest organisations that have committed to end all fossil fuel investment and adopt a new ethical approach to investing, after joining the Funder Commitment on Climate Change.

The Partnership has also warned that organisations and investment managers that fail to demonstrate reduced exposure to climate risks could be voted against 

Brunel Pension Partnership launches new finance strategy to align with net-zero future

The group overseeing £30bn worth of investments for 10 local government pension scheme funds has pledged to align its management practices with the Paris Agreement.

Pictured: The Cottam coal power station, which ceased generation in September 2019. Image: EDF 

Report: Emissions trading reached record €194bn high in 2019

Globally, turnover related to emissions trading rose 34% year-on-year in 2019 to reach €194bn (£163bn), new research has revealed.

Pictured clockwise from top left: The Congress Centre; plastics campaigner Melati Wijsen; activist Greta Thunberg and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Images: WEF

Davos 2020: Calls to climate action and everything else you may have missed

Over the past few days, reports and announcements around sustainability have been launched at a pace, as more than 3,000 business leaders, policymakers and thought leaders and Bill Nye gathered in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF). This round-up highlights the key green talking points that you need to know.

The local authority has also confirmed plans to bolster its existing £84m climate-related funding pot with an additional £1m of operational funding and £18m of capital investment

Net-zero cities: Oxford's mission to become carbon-neutral by 2030

edie's new mini-series exploring how local authorities are collaborating with businesses to actuate community-centred sustainability schemes on the road to net-zero emissions continues, this time with a look at how Oxford and its Citizens' Climate Assembly are aiming for net-zero by 2030.

Staff and students at the University of Worcester

Worcester and London universities to trial sustainable diets behaviour change programme

Students at the University of Worcester, City and the University of London will take part in a new European trial designed to change behaviours and promote sustainable diets and climate-friendly meals.

Pictured: 'Hope', the blue whale skeleton, in the Museum's Hintze Hall 

Natural History Museum declares 'planetary emergency'

London's Natural History Museum has unveiled a new sustainability vision for the next 11 years, centred around tackling what it has declared as the "planetary emergency".

The announcement was made at Davos, where the Alliance is engaging with more than 50 C-suite representatives of portfolio firms

Church of England and Generali join UN's Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance

The Church of England and insurance firm Generali are the latest organisation to sign up to the UN's Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, a coalition with more than $4.3trn in assets under management attempting to engage with corporates to reach net-zero emissions.

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer. Image Heriot-Watt University

Industrial Decarbonisation Champion to steer £20m innovation centre for net-zero transition

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer has been appointed as an "Industrial Decarbonisation Champion" to oversee the development of a £20m research and innovation centre at Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University that will drive the delivery of the UK's net-zero emissions target.

The Prince of Wales launched his Sustainable Markets intiative in Davos

Reshape economy to fight climate crisis, says Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales has urged business and political leaders at Davos to embrace a radical reshaping of economies and markets in order to tackle the climate crisis.

The document builds on the CCC's broad net-zero advice issued last May. Pictured: Sheep farming in Scotland 

All change for forestry and food systems: CCC calls for 'major' land-use shift to meet net-zero

The way in which land is used in the UK accounted for 12% of national emissions in 2017, meaning that agri-food systems will need to be "rapidly" changed to ensure that the Government's legally binding net-zero target is met.

The built environment accounts for 40% of national energy use and around one-third of emissions

UK commercial properties wasting £60m in avoidable energy bills

UK businesses are wasting energy to the tune of £60m in unnecessary energy bills, according to a new Green Alliance report that is calling for better commercial energy management to help reach the UK's climate targets.

The 50% reduction in waste to landfill will be underscored by Starbucks joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative

Starbucks to halve environmental impacts as part of 'resource-positive' strategy

Global coffee company Starbucks has announced new preliminary targets to halve carbon emissions, water use and waste sent to landfill by 2030, as part of a new long-term mission to become resource positive by storing more carbon than emitted, eliminate waste and replenishing freshwater.

The Q&A is available to watch on-demand

Bold targets and lifecycle assessments: Experts outline key drivers to combat single-use plastics

Sustainability experts from Sky, Surfdome and Nestlé have outlined how bold aspirations that target problematic plastics through the broader view of climate change can help spur the private sector towards a circular economy.

The report provides an update as to how far business action on resource efficiency is from being "one-planet compatible" 

Corporates failing to make circular economy transition, damning report finds

More than 100 billion tonnes of virgin materials are being consumed annually by business, with progress to boost reuse and recycling rates stagnating, a damning new report has concluded.

54% of chief executives do not believe that international policies are being introduced to mitigate climate change risks

Chief executives see reputational boosts in combatting climate change

Three-quarters of UK business chief executives believe that responding to the climate emergency through new business pledges and initiatives will provide a reputational advantage, with climate change climbing up the corporate agenda according to a new annual survey from PwC.

The tree-planting campaign will be launched in partner cities around the world, including London, New York, Stockholm, Helsinki, Ankara and Barcelona

Priceless Planet: Investor coalition pledges to plant 100 million trees

A group of global investors, including Mastercard, Citibank and Santander UK, have launched a new coalition focused on making investments that preserve and restore the environment, starting with a pledge to plant 100 million trees in the next five years.

More than 3,000 business leaders, policymakers, thought leaders and celebrities are due to gather in Switzerland for the Forum this week

World Economic Forum calls on business chiefs to set net-zero targets

All business leaders and companies attending the World Economic Forum in Davos this week have been asked to make public commitments to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.

Each of these success stories exemplifies how businesses are ramping up ambitions and actions in all areas of sustainable development 

BBC's bumper climate coverage and plastic-free snacks: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

Johnson said Carney would help the UK to lead in mobilising businesses and investors to support a net-zero revolution

Mark Carney announced as Boris Johnson's finance advisor for COP26

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed the departing Governor for the Bank of England Mark Carney as his Finance Advisor for the COP26 climate summit, taking place in Glasgow at the end of the year.

The WEF has produced global risk reports annually for the past 15 years - and climate-related risks have never featured so prominently 

Humanity's biggest risks are 'climate-related, not economic': World Economic Forum

The five biggest risks to humanity and the planet in terms of likelihood and severity are climate-related, the World Economic Forum's (WEF) latest analysis has concluded.

Image: Ardfern, CC BY 3.0 

Green groups slam Government proposals to cut air passenger duty amid FlyBe rescue plans

Green groups have criticised Ministers for considering measures to cut air passenger duty on domestic return flights, accusing the government of placing short-term plans to rescue FlyBe from collapse over its long-term climate targets.

A Plastic Planet campaigns against what it calls the “misuse” of plastic by industries such as food & drink and health & beauty 

A Plastic Planet: It's time for activism on climate change and plastics to collide

EXCLUSIVE: The surge in climate activism in recent months has not served to stop the so-called "war-on-plastics", but to lay the foundations for holistic action on both issues by businesses and the public alike, activist and entrepreneur Sian Sutherland has argued.

The UK will be required to build 9-12GW of energy generation capacity annually to reach the net-zero target

Urgent boost to offshore wind and CCS required for UK's net-zero target, report finds

The UK will need to facilitate a four-fold increase in low-carbon energy, including expanding offshore wind capacity by up to 75GW, in order to reach its net-zero emissions commitment for 2050.

Fink asked for businesses to provide better data and disclosure on all ESG aspects

BlackRock's Larry Fink to CEOs: 'Purpose is the engine of long-term profitability'

BlackRock's chief executive Larry Fink has warned businesses that a "fundamental reshaping of finance" is happening at pace and that businesses need to put climate action at the heart of decision-making processes in order to remain profitable.

The plan builds on the firm's existing pledge to reach net-zero carbon by 2021 

Forster Communications targets 'climate-positivity' by 2023

Social change PR agency Forster Communications has pledged to become 'climate-positive' by 2023, reversing and mitigating more negative environmental impacts than it generates through its direct and indirect actions.

The planned agreement forms part of a long-term international framework that aims to ensure biodiversity is sustainably valued and conserved by 2050

UN draft plan sets 2030 target to avert Earth's sixth mass extinction

Almost a third of the world's oceans and land should be protected by the end of the decade to stop and reverse biodiversity decline that risks the survival of humanity, according to a draft Paris-style UN agreement on nature.

Luisa Neubauer with Greta Thunberg. Attribution: C.Suthorn / cc-by-sa-4.0 / commons.wikimedia.org

Climate activist turns down Siemens board role over Australian mine deal

German climate activist Luisa Neubauer has declined an offer from Siemens' chief executive Joe Kaeser to sit on a supervisory board off the firm's new energy business, following controversy over an Australian mining project.

Quorn claims the greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of its Mycoprotein is 90% lower than beef

Quorn rolls out carbon footprint labelling

Quorn Foods is introducing labels detailing the carbon footprint of its products to some of its most popular lines, as consumer interest in the climate impact of groceries rises.

30,000 invites were sent for the assembly 

Citizens climate assembly panels finalised

Leading academics together with figures from industry, the environmental movement and thinktanks have been named as advisors for the upcoming UK citizen's assembly on climate change.

Pictured: The National Trust’s director-general Hilary McGrady unveiling the new strategy at the Barbican Centre in London

National Trust to plant 20 million trees in bid to become net-zero by 2030

The National Trust has unveiled a plan to become net-zero carbon by 2030, which features one of the UK's biggest forest expansion projects.

Just under a quarter (23%) of respondents admitted that the organisation is primarily driven by making long-term costs savings

UK SMEs aiming to ramp up sustainability actions

Almost two-thirds of UK small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have signalled their intentions to improve environmental sustainability practices due to heightened consumer awareness and new legislation, according to a new survey.

Baig has been working on corporate governance and disclosures for more than 15 years

Aviva Investors: Better corporate disclosure needed to help sustainable finance go mainstream

EXCLUSIVE: Investment firms are heeding climate warnings and honing their approach to sustainability, but ultimately need more information from the businesses in their portfolios in order to drive transformational change.

Pictured (L-R):  Journalist Charlotte Smith, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, NFU president Minette Batters and Friends of the Earth CEO Craig Bennett. Image: Oxford Farming Conference

Villiers: Agriculture Bill will entail 'radical' shake-up of environmental standards

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers has confirmed that an "updated" version of the Agriculture Bill will be introduced to Parliament this month, claiming that it will entail "radical" environmental overhauls for the sector.

The new PHE data was released today (8 January 2020). Image: l.bailey_beverley, CC-BY-2.0

Heatwaves in 2019 led to almost 900 extra deaths in England

The summer heatwaves of 2019 resulted in almost 900 extra deaths, according to statistical analysis from Public Health England.

Last month, Oxford City Council pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions within its own operations by the end of 2020

Oxford unveils proposals for city centre zero-emissions zone

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have published proposals on a zero-emission zone (ZEZ) for a city centre, which could be rolled out to a small part of the city by December this year.

Have your say on what the 'hot topics' in the UK's sustainability sphere could be in 2020

VOTE: What will be the defining sustainability issue of 2020?

With many of us heading back to the office for our first day at work in 2020 this week, edie has explored the environmental issues which could dominate sustainability conversations this year - and is giving you the chance to have your say.

Scotland is targeting net-zero by 2045, five years ahead of England. Image: Brian Forbes, CC-BY-2.0 

WWF: Scottish farmers can align with net-zero without ditching beef

Scotland's agriculture sector could slash emissions by more than one-third by 2045, if measures to boost carbon sequestration, improve animal health and reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of fertiliser are implemented.

Eilidh Joined Laing O'Rourke around the same time the company signed its contract with Tideway - the project delivering London's 'super-sewer'

Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2019: Eilidh Johnston, Laing O'Rourke

This series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Next up: Eilidh Johnston, environmental advisor at Laing O'Rourke.

According to the IPCC, humanity currently uses 72% of the Earth's ice-free land surface 

Convert half of UK farmland to nature, urges top scientist

Half of the nation's farmland needs to be transformed into woodlands and natural habitat to fight the climate crisis and restore wildlife, according to a former chief scientific adviser to the UK government.

How many of the below will you take on this year?

20 New Year's resolutions for sustainability professionals in 2020 and beyond

A new decade is upon us, and as the window to reverse and alleviate the climate crisis shortens, new long-term targets can provide sustainability professionals with the motivation and drive to transform their organisations into forces of good.

Clockwise from top left: Professor James Yu, Barbara Vest, Professor Philip Jones and Rachel Kyte are among the green economy figures on this year's New Year honour list 

New Years Honours 2020: The sustainability champions on the Queen's list

The 2020 New Year Honours list has recognised the outstanding achievements of more than 90 figures across the UK's environmental sphere, including green business figures, policy experts and scientists working to combat climate change and marine pollution.

Image: Frankie Fouganthin / CC-BY-4.0

Earthshot Prize: Royals aim to spur 'decade of action to repair planet'

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have partnered with Sir David Attenborough to launch the 'Earthshot Prize' - a new fund for individuals and organisations working to restore the environment.

It may feel like sustainability has dominated pop culture in 2019, but does progress exist beyond pockets of discussions? Image: BAFTA

How has pop culture responded to the climate emergency in 2019?

From Coldplay cancelling their tour until they can find a carbon-neutral option, to James Bond producers debuting the spy's first fully electric car, all the signs point to sustainability shaping pop culture. But how deep does this impact run, and what's in store for 2020?

Key legislation including the Environment Bill will soon be placed before Ministers once again

Queen's Speech: Ministers urged to deliver on net-zero and plastics commitments

In her formal State Opening of Parliament this morning (19 December), the Queen urged ministers to deliver progress on the Government's net-zero goal ahead of COP26.

Aggregated results from the new tests are due to be published in 2021. Image: George Rex, CC BY SA

Bank of England planning mandatory climate 'stress tests' for banks and insurers

The Bank of England has unveiled plans to introduce a mandatory and uniform climate risk test for major banks and insurers in 2021.

According to the United Nations, 17% of fish stocks worldwide are currently overexploited; 52% are fully exploited; and 7% are depleted. Image: WWF 

EU ministers opt to continue overfishing, despite 2020 deadline

Europe's fish populations will continue to be over-exploited despite a longstanding 2020 deadline for setting fishing quotas at sustainable levels, after ministers from across the EU forced through higher limits than scientists advised.

The three-day summit will close on 24 January - just one week before the UK is due to leave the EU

Boris Johnson bans UK Ministers from Davos 2020

After confirming that he would not be attending the 2020 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos next month personally, Boris Johnson has reportedly barred Ministers from appearing at the summit.

edie launches series of mini-reports for energy transition to net-zero

edie has released a series of mini-reports on key topics for energy management and the transition to a net-zero carbon economy.

Image: Yorkshire Water

Ofwat unveils £13bn climate package for UK water companies

Regulator Ofwat has unveiled its investment package for 2020-2025, including a £13bn package to help water firms with climate adaptation and mitigation.

Scotland implemented a new Climate Change policy package this year - but the CCC is warning that further ambition and action is needed in 2020

CCC: Scotland must 'immediately' increase net-zero action in preparation for COP26

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has issued its annual progress report to the Scottish Parliament, urging Ministers to "begin work immediately" on implementing short-term net-zero legislation.

Vote using the function at the bottom of this piece to choose your defining moment of the 2010s

A decade in review: Vote for the defining sustainability moment of the 2010s

As the 2010s draw to a close, edie has analysed the key moments and announcements that push sustainability and climate action from a niche activity to a global necessity. Cast your vote to decide which of the seven moments was most profound.

Of the 42 Citizens' Assembly members, 90% said Oxford City Council should target net-zero before the national deadline. Image: David Iliff CC BY-SA 3.0

Oxford City Council targets net-zero by end of 2020

Oxford City Council has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions within its own operations by the end of 2020, after residents on the local authority's Citizens' Assembly on Climate Change requested such a move.

8 steps for overcoming the behavioural change challenge

During the SPARK 2.0 event, energy and sustainability professionals discussed the barriers to behaviour change and how businesses could harness the wider awareness of the climate strikes to engage all staff members on the need to manage energy use.