The Low Carbon Economy – From Stick to Carrot
Britain is at risk of missing a huge opportunity. Policymakers must stop hitting firms with the big stick of ever-higher carbon taxes and levies, eroding their global competitiveness. Instead, they should be offering carrots, incentives to install energy saving equipment, invest in unexplored low-carbon technologies ahead of the curve, and become leaders in the low-carbon markets that must inevitably boom over the next couple of decades if governments around the world are to meet their climate change targets.
What went on in Bonn: COP23 week two round-up
The second week of climate talks in Bonn came to a conclusion today (17 November), following a raft of new global alliances and climate pledges building momentum for the transition to a low-carbon future.
UK surges into top 10 low-carbon electricity rankings
Britain has for the first time entered the top 10 rankings of a league table which compares large and industrialised countries on the carbon content of power supplies.
World Energy Outlook: Seven key trends shaping the low-carbon economy
A rising electrification of energy, rapid deployment of renewable energy sources, and a steady decline of the coal industry are all predicted as major shifts in the global energy scene over the next 25 years in the International Energy Association's (IEA) annual flagship publication.
Balancing act: Storage and flexible energy vital to UK’s renewables tipping point
The cost of generating energy from wind and solar in the UK is expected to halve by 2040, but the expected future power system volatility will lead to more economic opportunities for flexible energy sources and storage capacity.
Will post-Brexit Britain choose political sovereignty over close EU climate and energy ties?
The UK will need to sacrifice some of its political sovereignty if it wants to maintain a close post-Brexit relationship with the EU over climate and energy-related affairs, according to a top former EU Commission figure.
UK Government provides £62m to combat deforestation in Latin America
The UK Government has announced two new projects worth £62m will help tackle deforestation across Latin America by promoting sustainable new business models and sourcing practices.
New investor partnership scores corporates on physical climate risk exposure
Deutsche Asset Management (DAM) has formed a new partnership with a US-based advisory to develop a first-of-its-kind climate risk service that calculates the physical climate risks of investor portfolios.
UK Government backs 'virtual power plant' platform and robotics research
Battery developers Moixa has secured government funding to expand its flexible energy platform that transforms third-party batteries and electric vehicles (EVs) into "virtual power plants", while the UK Government has also unveiled an £84m fund for robotics and energy innovation.
Reports: Chancellor to raise diesel taxes in Autumn Budget
Chancellor Philip Hammond will raise taxes for diesel vehicles in the upcoming Autumn Budget in an attempt to boost the uptake of low-carbon alternatives, according to media reports.
Carbon price among policy wishlist issued by businesses at COP23
Members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), including the chief executives of more than 200 international businesses, have called for governments to collaborate with the private sector to set meaningful carbon prices and improve climate resilience.
HSBC pledges $100bn to sustainable finance
As Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) releases findings showing that energy investment in emerging markets suffered its largest year-on-year decline, HSBC has pledged to provide $100bn in sustainable financing by 2025 - as part of a new batch of climate-related commitments.
COP23: What does the Bonn climate summit mean for sustainability professionals?
As delegates from almost every nation arrive in Bonn to discuss the ways to prevent rising global temperatures from reaching catastrophic levels, edie takes a closer look at how developments at the UN climate summit could affect sustainability teams and their efforts to accelerate the shift towards low-carbon, resource-efficient business models.
London ULEZ to start in April 2019, Mayor confirms
The world's first Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be introduced across central London in April 2019, Sadiq Khan confirmed today (3 November).
Oil refining capacity set to shrink by a quarter during low-carbon transition
A quarter of global refining capacity will leave the market or be forced to close by 2035, sparking calls for investors to be aware of the risk of "wasting capital" on new investments into the oil sector.
Put 'cows alongside cars' at COP23, investors urge
With COP23 set to start in Bonn next week, an investor network is calling on developed countries to prioritise the "elephant in the room" at the UN talks, by tackling livestock sector emissions.
Lord Stern: Flexible policy approach will catalyse low-carbon transition
Lord Nicholas Stern has called on governments across the world to implement "predictably flexible" policy frameworks that enable businesses to map investment opportunities during the transition to a low-carbon economy.
G20 falls behind on national decarbonisation pledges
The UK is "strongly outperforming" the rest of G20 in decoupling emissions from economic growth, but businesses and governments have been warned that the goals of the Paris Agreement won't be achieved with current decarbonisation ambitions.
Five-year triumph: Ultra-low emission vehicle sales in UK surge by 1,800%
Propped up by new government policies and a wider range of models, the sales and registrations of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) in the UK have grown by more than 1,800% since 2011.
Sky hits key sustainability goals three years early
Reductions in water, emissions and food waste are notable achievements in Sky's latest CSR report, which reveals that the TV broadcaster has hit half of its environmental targets three years early.
Diesel tax loophole 'thwarting' Government's clean air strategy
Government efforts to improve air quality and phase-out the use of diesel vehicles are being undermined by a tax loophole that allows refrigerated lorries to use "red diesel" and pollute the highways.
In practice: Landsec's BREEAM Outstanding headquarters designed to WELL standards
As more companies look to create the right work environments for staff wellbeing, Landsec created the UK's largest fully WELL Certified space for staff health, which also achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating.
Severn Trent looks towards smart energy future with demand response service
Water firm Severn Trent and clean tech company Open Energi have teamed up to deliver a demand response service which could provide the grid with more than 20MW of flexible capacity by 2020.
Energy cost review: Dieter Helm's study calls for radical changes to Britain's energy policy
The costs of energy for UK businesses are higher than necessary and policymakers must streamline clean energy regulations in order to deliver cheaper, decarbonised power, a major Government-backed study has concluded.
CDP: Science-based targets needed to 'pick up the pace' on corporate action
Emissions targets from large corporates are around one-third of the way to bringing the private sector on a trajectory to keep global warming below 2C, highlighting the need for more science-based targets, new analysis from CDP has found.
UK energy firms call on chancellor to boost carbon tax
Two of Britain's biggest energy companies have called on Philip Hammond to strengthen a carbon tax that has driven a dramatic collapse in coal power generation, arguing it is essential for the shift to cleaner energy.
Report: Green gas could help fuel 15 million homes by 2050
Biogas made from domestic waste could help to heat 15 million homes every year by 2050, enough to meet the annual gas demand for households across south east England, London and East Anglia.
Report calls for bonfire of energy policy 'obsessions'
A new report co-authored by Laura Sandys has called for a bonfire of the traditional "obsessions" of energy policy makers and regulators in order to enable a radically new regulatory model for the future.
Greater Manchester businesses back switch to 100% renewable electricity
A host of businesses, politicians and local organisations from across Greater Manchester are aiming to save money and energy through support of a pioneering new campaign to switch to clean energy.
Higher carbon price needed to phase out UK coal generation by 2025
Following plans with Canada to launch global alliance to encourage nations to phase-out coal use, the UK Government has been informed that a carbon price of £40 per tonne may be required to shut down all remaining coal plants by 2025.
Oxford plans to introduce world's first zero-emission zone
Oxford has unveiled plans to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles from the city centre with an ultimate aim to deliver a zero-emission zone in 2035.
Consistency and communication key to realising London's electric vehicle vision
The pledges made by the Mayor of London to transform the city into a zero-emissions capital need to be backed by policy guidance that brings car manufacturers, network operators and innovators together to ensure that the capital isn't littered with "white elephants" and "stranded assets".
Reaction round-up: What does the green economy make of the Clean Growth Strategy?
The Government has pledged numerous multi-billion-pound investments to drive down carbon emissions across the economy as part of the Clean Growth Strategy, but does it "breathe new life" into the low-carbon sector or do the details "fall short"?
CDP: Huge leap in multinationals adopting internal carbon price
A new CDP report has highlighted an 8-fold increase in the number of large multinational factoring an internal carbon price into business strategies over the past four years.
Government makes £557m available for new renewables projects
The UK government has made up to £557 million available for "less established" renewables projects in a new set of Contracts for Difference (CfD) auctions planned for spring 2019.
IRENA: Falling costs could see installed battery storage grow 17-fold by 2030
Battery storage installations could experience a 17-fold growth by 2030 due to the rapidly falling price of batteries, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
National Grid measures real-time system inertia for the first time
For the first time ever, the National Grid has successfully measured and monitored continuous grid stability across an entire network, in a move that could reduce end-customer costs and carbon emissions in the UK.
Report: CCS could boost UK economy by £160bn
New research has claimed that carbon capture and storage (CCS) could boost the UK economy by more than £160bn if the technology is deployed on the east coast of the country.
From climate science to global goals: How Tetra Pak is realigning its sustainability strategy
As Tetra Pak's latest sustainability report reveals that the company looks set to outperform its original goals, the firm's vice president of environment Mario Abreu explains how the food packaging company is preparing to shoot for approved science-based targets.
Christiana Figueres: Corporate leadership on climate change set to hit critical mass
Former UN climate change chief Christiana Figueres has expressed confidence that the amount of businesses taking a leading stance on the Paris Agreement goals will hit critical mass "pretty soon".
Sadiq Khan calls for greater powers to tackle construction pollution
Sadiq Khan has written to Defra Secretary Michael Gove to ask the Government for greater powers to tackle construction pollution, as industry experts call for urgent action to improve the state of sustainability in the UK built environment.
Low-carbon power records all-time high share of UK electricity mix
The UK's clean energy transition received another welcome boost this week as Government figures revealed that low-carbon sources reached a record-high 53.4% share of electricity generation in the second quarter of 2017.
Dyson to invest £2bn in EV rollout
British engineering firm Dyson is set to enter the electric vehicle (EV) market with the launch of a new model by 2020.
Seven things you probably didn't know about the UK's regional carbon emissions
With air quality charges and a phase-out of older, polluting vehicles set to come into effect, edie trawls new data from the Government and vehicle finance provider Moneybarn to highlight seven surprising statistics regarding local authority efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
National Grid hails 'greenest ever' summer
New figures released today by the National Grid show almost 52% of electricity generation over the summer came from low carbon and renewable sources.
How AkzoNobel intends to reach carbon neutrality by 2050
AkzoNobel will need to embrace disruptive technologies such as automation and ensure the commitment of customers and suppliers to meet the paint and coating manufacturer's bold vision to become a carbon-neutral business by 2050.
Anesco unveils UK's first subsidy-free farm
Renewable energy developer Anesco has today (26 September) heralded a "landmark" achievement with the launch of the UK's first solar farm to operate without a Government subsidy.
Top carmakers must make 'rapid changes' or face billions in emissions fines
Major car manufacturers such as Ford, BMW and Volkswagen (VW) are on course to miss EU emissions targets and could be set to face billions in fines, according to new research.
EU to aim for 100% emission cuts in new 'mid-century roadmap'
The European Commission is preparing an update of its low-carbon economy roadmap for 2050, acknowledging that the bloc's current target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least 80% by mid-century are insufficient, edie's content partner EurActiv.com has learned.
The Climate Group: Boardrooms finally grasping business case of climate action
Amid a flurry of high-profile corporate sustainability commitments, the Climate Group's chief executive has told edie that improved boardroom understanding around the business case of climate action has enabled the low-carbon agenda to flourish.
Lib Dems propose 'carbon-free' Britain by 2050
The Liberal Democrats have urged the Government to bring forward the UK's climate targets by a decade as a new report suggests that the country is on course to miss the Paris Agreement objectives.
Nike and other major apparel firms commit to Science Based Targets initiative
A surge of clothing companies including Nike and Levi Strauss have all committed to set emission reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative, pushing the number of companies pledged to the scheme beyond 300.
Government launches Green Finance Taskforce to help businesses invest in clean growth
The Government has today (18 September) launched a Green Finance Taskforce to assist the low-carbon economy and boost the UK's position as a "world leader" in clean growth investment.
UK carbon targets 'under threat' unless businesses invest in energy managers
Britain's carbon targets could be put at risk unless businesses invest in the tools and training required to equip energy managers for the future, according to new research from utility consultancy Inenco.
Government raises renewable fuel obligation, caps crop-based fuel use
The UK Government has confirmed that it will increase the percentage of petrol and diesel that is sourced from renewables used for vehicle use, while the use of crops in fuel production will also be capped.
In practice: University of Northampton's onsite biomass energy centre
A state-of-the-art new campus at the University of Northampton has embraced a renewable energy solution through a £6.5m energy centre which incorporates woodchip biomass boilers and a combined heat and power (CHP) system.
Investors implore banking firms to champion climate disclosure
More than 100 investors with $1.8trn under management have written to the chief executives of 60 of the world's largest banks, including HSBC and Bank of America, calling for better disclosure and implementation on climate risks in their investment portfolios.
PwC: UK spearheads clean growth in G20
The decline of coal consumption and improved energy efficiency helped the UK to decarbonise at a rate faster than any other G20 country in 2016, according to research from PWC.
BT sets 87% carbon reduction target to help meet Paris Agreement goals
After reaching a carbon target four years ahead of schedule, BT is setting itself on the path to help limit global warming to 1.5C through a new science-based target to reduce emissions by 87% by 2030 against a 2016/17 baseline.
£30m Gateshead research facility to test zero-carbon integrated energy solutions
Ambitions for a zero-carbon energy network are a step closer to reality, after Northern Gas Networks (NGN) launched the UK's first fully-integrated research and development facility to test low-carbon business solutions for transport, electricity, and gas.
Research exposes top 35 firms lobbying against climate policy
Most of the globe's 50 most influential companies on climate change legislation are actively lobbying against ambitious decarbonisation policy, new research from a UK think tank has found.
'Historic', 'unprecedented', 'astounding': Industry reacts to falling offshore wind costs
Developers, green groups and politicians have welcomed the latest results from the UK Government's Contract for Difference (CfD) auction, which has seen the cost of offshore wind halve over the last two years to set a record low-strike price of £57.50 per MWh.
Green Investment Group makes first investment under Macquarie ownership to support EfW plant
A £38m energy-from-waste (EfW) facility in Yorkshire has become the first project to receive financing from the newly formed Green Investment Group (GIG), formerly known as the Green Investment Bank.
In practice: Stora Enso's cost-effective move to champion cross laminated timber
A new multi-million-euro investment looks set to transform packaging firm Stora Enso into a renewable materials company and the largest global producer of a low environmental impact timber solution to replace steel and concrete in construction projects.
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.
SSE issues largest ever green bond by UK firm
The green finance market has been buoyed by news that British energy company SSE has issued the biggest ever green bond by a UK company.
Ministers give double boost for low-carbon road transport and aviation
The UK Government has provided a helping hand for low-carbon transport with separate funding announcements for cleaner buses and waste-based fuels for planes and lorries.
Scientists sketch roadmap for 139 countries to go 100% renewable by 2050
A research team at Stanford University has outlined a new roadmap for 139 countries - including the UK - to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2050, which it claims would avoid 1.5C global warming and prevent millions of premature deaths from air pollution.
Green Party slams GIB sell-off
The co-leader of the Green Party has warned the controversial sell-off of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) is bad news for "everyone who cares about the future of renewable energy".
Hyundai pledges to build EV model with 500km range
As new figures show that the rise of renewables have slashed the carbon impact of electric vehicles (EVs) in Britain, South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai has unveiled plans to strengthen its grip on the market with a new model that can go 500km on a single charge.
Macquarie finalises £2.3bn Green Investment Bank deal
Australian bank Macquarie has vowed to keep the Green Investment Bank (GIB) at the forefront of the UK's low-carbon transition, after today (18 August) completing the controversial £2.3bn takeover from the British Government.
In practice: London's largest solar retrofit project
Waste management firm Bywaters has dramatically reduced its energy usage and achieved near self-sufficiency following the delivery of a 1MW solar retrofit project at its plant in East London.
edie publishes free business guide to CHP
Organisations and professionals with an interest in deploying combined heat & power (CHP) systems to reduce emissions and save on energy costs now have access to a free 'edie explains' guide which answers all of the key questions surrounding the technology.
EU to enforce new energy efficiency rules for vacuum cleaners
New EU rules on vacuum cleaners come into force next month, as Brussels looks to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions.
The employers’ guide to smart meters and energy efficiency awareness at work and at home
This document provides guidance and materials for running an energy efficiency awareness campaign at work, including practical advice to employees on how they can benefit from getting a smart meter and saving energy at home.
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.
London's new Environment Strategy: Five key questions answered
As London Mayor Sadiq Khan puts forward a long-term vision to make the capital one of the greenest cities in the world, edie speaks with Khan's Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Shirley Rodrigues to discuss how City Hall aims to put its ambitious plans into practice.
In practice: Smurfit Kappa's £120m onsite sustainability drive
With one eye on a key carbon reduction goal for 2020, paper-based packaging company Smurfit Kappa recently undertook a multi-million-euro investment into new boiler and steam turbine systems at one of its major manufacturing facilities in Austria which will significantly reduce emissions.
Policymakers must embrace technology to deliver sustainable transport systems, says PwC
New planning models which adopt collaborative and tech-savvy approaches are required to create future sustainable and connected transport systems, according to a new report from PwC.
London boroughs to add 1,500 electric vehicle charging points
The Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London (TfL) have allocated £4.5m to 25 London boroughs to roll-out 1,500 new charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) across the capital.
Dieter Helm to lead cost of energy review
Professor Dieter Helm has been appointed to lead the cost of energy review promised in the Conservative manifesto and Industrial Strategy, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has announced.
Energy industry must embrace '3D transition' to sustainable future, say former Big Six bosses
Britain's 'Bix Six' utility companies must rapidly adapt and find a new role in an energy system which is undergoing the "3D transition" of decarbonisation, digitisation and decentralisation, a new report by industry experts has concluded.
In practice: Capgemini's carbon-cutting Merlin data centre
With data centres accounting for 40% of Capgemini's total emissions and 70% of energy use, IT consulting firm's decision to develop an ultra-sustainable, energy-efficient data centre has driven great results, helping to push the company beyond a carbon goal one year ahead of schedule.
Businesses must adapt sustainable finance models to prepare for innovation flood, says Interserve
Businesses must prepare for a "flood" of technological advances by adjusting the way they assess the non-financial impacts of low-carbon investments, according to construction firm Interserve's head of sustainability and group finance director Tim Haywood.
UK high-pressure gas refuelling station records substantial drop in emissions
The UK's biggest gas network operator Cadent has confirmed that the UK's first high-pressure gas refuelling station has reduced the emissions of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) used by the likes of Waitrose by 84% compared to diesel equivalents.
New £5 and £10 banknotes have smaller lifetime carbon impact
New £5 and £10 notes unveiled by the Bank of England earlier this month have carbon footprints 16% and 8% lower than previous paper versions, new analysis from the Carbon Trust has revealed.
Air Quality Plan: Diesel and petrol cars banned by 2040, £255m to tackle pollution blackspots
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has today unveiled the Government's long-awaited Air Quality Plan, which includes a ban on all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 and a £255m fund to help councils crack down on emissions.
Government must seize economic opportunity of low-carbon innovation, says climate adviser
EXCLUSIVE: The UK Government must invest in low-carbon innovation now or risk significantly raising the cost of meeting the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, the chief economist of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has told edie.
ETI: UK-grown biomass can support farmers and deliver carbon savings
Planting 1.4m hectares of non-food crops dedicated to the production of bioenergy can deliver "genuine" emissions savings and provide a degree of income security for UK farmers, according to new research from ETI.
Energy storage: UK set for new battery research centre with Government funding
Business Secretary Greg Clark has announced details of the first phase of a four-year £246m investment into battery technology as part of the Government's drive towards a low-carbon industrial strategy.
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.
JLL UK targets 100% renewables and zero waste to landfill in new 2020 targets
Real estate specialists and investment management firm JLL is chasing 100% renewable electricity and zero waste to landfill offices as part of a new corporate sustainability agenda for 2020.
Shadow Energy Minister slams 'deplorable' delay of Clean Growth Plan
EXCLUSIVE: The continued delay of a long-term strategy to decarbonise the UK is a matter of "considerable shame" for the Government, according to Labour's Shadow Energy & Climate Change Minister Alan Whitehead.
Rise of EVs could add 18GW to peak demand by 2050
The growth of electric vehicles (EVs) could add up to 18GW - or 30 per cent - to peak power demand by 2050, National Grid has predicted in its latest Future Energy Scenarios report.
Global banks worth $7trn pledge support to TCFD climate disclosure guidelines
Eleven of the world's top banks, including Barclays and Santander, have jointly committed to adopt key elements of a new international framework which seeks to improve climate transparency in the financial industry.
CDP: Only 100 firms account for more than 70% of global emissions
Just 100 major companies, such as Shell, ExxonMobil and BP, have caused 71% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) since 1988, according to new research from global disclosure organisation CDP.
UK Coal Authority turns to solar to offset water treatment costs
A regulatory body of the UK coal industry has named the latest contractor for a four-year renewable energy framework to offset the costs of its 75 mine water treatment sites.
In practice: Grosvenor's highly sustainable redevelopment of a heritage building
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland's building project at 119 Ebury Street, Belgravia, is the UK's first listed building to achieve BREEAM 'Outstanding', utilising a range of low-carbon technologies that significantly reduce the site's environmental footprint.
'Investor-ready' green certification project rolled-out for district energy and street lighting
A green certification project aimed at standardising how building projects are measured and developed to accelerate investment opportunities has received backing from the Horizon 2020 programme to expand across Europe.
UK's biomass ambition: Low-cost solution or forest full of loopholes?
A new report has outlined that using waste and biomass for gasification can help the UK meet its 2050 carbon targets at a lower cost to the economy, on the same day that research condemned a biomass standard used by Drax, E.ON and DONG as a "forest of loopholes".