Why Joe Biden's inauguration provides a timely injection for climate optimism
The 46th President of the US wasted little time in ushering in a new era of climate action that will see the world's largest economy join the net-zero movement - a welcome injection of optimism as nations approach the hard yards in alleviating the climate crisis.
Legal bid to stop UK from building Europe's biggest gas-fired power plant fails
The Court of Appeal has thrown out a legal challenge to the UK Government's decision to grant planning permission for Drax's major new gas-fired power plant.
UK Government faces fresh accusations of backtracking on post-Brexit environment pledges
MPs and Lords, including former Shadow Environment Secretary Lord Clark, are urging the Government to prove that it won't export low-quality plastics to developing nations for recycling, arguing that policy loopholes currently exist.
Biden returns US to Paris Agreement as part of climate policy overhaul
In one of his first acts after being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America, Joe Biden moved to readmit the US back into the Paris Agreement, claiming that tackling the climate crisis, racial inequality and current coronavirus pandemic were the "gravest responsibilities" that countries face.
Developed nations accused of over-reporting climate adaptation finance by billions
Wealthy nations have exaggerated figures around how much finance they have provided to developing countries for climate adaptation, with up to $20bn less spent than promised between 2013 and 2017.
Trade Bill: UK Government votes to allow food imports with lower environmental standards
The UK Government is being accused of backtracking on non-regression pledges around post-Brexit food standards, after MPs voted against amendments to the trade bill this week.
Government unveils 'radical' energy efficiency standards for homes and offices
All homes and business facilities will be required to meet new energy efficiency standards that reduce energy consumption and lower bills by 2025, after the Government finally outlined responses to the Future Homes Standard.
Kwasi Kwarteng admits 'tension' between UK's new coal mine and climate ambitions
BEIS Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has admitted that the Government's decision not to intervene with the planning process for a new coal mine in Cumbria is at odds with its domestic climate targets and the messages it wants to send as COP26 host.
Centrica: UK will only host 35 EV chargers per council by 2025
Local authorities in the UK will play host to just 35 on-street electric vehicle (EV) chargers on average by 2025, new research from Centrica has concluded.
EU lawmakers raise concerns about UK 'regression' on pesticides
Lawmakers in the European Parliament have raised concerns about possible UK regression on pesticides and gene editing at a meeting on the new EU-UK trade agreement.
Protect at least a third of British seas to unlock £50bn boost, WWF urges
By aligning with the UN's recommendations and committing to fully protect at least one-third of UK seas, the government could catalyse a £50bn boost for the economy and unlock 100,000 jobs.
UK carbon trading scheme 'leaves many questions unanswered'
As the UK takes its first steps away from the EU, there are still plenty of open questions about how it will align with Europe on climate policy, and in particular, with the EU's flagship emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Boris Johnson promises £3bn of climate finance for nature by 2026
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has outlined plans to allocate at least £3bn of the international climate finance that the UK will spend through to 2026 on nature-based solutions.
Governments urged to redirect $1trn of 'planet-wrecking' subsidies to nature conservation and restoration
Governments collectively funnel more than $1trn of subsidies into businesses that harm nature, including fossil fuel majors, mining giants and industrial agriculture, every year.
Kwasi Kwarteng steps up to BEIS Secretary post as Alok Sharma takes on full-time COP Presidency
The Government has confirmed that Alok Sharma will step down from his position as Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to enable more focus on his role as COP26 President, with Kwasi Kwarteng named as his replacement.
China 'preparing to launch its first emissions trading scheme'
The Chinese government is drawing up the first emissions trading scheme in the nation's history, after it committed to carbon neutrality by 2060.
Cumbria coal mine: Government won't block UK's first deep coal mine in three decades
Despite pressure from green groups, the UK Government has said it will not intervene in Cumbria County Council's decision to approve a deep coal mine in Whitehaven - the first facility of its kind to gain planning approval in 30 years.
Report: 10 million high-carbon jobs to be retrained or replaced as part of net-zero transition
Research from a new cross-party programme exploring the net-zero transition in the UK has warned that 10 million jobs will either need to be retrained or replaced if the nation is to meet its climate commitments.
A net-zero New Year? The 7 green policies UK businesses are still waiting for
December saw a flurry of green policy announcements, from the Energy White Paper to the decision to end finance to fossil fuels overseas. But several key policy gaps remain on the road to net-zero as we enter a new year - and will need to be closed ahead of COP26.
Ministers urged to cut VAT on batteries for homes after Brexit
The UK should reverse the increase on home energy storage systems implemented by the EU last year after Brexit, trade bodies representing the energy industry have told ministers.
Dewley Hill: Newcastle City Council blocks controversial coal mine
Climate campaigners have expressed relief after an application to turn more than 250 acres of greenbelt land near Newcastle into an opencast coal mine was blocked.
Good things come to those who persist: Why 2020 didn't derail climate action
It's been a tumultuous and tiring year that impacted the lives of everyone. But amidst the tragedy caused by the coronavirus pandemic, heroes emerged to prove we can adapt when facing a crisis - and the climate crisis is still very much shaping decisions moving forward.
Net-zero impact on UK economy to be 'relatively small', Treasury finds
The HM Treasury has published a final report in the build-up to a Net-Zero Spending Review, claiming that the transition to meeting the UK's long-term climate goals could deliver "slightly positive or slightly negative" economic growth for the UK, depending on how decisive policy action is.
Heathrow Airport: Supreme Court gives go-ahead for third runway, despite climate campaigns
The Supreme Court has decided to allow the Heathrow Airport expansion, despite the fact that the Court of Appeal ruled it unlawful on climate grounds earlier this year.
An 'undisputed urgency to act': Green economy reacts to the Energy White Paper
The Government has unveiled the long-awaited Energy White Paper today (14 December), with green groups welcoming the focus it provides to both job growth and rapid decarbonisation in order to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
EU clinches hard-fought deal on 55% 2030 climate target
European leaders haggled through the night to clinch a deal on the bloc's updated climate target for 2030 on Friday morning (11 December), agreeing an EU-wide goal of cutting net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030.
UK's net-zero target should be 2045, 100 councils and mayors tell Boris Johnson
English and Scottish local authorities representing one-third of the population have committed to reaching net-zero community emissions by 2045 - and are urging the UK Government to follow suit.
Heat Strategy: Government urged to spend £65bn on energy-efficient homes by 2035
Representatives from more than 200 businesses, housing associations, local authorities and trade bodies are urging Ministers to ensure that the upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy mobilises enough finance to address "major" barriers to decarbonisation.
Coordinated and collaborative action is needed on housing to meet net-zero
The extension to the Green Homes Grant scheme is a vital part of the government's recent ten-point green plan - improving the energy efficiency of homes and cutting emissions while stimulating jobs and ensuring wider health and financial benefits for communities.
UK Government's welcome backing of CCUS a huge boost for net-zero 2050
The turn of the decade brought hope and expectation on a renewed commitment to tackling climate change as the eyes of the world turned towards the UK ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
CCC pushes Boris Johnson to bolster UK's 2030 climate target ahead of COP26
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) is urging Boris Johnson to commit to reducing the UK's emissions by at least 68% by 2030, through its updated Paris Agreement pledge for COP26.
Green recovery: UK urged to accelerate 'just' transition from North Sea oil and gas
With thousands of UK-based oil and gas workers on furlough and the sector's economic recovery likely to be slow, policymakers are facing calls to cap North Sea fossil fuel production and reskill communities for low-carbon industries.
Green Finance Institute: UK's new National Investment Bank must go beyond energy
The UK's new National Investment Bank (NIB) must have strong net-zero criteria and support the low-carbon transition in the transport, built environment and nature sector as well as energy, the Green Finance Institute (GFI) is urging.
Electric vehicle revolution: Government creates Zero-Emission Vehicle Transition Council
The UK Government has set up a new coalition of international ministers and car sector representatives, to support the global transition and its own ban on new petrol and diesel car sales from 2030.
Business giants urge Boris Johnson to confirm 2030 climate target
More than 75 major businesses have penned an open letter to Boris Johnson calling for an "ambitious", legally-binding, interim climate target to support the transition to net-zero by 2050.
'Fraught with risk': Government's sustainable farming plan sparks concern amongst green groups
The UK Government has unveiled plans to deliver the most significant change to land management and farming practices in 50 years as a replacement to the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, a move that has sparked widespread concern amongst green groups due to a lack of detail.
Government 'must hold businesses like Apple and Amazon to account over e-waste'
Electronics brands and online retailers have been "dodging responsibility" for their e-waste impacts - and new laws could help stop them from producing tech that is hard to repair or recycle.
How is the green economy reacting to the Spending Review and National Infrastructure Strategy?
Green groups have dubbed the Spending Review a "missed opportunity" for the green recovery movement and net-zero transition, urging more new investment and clarity on climate requirements for the national investment bank.
National Infrastructure Strategy: Government to deliver 'revolution' tied to net-zero
The Government has launched its long-awaited National Infrastructure Strategy, detailing how transport, industry, energy and the built environment will be transformed to reach net-zero, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak using his spending review to confirm a £12bn commitment to the net-zero transition in 2021-2022.
Net-zero pensions 'could deliver £1trn for UK's green recovery'
By re-allocating a proportion of state pensions to low-carbon energy and transport, and giving seniors access to these sectors for free, the UK Government could unlock £1trn for the net-zero transition.
Government set to unveil national infrastructure bank tied to net-zero
The Government is expected to unveil the long-awaited National Infrastructure Strategy (NIS) this week alongside the Spending Review, with a National Infrastructure Bank set to be created to replace the UK's involvement with the European Investment Bank and funnel capital towards net-zero projects.
Report: Renewables and flexible energy could cut £660m off UK's net-zero transition
If the UK government were to back renewable generation and flexible energy technologies like battery storage instead of a new nuclear plant, some £660m could be saved through to 2030, a new analysis has concluded.
Net-zero by 2050: Canada tables first climate legislation in more than a decade
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tabled a bill which would legally bind the nation to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Is Boris Johnson's Ten Point Plan enough to reach net-zero?
Businesses, green groups and entire sectors welcomed the far-reaching announcement from the UK Government to issue a Ten Point Plan that would put the nation on the road to net-zero, but already analysis suggests that more is required to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Andrew Griffith: What we know about COP26's net-zero business champion
Boris Johnson has chosen Conservative MP Andrew Griffith as the UK's Net-Zero Business Champion for COP26. Here, we outline what we know about his history on climate action and his views on key environmental issues.
E.ON: 7 in 10 Brits want air pollution information in daily weather forecasts
A survey of more than 4,000 adults in the UK has found that almost three-quarters want information on air pollution in their local area to be included in daily weather forecasts.
Boris Johnson unveils £12bn Ten Point Plan for net-zero transition
Clean hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS), zero-carbon transport and offshore wind are all key pillars of Boris Johnson's Ten Point Plan to push the UK towards net-zero emissions, which will be backed by £12bn in Government investment and aim to create 250,000 new green jobs.
'An ambitious plan for a green industrial revolution': Reaction to Boris Johnson's Ten Point net-zero plan
Green groups have welcomed a new Ten Point Llan from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deliver a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and build towards the net-zero emissions target, but the lack of a clear roadmap is dampening an otherwise monumental green policy moment.
European Investment Bank unveils £1trn green investment plan through 2030
EU member states have approved the European Investment Bank's (EIB) plans to spend €1trn on the green economy within a decade and to ban funding for fossil fuel projects and airport expansions.
Defra doubles £40m green recovery fund for nature after huge demand
The Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a second £40m round of its Green Recovery Challenge Fund, designed to promote nature restoration and conservation, after the initial round proved to be massively oversubscribed.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan: What we know about COP26's 'international adaptation' champion
The UK Government has appointed Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan to the role of International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26. But as the first woman appointed to a senior role for the crucial climate summit, Trevelyan has a patchy history on climate action.
Green Jobs Taskforce: Government vows to create two million jobs in low-carbon and nature sectors
Following pressure from business groups and NGOs, the UK Government has launched a Green Jobs Taskforce to help unemployed people and those in transitioning industries into new, skilled jobs.
'No time to waste': Boris Johnson to set out 10-point plan to boost net-zero commitment
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued a global rallying call on nations to put forward raised ambitions to tackle the climate emergency as part of a year-long run-up to COP26, with the UK set to publish a 10-point plan to boost green jobs and reach net-zero imminently.
Environment Bill: UK businesses to be banned from sourcing through deforesters overseas
New measures designed to stop UK-based businesses from importing products or materials linked to deforestation abroad have been added to the Environment Bill - but some green groups argue that loopholes will remain.
Gas denied 'transition' fuel status in draft EU green finance rules
Power plants fuelled by natural gas will not be classed as "sustainable" or "transition" investments in Europe unless they meet emission limits which are so low that none are currently able to comply, according to draft EU rules seen by EURACTIV.
Green Recovery: Labour challenges UK Government to spend £30bn on low-carbon economy
The Labour Party is urging the Government to use the Treasury's spending review later this month to allocate multi-billion-pound packages to low-carbon sectors and to launch new reskilling and green finance initiatives.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirms UK's first sovereign green bond, mandatory TCFD disclosures
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has made a string of major announcements on green finance, confirming that the UK will issue its first green gilts in 2021 and will introduce new climate disclosure requirements.
IPPR: UK Government must spend £33bn annually to combat climate and nature crises
The UK Government is allocating just £4bn annually to initiatives designed to reverse nature loss and tackle climate change, when the scale of the challenges requires some £33bn.
BEIS gives businesses extra 12 months to apply for RHI
The UK Government has confirmed that it will extend the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme by 12 months, in light of the impact of Covid-19 on the private sector.
BT and Royal Mail tell Boris Johnson to bring back his ten-point green recovery plan
The UK's four biggest fleet operators - BT, Royal Mail, Centrica and DPD - are calling for Boris Johnson to announce the remainder of his ten-point green recovery plan, including new policy support for electric vehicles (EVs).
MPs mull stricter legal climate requirements for pension funds
MPs are being presented with a new Bill today which, if implemented, would force pension funds and other investors to align all 'default' funds with the Paris Agreement.
Boris Johnson urged to prevent e-waste mountain in Brexit planning
Poorly-made and hard-to-recycle electronics could "flood" the UK market after Brexit, resulting in an e-waste mountain, unless ministers act now to protect standards. That is according to a new report from Green Alliance.
EU bank mulls ban on cash for airport expansions
The European Investment Bank (EIB) could withdraw support for new airports, according to a draft climate roadmap seen by EURACTIV. However, the bank is set to keep funding motorways, as well as approving investments under the old rules until 2022.
Charities call for investment boost as Defra reveals its Green Recovery Fund is hugely oversubscribed
More than 20 of the UK's biggest environmental charities are calling for additional funding for nature in Covid-19 stimulus planning, after Environment Minister Rebecca Pow revealed that the Green Recovery Fund is almost seven times oversubscribed.
The Net-Zero election: Will the US continue to swim against the tide on climate change?
It is election night in the US and millions of citizens have already cast their vote on who should be the next president. The divide between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is evident, with one ready to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and the other ready to embrace the net-zero transition. The result of this election will likely shape global climate negotiations moving forward.
Natural Capital Committee: Environment Bill updates must stop businesses destroying nature
The UK Government must "urgently" help large businesses to value the natural resources in their value chains and to promote conservation and restoration at scale, the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) has concluded.
6 in 10 UK SMEs believe net-zero and the green recovery is good for business
Almost two-thirds (61%) of small and medium-sized businesses in Britain believe that the move to a greener economy post-Covid-19 presents positive opportunities, a new poll of more than 500 SMEs has found.
UK's Covid-19 recovery package for energy 'not net-zero aligned', report finds
The UK Government has earmarked £3.8bn of stimulus funding for legacy fossil fuel and nuclear generation, compared to just £121m for renewables, a damning new report has claimed.
Environment Bill: Amendments raise fresh concerns over post-Brexit watchdog
Proposed amendments to the Environment Bill have sparked concerns around green campaign groups, who claim they could delay the introduction of the UK's post-Brexit watchdog and weaken its powers.
Without a framework, vital decisions about the future of our land cannot be made
If we are to fulfil our Government's commitments on levelling up, carbon net-zero, housing, infrastructure, nature recovery and more, we need a process to prioritise the many pressures on our green and pleasant land. Currently, there's no such mechanism in England to help us decide how best to meet these commitments.
Net-zero by 2050: South Korea to enshrine new climate target in law
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has declared that the country will achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, bringing its climate commitments in line with the likes of the UK and Japan.
Japan to legislate for 2050 net-zero target
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has vowed to enshrine a 2050 net-zero target in national law, major news outlets across the globe are reporting.
Natural Capital Committee: UK failing on promise to leave nature better for the next generation
The quality of the UK's soil, freshwater and marine habitats has declined in recent years, meaning that the Government is likely to fail to meet its long-term environmental promises without a step-change in action.
Supermarket and packaging giants call for UK-wide ban on degradable plastics
Representatives from the likes of Tesco, Waitrose, Aldi and the Co-op have signed an open letter to Ministers calling for a ban on plastics which are only degradable in industrial conditions with chemical additives.
Common Agricultural Policy to remain part of EU's biodiversity funding, despite criticism
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), voted on this week in the European Parliament and Council, will remain by far the biggest funding source for biodiversity protection schemes at EU level, despite claims that it has encouraged intensive and damaging farming.
Towards net-zero: The 8 green policies UK businesses are still waiting for
The UK Government vowed last week to publish a "comprehensive" net-zero strategy ahead of COP26 in November 2021. But several glaring policy gaps remain. Here, edie rounds up the major policy announcements the green economy is waiting for.
UK 'among best nations globally' for SDG alignment
Although global progress towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remains insufficient to meet the 2030 deadline, the UK is among the nations leading the way on alignment and, as such, is a prime market for impact investment.
Report: Green recovery would cut global emissions by 7% and create millions of jobs
If all major nations developed strong plans for a green recovery from Covid-19, global annual emissions would be 7% lower in 2030 than in 2019 and millions of new jobs would be created in sectors including energy, transport and materials.
Government to publish 'comprehensive' net-zero strategy in build up to COP26
The UK Government has responded to the latest Committee on Climate Change (CCC) progress report, pledging to publish a "comprehensive" strategy that will detail how all parts of the economy will decarbonise in line with the national net-zero emissions target for 2050.
Governments urged to reform food systems as part of Covid-19 green recovery efforts
World leaders "know" they must help reform food systems to protect the environment and improve public health and should use their Covid-19 recovery plans to raise ambitions and accelerate action in this area.
Net-zero must be embedded in school curriculums, Aldersgate Group urges
The Aldersgate Group has warned that a skills deficit is hampering the growth of the UK's low-carbon economies and called for environmental sustainability to be embedded in national school curriculums and higher and further education offerings.
Lawmakers vote to exclude fossil fuels from EU recovery fund
The environment committee in the European Parliament has voted to exclude fossil fuels from support under the EU's €750bn recovery fund intended to boost the bloc's economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
2021 will be 'a critical window' for creating a sustainable future, major report warns
The decisions taken by businesses, investors and the government in the UK over the next six to 18 months will either lock us into unsustainable systems or bring about a resilient future with intersectional benefits for the environment and society, a major new report argues.
Businesses and green groups call for Government to set out 'negative emissions' policy framework
The National Farmers Union (NFU), Heathrow Airport and the Renewable Energy Association (REA) are amongst the organisations that have formed the Coalition for Negative Emissions, which is this week calling on the UK Government to set an "unambiguous commitment" to carbon capture and negative emissions.
Agriculture Bill: Outrage as bid to protect environmental and food safety standards rejected
Groups and individuals across the green economy have expressed anger and disappointment after an amendment to the Agriculture Bill, designed to require imported food to meet domestic standards, was thrown out by the Government.
Report: UK's domestic heat 'extremely unlikely' to reach net-zero without policy overhaul
Some 10 million homes will need to have their fossil fuel heating systems replaced by 2035 if the UK is to meet its net-zero target - but the rate of government-supported upgrades is just one-fifth of this level, a new policy briefing has concluded.
Issue green sovereign bond to finance UK's Covid-19 recovery, investors urge Government
A group of 30 major investors with more than £10trn of assets under management collectively are calling for the UK Government to launch a green sovereign bond to ensure adequate funding is put behind its mission to deliver a "green" Covid-19 recovery.
Government's current green policy approach risks alienating British public, IPPR warns
The UK's current political system is "dangerously unprepared" to not only rise to the challenge of the climate and nature crises, but to ensure a just transition and earn public trust, the IPPR is warning.
Scotland must go beyond power to meet net-zero by 2045, Committee on Climate Change warns
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has told the Scottish Government that it should apply learnings from the low-carbon transition in the nation's electricity sector to heat and transport, lest it risk missing its 2045 net-zero target.
Unilever CEO: Climate change and Covid-19 mean capitalism must change
Unilever's chief executive officer Alan Jope has said the business has found itself "at the centre" of discussions around redesigning capitalism with environmental and social sustainability in mind post-pandemic.
'Build Back Greener': Boris Johnson vows that UK will host 40GW of offshore wind by 2030
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has plans for every home in the UK to be powered with electricity from offshore wind farms within the decade and has unveiled a £160m pot to support the sector.
CDP: Paris Agreement alignment could cut climate change costs by two-thirds
The mean damage costs of climate change will reach $5.4trn annually by 2070 and "spiral" to up to $31trn per year by 2200 if the global temperature rise hits 4.4C by the end of this century - which it will unless 'business-as-usual' is transformed.
Aldersgate Group: 'Urgent decisions' needed to join up UK's net-zero policy framework
The UK Government must use its Covid-19 recovery planning to ensure that sector-specific challenges and loopholes on the road to net-zero by 2050 are addressed and must not permit any further postponements to key policy decisions, a major new Aldersgate Group report has concluded.
Plans to halt deforestation not strong enough, Tesco, Nestle and Nandos tell UK Government
McDonald's, Nandos, Nestle, Mondelez and all of the UK's 'big seven' supermarkets have urged the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) to bolster its proposed legislation for tackling deforestation in supply chains.
Aviva sets 2050 net-zero target for pensions, urges Government to force others to follow suit
Aviva has committed to ensuring that companies held in its auto-enrolment default pension funds generate net-zero emissions by 2050 - and urged the Government to make this a unified commitment across the sector.
UK Government reps 'discussing potential COP26 sponsorship deals with oil majors'
Despite a promise to ensure that COP26's corporate sponsors are "making real contributions" to climate action, government representatives have reportedly been in discussions with some of the world's highest emitting firms, including Equinor, BP and Shell.
NGOs attack plans to include carbon offseting in EU climate goals
Environmental campaigners have condemned proposals to include carbon credits from projects in developing countries when the European Parliament votes on the EU's proposed climate law next week.
Survey: 8 in 10 Brits want nature jobs for those left unemployed by Covid-19
More than eight in ten adults in the UK want the Government to help those left unemployed by the pandemic into nature-related roles, a new survey of 1,609 people has found.
$500bn per year needed to halt nature loss and boost biodiversity, nations and businesses told
A coalition of more than 140 nature conservation groups is calling on governments and businesses to ensure that $500bn of funding is provided annually to protect, restore and create habitats.
Plastic straws to be banned in England from Thursday
Single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds will be banned from sale and distribution in England from Thursday (1 October), following Covid-19 related delays.