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 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.

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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.

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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.

It estimates that 37bn tonnes of CO2 will be emitted from burning fossil fuels, the highest total ever

Fossil fuel burning set to hit record high in 2017, scientists warn

The burning of fossil fuels around the world is set to hit a record high in 2017, climate scientists have warned, following three years of flat growth that raised hopes that a peak in global emissions had been reached.

Defra claims that ratification of the Montreal Protocol will result in a reduction equivalent to around 44 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the UK alone

UK ratifies the Kigali amendment on HFCs

The UK has become one of the first nations to ratify the landmark Kigali Agreement to phase down harmful hydrofluorocarbon greenhouse gases (HFCs) commonly found in appliances such as air conditioning units and refrigerators.

The world is still reportedly investing over three times more in fossil fuels than renewables

High street banks still financing fossil fuel growth

The UK's high street banks are profiting from some of the world's dirtiest fossil fuel projects despite committing to deliver the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to below 2C.

The IFC report, entitled Creating Markets for Climate Business, found that governments could work with businesses by fostering renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels

Huge private sector investment puts Paris climate target in reach, says report

At least one trillion dollars are being invested globally in ways to reduce the threat of climate change, including renewable power, energy efficiency, and public transport around the world.

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ENGIE has a goal of providing 20 million people access to decarbonised and decentralised energy by 2020

Utility giant acquires off-grid solar specialists Fenix International

French utility giant ENGIE is continuing its transition away from fossil fuels, after announcing the acquisition of a next generation energy company that offers decentralised solar solutions to communities across Africa.

The partnership will strengthen the links between farmers in more 60 countries supplying global markets that are part of the CFA and the global retailers enlisted in the TSC

Food and beverage giants agree to strengthen supply chain management

Companies such as Unilever, Mars and PepsiCo are part of a new collaborative partnership aiming to develop free science-based decision tools that improve farm-level sustainability reporting metrics and data collection.

The European Commission is due to present a clean transport strategy in November

Transport sucks up nearly half of Europe's fossil fuel subsidies, report finds

European countries spend more than €112 billion per year subsidising oil, gas and coal production or consumption - including tax breaks on highly-polluting diesel - despite a pledge to phase out fossil fuels completely by 2020.

DNV GL predicts that the first “emission-free” year will only occur in 2090

World set to exhaust carbon budget in 2040s, despite predicted energy plateau

A "watershed moment in human history" will occur in 2030 as energy demand plateaus, although the rapid decarbonisation of the global energy supply will still deplete the carbon budget for the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2041.

Schroders estimates the current global price to be roughly $1.60 a tonne of CO2e

Carbon tax could wipe out polluters' profits in pursuit of Paris targets

More than $1.5tn (£1.2tn) in company profits worldwide could be erased by taxes required to meet the Paris climate agreement, according to analysis by Schroders.

Researchers insists that the market forces driving the economic benefits of clean energy are far more powerful than a small group of climate-sceptic politicians

Clean energy stocks outpacing fossil fuel investments in Trump era, report finds

Global clean energy stocks have surged past investments in fossil fuels in the past year despite the political shockwaves caused by Donald Trump's US presidency, new research has found.

Dong Energy boss says falling price of renewables means they must power the electric car revolution or the environment will gain only a pyrrhic victory

Rise of electric car solves little if driven by fossil fuels, warns windfarm boss

The rise of electric cars will be a pyrrhic victory for the environment if they are powered by fossil fuels instead of renewables, according to the UK boss of the world's biggest offshore windfarm developer.

Of the money earmarked for fossil fuels, oil and gas received a total of 87% of UK funds, with 9% going to coal

Britain spent 'twice as much on overseas fossil fuels as renewables'

The UK has spent more than twice as much overseas support on fossil fuels projects as on renewable ones so far this decade, according to research commissioned by the Catholic aid agency Cafod.

It is believed that BATs will impact installations at around 3,500 coal plants within the EU

New industrial air pollution ruling puts EU coal plants on 'life support'

Large industrial plants have been given a four-year timeframe to adhere to new standards on air pollutants across the European Union (EU), a decision that places "the immediate future of coal plants into doubt", according to environmental lawyers ClientEarth.

According to the University of Washington study, there is a 90% likelihood that temperatures will rise between 2C and 4.9C by 2100

Planet has just 5% chance of reaching Paris climate goal, study says

There is only a 5% chance that the Earth will avoid warming by at least 2C come the end of the century, according to new research that paints a sobering picture of the international effort to stem dangerous climate change.

HEAL’s report calls on government’s around the world to switch off the subsidies tap

Fossil fuel subsidies racking up trillions in health costs

Health costs related to fossil fuel use outweigh taxpayer-funded subsidies by 600%, according to a new study that insists governments should stop pumping money into dirty energy sources.

Of the 12 mining companies benchmarked on climate issues within the report, only one has a commitment to fully decarbonise by 2050

CDP: Top mining firms risking $16bn in climate costs

The world's largest mining companies are producing up to $16bn in emissions costs in their value chain, according to a report released today (20 July) by climate change research provider CDP.