Fossil fuels

DEFINITION: A natural fuel such as coal or gas that were formed from the remains of living organisms millions of years ago. Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy resources which are harmful for the environment because they release carbon dioxide when they burn.

See also: Greenhouse gas

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The world has already warmed by around 1C over the past century

World 'nowhere near on track' to avoid warming beyond 1.5C target

The world's governments are "nowhere near on track" to meet their commitment to avoid global warming of more than 1.5C above the pre-industrial period, according to an author of a key UN report that will outline the dangers of breaching this limit.

The findings come ahead of the UN's COP24 conference, where delegates will develop a

Report: G20 nations off track to meet Paris Agreement goals, despite clean energy promises

Of the energy provided to G20 nations during the past 10 years, 82% was generated using coal, oil or gas - despite the bloc's promises to transition to clean power.

The IEA calculated that existing infrastructure would “lock in” 550 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 22 years

World has no capacity to absorb new fossil fuel plants, warns IEA

The world has so many existing fossil fuel projects that it cannot afford to build any more polluting infrastructure without busting international climate change goals, the global energy watchdog has warned.

Norwegian firm Equinor ranked first in the report, after pledging to invest 15% of its CAPEX into low-carbon energy by 2030

Report: Oil and gas industry failing to invest in low-carbon projects

Global oil and gas firms have collectively invested just 1.3% of their combined capital expenditure (CAPEX) into low-carbon technologies and projects since the start of 2018, new research from CDP has concluded.

In total, 57% of electricity generation was low carbon over the period, produced either by renewables or nuclear power stations

UK renewable energy capacity surpasses fossil fuels for first time

The capacity of renewable energy has overtaken that of fossil fuels in the UK for the first time, in a milestone that experts said would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

Global carbon emissions are expected to rise to a new record level in 2018

Global economic growth threatening climate change progress, report warns

The expansion in the global economy is undermining the world's efforts to achieve the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement, a new report from global consultancy Capgemini has warned.

Since 2015, Firmenich has recorded a 12% reduction in absolute emissions

Perfume giant Firmenich unveils approved science-based targets

Perfume company Firmenich has had a goal to reduce Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 39% approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

Cement is one of the world's carbon-heavy industries, accounting for 6% of global CO2 emissions

World Cement Association aligns climate action strategy with 2C trajectory

Global non-profit World Cement Association (WCA) has released a climate action strategy targeting carbon emissions and waste management, in a drive to help the industry align with the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting the global temperature increase below 2C.

Green groups said the deal showed the government should back renewable energy firms rather than fossil fuel and nuclear companies

Scottish Power shifts to 100% wind generation after £700m Drax sale

Scottish Power has ditched fossil fuels for electricity generation and switched to 100% wind power, by selling off its last remaining gas power stations to Drax for more than £700m.

YouGov surveyed almost 850 professionals on a range of sustainability topics, from carbon emissions to energy efficiency

Almost two-thirds of UK businesses yet to set emissions targets, survey reveals

Almost two-thirds (61%) of companies in the UK's private sector have not yet set a specific, numerical target for reducing their emissions, a new survey from consultancy YouGov has revealed.

The new target will see Interface developing factories and products that sequester more carbon than they emit

Interface unveils goal of becoming carbon negative by 2040

Modular flooring firm Interface has set a new target of becoming carbon negative by 2040, building on a 2020 ambition of having “no negative environmental impact”.

The move from Shell comes after BP and ExxonMobil announced methane reduction aims earlier this year

Shell sets near-zero methane emissions target for 2025

Oil and gas giant Shell has made a new commitment to reduce the methane emissions intensity of its operations to below 0.2% by 2025.

Increasing the amount of forested land in the UK to 5% of land area could play a major role as trees act as a carbon sink

Urgent greenhouse gas removal plan could see UK hit 'net zero' target - report

Tree-planting, restoring wetlands and using chemicals to take carbon dioxide from the air will all be needed to reduce the UK's greenhouse gases in line with government plans, scientists have said.

The report predicts that global fossil fuel demand will enter an

Report: Fossil fuel demand to peak in the 2020s due to clean energy growth

The global transition to clean energy and low-carbon technologies is set to be much quicker than previously expected, with worldwide demand for fossil fuels set to peak in the 2020s.

The Carbon Clean200 update marks only the second time since 2016 that fossil fuel investments have outpaced clean energy stocks

Report: Clean energy stocks no longer outpacing fossil fuel investments

Clean energy investments by 200 of the world's leading corporations have underperformed compared to fossil fuel energy stocks over the past year and a half, new figures have revealed.

Sévellec says the statistical upward nudge from natural variation this year is twice as great of that of long-term global warming

Extreme temperatures 'especially likely for next four years'

The world is likely to see more extreme temperatures in the coming four years as natural warming reinforces manmade climate change, according to a new global forecasting system.

Church leaders are encouraging more to switch away from fossil fuels

More than 5,500 UK churches now running on renewables

British churches have diverted more than £5m from fossil fuels, with more than 5,500 places of worship putting their faith in clean energy by switching to renewables.

Fossil fuels’ share of energy investment needs to drop to 40% by 2030 to meet climate targets

IEA warns of 'worrying trend' as global investment in renewables falls

The world's energy watchdog has sounded the alarm over a "worrying" pause in the shift to clean energy after global investment in renewables fell 7% to $318bn (£240bn) last year.

According to the report, 630 million people in urban slums have no cooling to protect them against heatwaves

One billion people without access to efficient cooling technology, says report

With the global heatwaves setting record high temperatures around the world in recent weeks, a new report warns that more than 1.1 billion people globally don't have access to some form of cooling.

The Irish fossil fuel divestment bill was passed in the lower house of parliament on Thursday

Ireland becomes world's first country to divest from fossil fuels

The Republic of Ireland will become the world's first country to sell off its investments in fossil fuel companies, after a bill was passed with all-party support in the lower house of parliament.

The rise of electric cars, which the government is banking on to displace conventional cars and cut air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, poses a double whammy for oil companies

Shell would support UK bringing forward petrol ban from 2040

Shell, one of the world's biggest oil and gas companies, has backed calls for the UK to bring forward its 2040 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales.

The SBTi's overall aim is that, by 2020, science-based targets will become standard business practice

Ikea gets stamp of approval for 80% science-based emissions target

The Ikea Group has had its target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its stores and operations by 80% by 2030 approved by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

The findings suggest that a rapid decline in fossil fuel demand is no longer dependent on stronger policies

'Carbon bubble' could spark global financial crisis, study warns

Plunging prices for renewable energy and rapidly increasing investment in low-carbon technologies could leave fossil fuel companies with trillions in stranded assets and spark a global financial crisis, a new study has found.

Ikea’s climate positive ambition aims to fulfil the retailer’s contribution to the Paris Agreement through an emissions reduction across the value chain that is aligned to climate science

Ikea to ban single-use plastics, targets 'climate-positive' status under new strategy

Removing all single-use plastics products from its range globally, eliminating more greenhouse gas emissions than its value chain emits, and generating more renewables than it consumes are all headline goals of Ikea's updated People and Planet Positive strategy.

G7 governments provided at least $80.62bn in fiscal support and $19.54bn in public finance for fossil fuels in 2015 and 2016

G7 countries pour $100bn a year into oil, gas and coal: study

Each year, at least $100bn goes to support the production and consumption of oil, gas and coal, according to a major new study published on Monday (4 June). That is despite a promise from all G7 and G20 members to stop subsidising fossil fuels by 2025.

The Unfriend Coal report accuses 25 of the world’s largest insurers of continuing to invest in ‘dirty’ tar sands and coal energy projects

Top pension funds and insurers failing to engage with climate risks

Some of the UK's biggest pension funds are failing to address climate-related impacts, while 25 of the world's largest insurance brokers continue to invest in coal or tar sands projects, two damning reports have claimed this week.

Six of the top ten supplier leaders are based in Europe

'High risk' meat and fish sector failing to combat climate-related business risks

More than half of global meat and fish suppliers have been labelled as "high risk", with new research warning that the sector is failing to manage sustainability issues such as greenhouse gas emissions and antibiotics stewardship.

The report claims that HSBC is one of the sector’s “biggest backsliders” on fossil investments

Banking industry one of UK's 'most unethical sectors'

The UK's big five high street banks are hindering the sector's efforts to tackle climate change by continuing to profit from some of the world's dirtiest fossil fuel projects.

The LDC group voiced frustrations over having to adapt to a changing climate, all while striving to lift their people out of poverty

Developing nations call for 'urgent' action to develop Paris Agreement rulebook

A network of some of the least developed countries in the world has called on developed economies to turn "concepts into action" by accelerating the implementation of a 'rule book' for the Paris Agreement through increased climate finance.

Response to the announcement has been largely negative

BP's low-carbon strategy comes under fire

BP's new sustainability strategy to level-out increases to emissions during a period of business growth has been labelled as "too small" an effort to reduce the company's exposure to climate risk.

edie Explains: Smart grids

What is a smart grid and why is it important? What are the potential business benefits of the smart grid transition? And how mature is the smart grid concept in the UK? This free edie Explains guide gives you everything you need to know.

The list will be updated bi-annually with an additional 10 companies added

Ikea, Unilever and Tesla leading on climate policy, report finds

Tesla, Apple, Ikea and Unilever are amongst the highest-performing companies advocating for strong and ambitious policies that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report from non-profit InfluenceMap.

Wind and solar generated 18.33 terawatt hours (TWh), with nuclear on 16.69TWh, the figures published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show

Wind and solar make more electricity than nuclear for first time in UK

Windfarms and solar panels produced more electricity than the UK's eight nuclear power stations for the first time at the end of last year, official figures show.

Milikin noted that it was time for the company to “spread its wings” when it came to communicating its work to communities

AB InBev places climate-science into communities with new 2025 goals

EXCLUSIVE: Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is linking science-based climate goals with a "moral" belief that it should be influencing the communities it operates in, after announcing new climate, water and supply chain goals for 2025.

Private investors will be exposed to 88% of the spending on unnecessary fossil fuel projects under this prediction

Climate policies place $1.6trn fossil fuel costs at risk, report warns

Fossil fuel companies are exposed to $1.6trn in potential expenditure by basing business decisions on existing policies rather than international climate goals, while businesses committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity will require $94bn to reach their goals.

Mondi Group has developed programmes to improve energy efficiency, transition to renewable energy and manage forests and source materials in a responsible manner

Mondi Group sets science-based targets through WWF's Climate Savers

Global packaging firm Mondi Group has set new science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions across the company's operations and indirect activities, after signing up to the WWF's Climate Savers initiative for low-carbon business aspirations.

edie Explains: The circular economy

This brand new edie Explains guide breaks down everything there is to know about achieving a circular economy for your business.

Sector insight: The state of sustainability in the public sector

This exclusive insight report explores the key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainability in the UK's public sector.

Water bills on the archipelago have surged recently due to more frequent droughts and storms, while warming waters have brought seasonal jellyfish plagues and degraded marine ecosystems

Balearics launch pioneering plan to phase out emissions

The Balearic islands' government has launched a pioneering plan to phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, potentially setting itself on a collision course with the Spanish government.

More than 60 UK universities have now divested from fossil fuels, but Edinburgh’s £1bn fund is the largest to completely remove ties to fossil fuel holdings

Edinburgh and SOAS fulfil university divestment pledges

SOAS University of London has fulfilled a pledge to divest from fossil fuels within three years, in the same week that the University of Edinburgh became the largest university endowment fund to completely to divest away from coal, oil and gas.

Last week BP announced it will add rapid charging points for electric cars at its UK petrol stations within the next two months

BP set to 'embrace low-carbon world' with $500m investment

BP has pledged to invest $500m into low-carbon solutions after posting a strong financial performance in 2017.

Last year, Ørsted completely divested its upstream oil and gas business, as part of the pledge to phase-out coal from its heat and power generation by 2023

Ørsted chief calls for 'high pace' climate and SDG action

Danish energy giant Ørsted's chief executive has highlighted the severe threats of climate change and the unique opportunities of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the company's latest sustainability report, which outlined the company's transition away from fossil fuels.

Less than 6% of this auction’s power reserve comes from renewables, while less than 2% is covered through energy storage. In contrast, coal secured an 8% share

Capacity Market Auction: 'Bizarre' Government policies blocking renewables funding

The provisional results of the latest Capacity Market Auction were released by National Trust today (2 February), leading to the closure on a coal-fired power plant and concerns from the renewables sector that clean technologies are being blocked from finance.

Insurance companies are mindful of the danger that they could suffer a huge loss if their investments in fossil fuel companies were rendered worthless by action on climate change

Lloyd's of London to divest from coal over climate change

Lloyd's of London, the world's oldest insurance market, has become the latest financial firm to announce that it plans to stop investing in coal companies.

The report also states that power sector emissions are anticipated to fall by 53 per cent between 2015 and 2020

BEIS cuts projection for greenhouse gas emissions

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has lowered its projection for greenhouse gas emissions during the fourth and fifth carbon budgets.

A senior official said on Sunday the main difference between the Trump NSS and its predecessors was a new emphasis on border security and economic issues

Trump will drop climate change from US National Security Strategy

The Trump administration will drop climate change from a list of global threats in a new National Security Strategy the president is due to unveil on Monday.

Commercial banks are also igniting signals that funding for fossil fuels with soon be a thing of the past

World Bank, major businesses and nations unite against coal funding

The One Planet Summit in Paris has signalled the beginning of the end for the coal industry, after the World Bank, numerous financial institutions and a group of nations and major businesses all pledged to phase out fossil fuel funding and use.

The PCPF publicised 20% of its holdings for the first time in May 2017. In 2016, the PCPF invested £5.56m into BP and £4.9m into Shell

Corbyn backs MP pension divestment as business leaders call for improved climate disclosure

A group of 100 MPS, including Labour's Jeremy Corbyn and the the Green Party's Caroline Lucas, have called for a £612m pension fund to divest from fossil fuels, while leading chief financial officers have endorsed the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.