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Corporate Human Rights Benchmark: Key Findings 2017

This benchmark report provides a comparative snapshot year-on- year of the largest companies on the planet, looking at the policies, processes, and practices they have in place to systematise their human rights approach and how they respond to serious allegations.

While Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to “protect the future of our planet”, green groups and organisations have questioned the Labour leader’s ability to bring about dramatic change

Jeremy Corbyn's energy manifesto: 'wishful thinking' or a welcome change from 'incompatible' climate commitments?

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled his Party's energy and environment manifesto that aims to accelerate renewables generation, ban fracking and end fossil fuel reliance. But would a Labour Government really strengthen EU-driven policies or instead become a naive and short-sighted regime?

Aldersgate Group executive director Nick Molho remains optimistic that green economy will continue to rise up the national agenda

BEIS formation 'makes complete sense' for the green economy, says Aldersgate Group

EXCLUSIVE: The creation of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) provides a key opportunity for Britain's energy-intensive businesses to develop and deliver ambitious low-carbon strategies, the Aldersgate Group's executive director has told edie.

Two-thirds of large energy users surveyed by Inenco believe that BEIS' primary focus should be the creation of a long-term green policy framework

Will DECC's replacement de-prioritise Britain's climate change strategy?

The majority of large business energy users fear that the recent removal of the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) will leave climate change "swept under the rug", according to a survey addressing the implications of the newly-formed Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for business-led climate action.

More than 30 combined heat and power projects are impacted by the surprise change made in secondary legislation on Renewable Heat Incentive payments

BEIS under fire for sudden withdrawal of renewable heat support

The newly-formed Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is being urged to reverse a cut to renewable energy subsidy support which was initiated by its governmental predecessor the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), just under 9% of the UK’s imports arrived from China in 2013

UK's carbon footprint rises 3%, what happens next?

New figures published by Defra have revealed that the UK's carbon footprint grew by 3% between 2012 and 2013. With ambitious international and national carbon reduction targets now in place to enshrine low-carbon actions into law, is this a mere blip on the radar, or does the UK need radicalise its approach to emission goals?

The work of the new department brings together responsibilities for industrial strategy, energy, business, consumers, employees, science, innovation, research, and climate change. Photo: BEIS

BEIS confirms ministerial make-up and key responsibilities

The newly-formed Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has today (1 August) unveiled its full list of ministerial responsibilities, weeks after replacing DECC in Prime Minister Theresa May's Government reshuffle.

How will Brexit impact UK environmental product regulations?

Legislation designed to reduce the environmental impacts of products including REACH, RoHS, WEEE, Batteries, Packaging, End of Life Vehicles and Ecodesign requirements for energy-related products were all negotiated and agreed at EU level. In light of Brexit, what impacts can we expect on UK environmental product regulations?

Moving energy and climate change issues into the business sphere could help align business strategies to low-carbon operations

The demise of DECC: What next for the UK's green business prospects?

As the dust settles on the shock announcement that DECC has been axed and merged into an expanded business department, attentions have inevitably turned to what the transfer of power means for the green economy and what opportunities and challenges will arise from the new regime.

The news comes amid a string Government cabinet reshuffles which has seen Andrea Leadsom appointed as the new Environment Secretary at Defra

DECC abolished as part of major ministerial overhaul

DECC has been abolished by new Prime Minister Theresa May, with UK energy policy set to be merged into a new ministry called the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Former DECC secretary Amber Rudd has been promoted to Home Secretary, while ex-Environmental Secretary Elizabeth Truss has been appointed as the new Justice Secretary

Andrea Leadsom announced as new Defra Secretary

Andrea Leadsom has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

Organisations are establishing overlapping and duplicate schemes within the energy efficiency sector. KPMG claims that this is having a detrimental effect on businesses

Streamlining energy schemes would boost economy and incentivise businesses, says KPMG

The UK Government could achieve savings of £100m and improve private sector growth over the next 20 years if efforts are made to streamline administrative mechanics of energy schemes such as feed-in tariffs (FiT) and capacity markets, a new report has found.

As with the rest of his tenure, Cameron's Government took

David Cameron's legacy: 'greenest government ever' or 'lukewarm at best'?

One of the most seismic political upheavals in modern British political history takes yet another twist today (13 July) as Prime Minister David Cameron steps down after six years in power. As he prepares to take part in his final Prime Minister's Questions this lunchtime, edie takes a look at his environmental legacy and the green outlook for his successor Theresa May.

Andrea Leadsom’s leadership bid arrives after a week of political turmoil in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU

Andrea Leadsom confirms Tory leadership bid

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has today (30 June) announced her intentions to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, on the same day that Ex-London mayor Boris Johnson surprisingly ruled himself out of the race.

Life after Brexit: A new road for the green economy, but the destination remains the same

What a devastating week.

UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd declared that the much anticipated Fifth carbon budget would be outlined on Thursday (30 June), which could establish carbon reductions commitments of 54% or more

Amber Rudd: Post-Brexit Britain will not step back from climate leadership

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd made a surprise appearance at the Business and Climate Summit in London today (29 June) to insist that the UK will not "turn its back" on the global battle to mitigate climate change, despite the nation voting to leave the European Union (EU) last week.

The Committee recommended that storage be deployed at scale as soon as possible, lamenting the “archaic” regulations that hinder its development

MPs call for a fragmented National Grid

MPs have called for a complete overhaul of the UK's energy network operation, recommending that operating systems should be transferred from National Grid to independent operators in order to mitigate the potential for "conflicts of interest".

To combat the dramatic cuts, DECC is suggesting an introduction of a default degression to the tariffs

DECC launches consultation proposals to slash biogas subsidies

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has delivered another blow to the UK's clean energy industry, after proposing to completely cut Feed-in Tariff (FiT) schemes for large anaerobic digestion (AD) site and "severely" reduce subsidies for small and medium scale plants.

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said contingency plans were in place to protect the UK energy security in the event of sustained Hinkley postponements

New nuclear remains in pole position to drive Britain's decarbonisation, says DECC

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has today (24 May) underlined the Government's prioritisation of nuclear energy, insisting it remains in "pole position" to drive down Britain's emissions, ahead of other technologies due to its comparatively low-cost to the UK taxpayer.

Policy Connect's Owain Mortimer called upon the Government to adjust its long-term approach towards policy that matches the UK’s climate and energy needs

Government criticised for 'lack of foresight' over low-carbon heat

EXCLUSIVE: The UK Government has "suppressed the progress" of green technologies through a chop-and-change approach to green policies such as the RHI scheme, an audience of sustainability professionals at edie Live was told today (17 May).

As of 15 April, 6,239 organisations had submitted notifications of ESOS compliance, with around 400 additional firms intending to comply

ESOS: Thousands of businesses face enforcement action as final deadline passes

EXCLUSIVE: Compliance rates for the Government's Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) appear to have stalled at a critical time, with thousands of qualifying organisations still unaccounted for upon Friday's (29 April) ultimate deadline.

Solar installations remain the popular choice for renewables among the public, while support for biomass has wavered slightly

Six charts that show how public support for UK renewables has reached record levels

Public support for the UK's renewables revolution has reached an all-time high, with the latest Public Attitudes survey from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) revealing that eight in 10 Brits support the uptake of clean technology.

The known unknown of Britain's low-carbon progress

At last week's Effective Energy Management Conference, Rolls-Royce's director of energy gave a frightfully honest answer to a question about how his firm will reach an ambitious 50% energy reduction target.

Sir David King gave a keynote speech at the launch of the UK Stakeholders For Sustainable Development (UKSSD) network

Sir David King: UK should shift renewable energy subsidy focus to offshore wind

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) should concentrate its limited renewable energy subsidy budget on offshore wind, in an effort to drive down costs and increase investor demand, the UK's chief climate envoy has told edie.

The Government has proposed significant reductions in financial incentives provided through the RHI scheme, which supports growth in the biomass heat industry

Biomass sector urges Decc to 'quickly re-examine' RHI reforms

The biomass industry has called on the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to re-examine its proposed reforms to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) set out last month.

While the Government achieved its target to improve one million energy-poor homes through the Green Deal, only 1% of households actually applied for loans

'Neglected' Green Deal failed on energy savings, report finds

The UK Government's recently-folded Green Deal scheme to insulate and provide on-site renewable generation to homes delivered just 30% of what predecessor schemes achieved in terms of carbon reductions, a new report has found.

Lord Barker, pictured speaking at an Aldersgate Group event last month, says DECC's recent energy figures offer

Lord Barker: No reason for UK to appoint another climate envoy

Lord Barker of Battle sees "no reason" for David Cameron to find a successor for him as the Government's climate change envoy, after the Prime Minister confirmed that no one is being lined up for Barker's now vacated post.

Plummeting coal use and rising renewable energy generation led to a fall of 4% in the UK’s annual carbon dioxide emissions last year, according to DECC's new data

The UK's ever-changing energy mix: 2015 in charts

It was the year that record-breaking renewable energy generation and plummeting coal production led to a fall of 4% in the UK's annual carbon dioxide emissions, but a raft of green policy changes have left future clean energy deployment levels hanging in the balance. Here, edie provides a snapshot of the UK's new energy figures for 2015.

What have we done to upset HMG?

Is it possible that one of the minor provisions of the latest Budget will fall foul of the 'Law of Unintended Consequences' and actually increase carbon emissions and climate change?

Rudd warned that a potential Brexit would hit working people through higher energy costs and job losses

Brexit would cause 'electric shock' for energy costs, warns Amber Rudd

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has today (24 March) warned that leaving the European Union would see energy costs 'rocket' by £500m as well as depleting investor confidence.

An aerial shot of Imperial College London, which will form part of the new cleantech cluster. PHoto: Imperial College

London Mayor and DECC rally behind 'Cleantech City' plans

Plans to develop a new business district which could transform London into a global centre for cleantech innovation have today (15 March) been wholeheartedly supported by the Mayor of London and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

Nuclear plants and innovation funds are part of the steps DECC has introduced to boost investor confidence

10 ways DECC is boosting investor confidence in the UK's energy market (according to DECC)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released a list of ten ways it will stimulate investor confidence in the UK's energy market in the wake of widespread criticism aimed at numerous abrupt policy amendments.

The proposed reforms of the Renewable Heat Incentive come as the UK remains way behind a self-imposed target of generating 12% renewable heat by 2020

Government proposes major RHI reform with removal of support for solar thermal

Another day, another shock green policy proposal from the UK Government, this time in the form of a consultation to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which would see a 98% reduction in the deployment of non-domestic biomass boilers and an end to support for solar water heating systems.

The report states that many of regulatory reforms needed to compliment the uptake of energy storage systems would be cost neutral and provide no burdens to Government funding

Energy storage could save UK £2.4bn every year

The implementation of energy storage systems could contribute £2.4bn to UK electricity system savings by 2030, but only if a range of 'necessary regulatory reforms' are introduced to steady the UK's energy market, a new report from the Carbon Trust has found.

Can storage help reduce the cost of a future UK electricity system?

The United Kingdom’s (UK) electricity system is undergoing significant changes to provide electricity that is secure, affordable and ultimately low carbon. Energy storage, alongside other flexibility options such as demand response and interconnectors, can provide the flexibility required by a future system that may see an increasing share of intermittent renewables and more distributed generation.

The report cites the UK’s slide out of the top 10 of analysts EY’s respected international league table on renewable energy as a cause for concern

MPs warn of 'dented' investor confidence over UK energy policy

The Government is risking higher energy prices and stalling new investment through 'sudden and numerous' energy policy changes that are denting investor confidence in the UK energy market, MPs have warned today (2 March).

Sustainability professionals and green business groups must wait patiently on the sidelines as MPs debate the pros and cons of 'Brexit'

IN or OUT? How the green economy will vote on Britain's EU referendum

Energy and environment ministers, green NGOs and sustainable businesses groups have revealed their stance on Britain's European Union (EU) membership, with the overwhelming majority agreeing that remaining IN the EU is crucial for our transition to a low-carbon future.

An artists' impression of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, which has been planned for the eastern side of Swansea Bay

Ecotricity to compete for UK's first tidal project

Ecotricity will compete to build Britain's first tidal lagoon site ahead of the Government's independent review of tidal energy in the spring.

Prime Minister David Cameron has rejected allegations that recent cuts to renewable energy subsidies have undermined investor confidence

It's time to redress the balance of the UK's energy trilemma

With the Government recently announcing its intention to publish a new climate change and emissions reduction plan by the end of 2016, Carbon2018's Melanie Kendall-Reid explains the importance of considering all aspects of the 'energy trilemma' to build an effective strategy.

Record falls in coal production were coupled with a significant rise in crude oil production

UK's low-carbon energy generation soared in 2015, but so did oil production

Low-carbon energy sources rose to account for 43% of the UK's electricity supply last year, but oil production saw its first significant increase this millennium, provisional figures released today (25 February) have revealed.

Who do you think you are kidding DECC and Defra?

Don't panic! DECC and Defra have everything under control. The two departments say they will "deliver an energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century", "champion the environment", "tackle air pollution" and "provide security against floods" in their new five-year plans.

The UKERC report has warned that investors would be unwilling to invest into gas projects unless enhanced policy incentives and infrastructure are in place

Natural gas capabilities in the UK 'very limited' without carbon capture, report warns

Using natural gas as a bridging fuel to a cleaner energy mix in the UK will only act as a "stop-gap", with its viability as an energy source severely limited beyond 2020 unless carbon capture and storage (CSS) technology is rolled out, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has warned.

Labour MP Alan Whitehead is calling for a coherent national strategy to help the UK meet its climate targets

Shadow Energy Minister calls for national CCS strategy

Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead has renewed his calls for a national carbon capture and storage (CCS) strategy, following the Government's last-minute decision in November to axe a £1bn competition for CCS pilot projects.

The two departments say their new plans will deliver cheap and clean energy, a strong economy and a healthy environment

DECC and Defra unveil 'ambitious' five-year plans

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have published new departmental plans, detailing the UK's energy and environmental policy priorities from 2015-2020.


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