The Paris Agreement
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.
NGOs call for heightened standards on corporate sustainability reporting
An alliance of NGOs has called for the European Union's Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) to be reformed to ensure that more corporates are disclosing relevant climate-related information.
Report: Major asset managers still voting against tougher climate measures
In the same week that BlackRock was widely criticised for continuing to hold $85bn in coal, an analysis of the world's 30 largest fund managers has found that the global sector is failing to translate high-level climate commitments into investment decisions and support for shareholder resolutions.
Investors file climate resolution at HSBC
Investors with a combined $2.4trn in assets under management have filed a resolution at HSBC, calling on the bank to publish a strategy that outlines efforts to reduce exposure to fossil fuel assets.
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.
Lenovo to deliver global rollout of customer offset scheme
Computer manufacturer Lenovo has unveiled plans to rollout a carbon offsetting scheme for customer purchases across the globe, following a trial run in the Nordics that saw 26,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide offset.
Gatwick Airport under fire over 'callous' runway expansion plan
Green groups have criticised the decision from Gatwick Airport to transform its emergency runway into a fully functioning second runway, claiming that the organisation is "ignoring" noise and emissions issues.
Global decarbonisation efforts need to be five times greater to reach 1.5C pathway
Global efforts to combat the climate crisis will need to be five times greater than current levels, with new research warning that the rate that carbon emissions are decoupled from economic growth slowed in 2019.
Telefónica, Nestlé and Ragn-Sells commit to net-zero supply chains
Technology giant Telefónica, food manufacturer Nestlé and waste management firm Ragn-Sells are the latest businesses to sign up to a collaborative movement to reduce value chain emissions in line with the 1.5C ambition of the Paris Agreement.
UK ramps up climate adaptation plans in build up to COP26
The UK has become one of the first countries to publish an official plan setting out how the nation is responding to the climate crisis through adaptation and resiliency plans that focus on flood prevention and rewilding.
UK Government to end support for overseas fossil fuel projects
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the UK Government will end financing and support for overseas fossil fuel projects in the build-up to COP26 in 2021.
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.
Shipping, aviation and carmakers failing to align with Paris Agreement
The majority of the worlds largest automotive, shipping and aviation companies are failing to deliver emissions reduction plans in line with a pathway to keep global warming to 2°C - let alone 1.5C - new research has found.
13 big businesses including Unilever and Microsoft join Amazon's Climate Pledge
More than a dozen large businesses including Unilever, Microsoft and Coca-Cola European Partners have signed up to Amazon's Climate Pledge, which requires signatories to reach net-zero by 2040 or sooner.
UN: Green Covid-19 recovery will put world on track to meet Paris Agreement
While Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have resulted in falling carbon emissions, they will rebound and the world will warm by more than 3C this century without a coordinated and ambitious global green recovery approach.
A 'vital step': Green economy reacts to the UK's new climate commitment
Green groups and business leaders have welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement that the UK has created an updated domestic emissions target for 2030 as its contribution to the Paris Agreement, but with progress lacking against upcoming carbon budgets, many want to see more detailed action plans.
UK to slash emissions by 68% by 2030, as part of Paris Agreement NDC
The UK Government will aim to reduce emissions by 68% by 2030, as part of a domestic action plan that will deliver the nation's contribution towards the Paris Agreement and limiting global temperature increases to well below 2C and build towards net-zero by 2050.
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.
BlackRock debuts software that assesses climate risk for investors
Investment giant BlackRock has unveiled new software to help investors quantify climate risk and low-carbon opportunities relating to their portfolios.
Former COP26 chair Claire O'Neill: UK falling behind on international climate engagement
Former Energy Minister Claire O'Neill (nee Perry) has told MPs she is concerned that the UK Government is failing to engage policymakers from other nations on climate action ahead of COP26, risking an unjust global low-carbon transition.
Survey: Just 1 in 10 businesses have backed up net-zero ambitions with science-based targets
While the number of businesses setting net-zero commitments has grown rapidly in recent months, just 10% of firms have set interim science-based emissions targets to ensure they're aligning with climate science.
G20 urges preparedness to tackle climate crisis
As Donald Trump skipped some of the key virtual meetings between G20 leaders to play golf, the European Union (EU) has called on nations to learn lessons from the coronavirus pandemic by stepping up preparedness and resiliency to tackle the climate crisis.
Report: Carmakers including Tesla and Honda 'driving in the slow lane' towards climate goals
Two-thirds of the world's largest carmakers have not set electric vehicle (EV) and emissions targets in line with the Paris Agreement's less ambitious trajectory - and the auto sector is failing to deliver on human rights commitments, as well.
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.
UK to support 'Paris Agreement on plastics'
The UK Minister for Pacific and the Environment, Zac Goldsmith, has revealed that the UK is willing to discuss a new global treaty to tackle plastics pollution, which has been supported by more than two-thirds of UN member states.
SSE unveils 'just transition' strategy to benefit communities during net-zero transition
Energy giant SSE has issued a public "Just Transition" plan, which lays out steps to protect workers and communities as the business and the UK moves towards net-zero emissions.
LafargeHolcim links €850m to decarbonisation goals
The world's largest cement manufacturer, LafargeHolcim, has priced an €850m bond linked to the company's sustainability targets.
Disclose climate risks or face divestment, investors warn Europe's largest companies
A coalition of investors representing more than $9trn of assets has asked some of Europe's largest and highest-emitting companies, like Shell and Maersk, to prove they are aligning with the Paris Agreement and to improve climate risk disclosure.
Utilities and banks: UK unveils first round of corporate COP26 sponsors
The UK's COP26 secretariat has named utilities SSE and Scottish Power, along with National Grid and NatWest Group, as its first sponsors for the climate conference next year.
'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.
US Election 2020: What does Joe Biden's win mean for the global climate emergency?
US President-elect Joe Biden is outlining that first steps of his transition plan after beating Donald Trump in the US election. While the latter is yet to concede the results, leadership under the Democrats will deliver a very different outlook on global efforts to combat the climate crisis.
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.
Business groups call on Prime Minister to set Paris Agreement commitment by end of year
A number of green business groups have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK Government to set a substantial commitment to the Paris Agreement that is aligned to the nation's own net-zero target.
Banks and agribusiness linked to biodiversity loss
Some of the world's largest banks have been linked to industries that are causing mass deforestation and biodiversity loss, with some in the finance sector providing loans and underwriting worth more than $2.6trn to climate-wrecking initiatives.
Investors ask most-emitting companies to prove their climate lobbying is Paris-Agreement-aligned
Dozens of the world's highest emitting corporates have been asked to explain how their lobbying activities impact climate change by an influential group of investors.
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.
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.
UK Export Finance could support 42,000 green jobs by reallocating funds from oil and gas
The UK Government's direct lending facility could support more than 40,000 jobs in the renewables sector annually by 2035, if it were to assume liabilities for renewable exports like it currently does for oil and gas, new research has found.
From Tesla to Rio Tinto: Investors call on thousands of businesses to set science-based targets
Tesla, Nest, TIU, Roche Holding AG and Rio Tinto are amongst the 1,800 companies that have been urged to set science-based targets by a group of investors and financial institutions representing more than $20trn in assets under management.
Low-carbon transition: Even best-prepared fossil fuel majors 'to see half of portfolios become uncompetitive'
While European oil and gas majors are diversifying their portfolios to include more renewables, setting stricter climate targets and adjusting their oil price predictions, at least half of their operations won't be competitive in a 1.6C world, a new report claims.
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.
Everything you may have missed: The sustainability success stories of Climate Week NYC 2020
As Climate Week NYC comes to a close, edie highlights the numerous new green commitments and announcements made by businesses and policymakers.
Business giants including Best Buy and Siemens join Amazon's climate pledge, target net-zero by 2040
Corporate giants Best Buy, Siemens, Schneider Electric and McKinstry, along with Spanish football club Real Betis, have joined Amazon's Climate Pledge and vowed to reach net-zero carbon by 2040.
As Boris Johnson unveils COP26 'launchpad' event, is the world on track for a green recovery?
In a speech to world leaders today, Boris Johnson confirmed that the UK will co-host a climate event with the UN in December and will spend the coming months urging other nations to update their emissions targets. But is the UK keeping its own promises for a green recovery? And are world leaders walking the talk on their own commitments?
China's carbon-neutral target for 2060: What does it mean for global climate action?
The world's largest emitting country, China, has pledged to carbon neutrality by 2060, in a surprising yet welcome move that will boost global negotiations on climate action ahead of next year's COP26 summit.
World's largest cement manufacturer commits to science-based targets and net-zero pathway
The world's largest cement manufacturer, LafargeHolcim, has committed to becoming the first global building materials company to have targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Tate & Lyle has carbon goals approve by Science Based Targets initiative
Food and drink ingredient supplier Tate & Lyle has had goals to reduce operational and value chain emissions approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
BT joins calls to accelerate climate action through 1.5C Business Playbook
BT has joined the likes of Ikea and Ericsson in supporting the 1.5C Business Playbook, calling for renewed efforts from corporates and policymakers to halve emissions by 2030 as part of a "race to zero".
SBTi kickstarts process on global standard for science-based corporate net-zero targets
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued its first guidance on what will ultimately lead to the development of a new global standard to ensure that corporate net-zero carbon targets are aligned with climate science.
Investors covering $47trn ask world's highest-emitting corporates to prove net-zero alignment
An initiative involving 500+ investors representing $47trn in assets has asked 161 of the world's largest corporate emitters, including fossil fuel and mining giants, requesting that they commit to net-zero targets and prove they are changing their business models and processes accordingly.
EU lawmakers up the ante, vote for 60% climate target for 2030
The European Parliament's environment committee has voted for a new EU-wide target to reduce carbon emissions 60% by 2030, setting the stage for tough negotiations with EU countries and the European Commission, which is expected to propose a 55% goal next week. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Inclusive recovery: Can a post-pandemic economy shift society and sectors to greener pastures?
The world is still reeling from the continued impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, but the financial decisions that are made now will determine whether all sectors and parts of society are brought along the green recovery.
Alok Sharma promises 'joined-up thinking' on net-zero policy, but examples remain scarce
Business Secretary Alok Sharma delivered rhetoric that the Government will approach the net-zero emissions commitment for 2050 through a "joined-up thinking" approach, but was unable to confirm any concrete policy announcements that would ensure fossil fuels aren't locked into the future economy.
Signify reaches carbon neutrality globally, revamps corporate goals for 2025
Global lighting firm Signify has revealed it has reached its ambition to be carbon neutral across its operations and is now pledging to "go beyond" that original target.
Football broadcast on Sky Sports to be certified to highest sustainability standards
Sky Sports has confirmed that all Premier League and English Football League matches broadcast across its sports channels will be certified to sustainable production levels.
Lenovo to halve emissions as part of science-based targets
Computer manufacturer Lenovo has unveiled new science-based targets to halve emissions from its operations and reduce value chain impacts by 25% by 2030, with a view to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Ikea owner commits €600m in sustainability investing over next 12 months
Ingka Group - the business owner of Ikea - will commit €600m in sustainability investments, including a "zero-fossil fuel" approach, to assist with Ikea's overall ambition of becoming "climate positive" by 2030.
Available on demand: edie's Scope 3 emissions masterclass webinar featuring Pukka Herbs
edie's latest masterclass webinar is now available to watch on-demand. Be sure to tune in to learn about managing and reducing your organisation's Scope 3 (indirect) emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, featuring insight from Pukka Herbs' sustainability manager Vicky Murray.
Manufacturers aim for carbon-neutral cement by 2050
A group of the world's leading producers of cement have issued a new industry commitment to deliver carbon-neutral concrete by 2050.
Mercedes-Benz targets zero-carbon emissions by 2040, provides 1,800 EVs to Amazon
Mercedes-Benz has joined Amazon's Climate Pledge, setting an aim to become a zero-carbon business by 2040, on the same day the company confirmed it would provide more than 1,800 electric vehicles (EVs) to the e-commerce giant's Delivery Service Partners.
Samsung faces youth climate protests over involvement in new Vietnam coal plant
Climate protestors have gathered outside Samsung's flagship UK store on Oxford Street this morning (21 August), calling on the firm to halt plans to help build a new coal-fired power plant in Vietnam.
Energy retailer IGS commits to net-zero by 2040
One of the US's largest energy retailers, IGS, has announced a new commitment to reach net-zero emissions for its operations and the services it provides to its domestic and business customers by 2040, pledging to provide 100% renewable electricity and carbon-neutral gas.
UK Government starts search for corporate COP26 sponsors
The UK's COP26 presidency has outlined its sponsorship criteria for the conference, stating that it is only looking to work with businesses with "ambitious" net-zero targets.
Treasury defends lack of 'green strings' tied to corporate Covid-19 relief packages
The Government has defended its decision to issue billion-pound bailouts for carbon-intensive companies and sectors, with the Treasury hitting back at accusations that the Paris Agreement and the climate crisis had been cast aside, but a court case still looms.
Major investors to pilot new net-zero framework on $1.3trn of assets
Standard Life and the Church of England Pensions Board are among a coalition of investors trialling what has been described as the world's first blueprint for aligning investment portfolios with the Paris Agreement on climate.
Private equity investors launch Paris-aligned climate disclosure framework
A group of private equity investors have launched an international network committing to engage with corporates in reducing carbon emissions in line with the needs of the Paris Agreement.
Morgan Stanley to disclose climate impact of investments
Morgan Stanley has become the first US-based global bank to commit to measuring and disclosing the environmental impact of its investment portfolio and loan offerings and will join a global partnership to drive climate action across the global accounting sector.
Coronavirus: EU's recovery deal lacking climate spending accountability, green groups warn
Following four nights of negotiations, the European Union (EU) has agreed its biggest joint borrowing plan ever recorded, pledging €750bn to a coronavirus recovery package, but green groups have expressed concerns that focus and accountability on green spending have "taken a battering".
We Mean Business Coalition urging members to target net-zero by 2040 under new Amazon partnership
More than 1,200 businesses will be encouraged to set and supported to deliver against net-zero targets deadlined no later than 2040, after We Mean Business Coalition partnered with Amazon.
WBA: Less than 10% of electric utilities are taking Paris-Agreement-aligned climate action
Analysis of the decarbonisation ambitions and actions of 50 of the world's largest electric utilities companies has revealed that less than one in ten have fully aligned their business models with the Paris Agreement, despite the fact that the sector must 'enable' the global low-carbon transition.
Sport broadcasters form new sustainability consortium
BBC, ITV, BT Sport and Sky Sports are some of the key broadcasters that have joined the BAFTA Sports Consortium, a new group set up to reduce the impact that sports broadcasting has on the environment.
Equinor to deliver world's largest at-scale hydrogen from carbon capture plant in Hull
Equinor has unveiled plans to develop the world's largest plant capable of converting natural gas to hydrogen in combination with carbon capture and storage (CCUS), as part of the zero-carbon industrial hub located in the Humber region.
Kimberly-Clark vows to halve emissions by 2030
Kimberly-Clark has pledged to halve its direct, power-related and supply chain emissions by 2030, as part of a string of new climate targets approved by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).
'Happy Birthday, you haven’t aged a day’: One year on from the UK’s net-zero announcement
It's been one year since the UK's historic net-zero announcement, and the movement is being kept afloat by the corporate sector in a year the has seen policy blindsided by a global pandemic and slowed to a frustrating pace by Brexit.
Luton Airport to become 'most sustainable airport' by 2040
London Luton Airport has revealed an intention to become the UK's "most sustainable airport" by 2040, claiming that a planned expansion can be delivered in line with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
Rolls-Royce commits to net-zero carbon operations by 2030
Manufacturing giant Rolls-Royce has announced an intention to become a net-zero carbon business by 2030, alongside a wider ambition to enable sectors it sells to in becoming net-zero by 2050.
Investors worth €11trn call for European green recovery from Covid-19 pandemic
More than 100 investors have written to European business and finance leaders, calling on them to ensure the delivering of the bloc-wide Green Deal and deliver a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Net-zero must be at the heart of the business response to restoring the health of nature
World Environment Day 2020 aims to trigger action to protect and restore the health of nature around the world. This couldn't be more timely. Whilst evidence abounds showing that nature is bouncing back due to less human activity resulting from Covid 19, the statistics are still alarming.
Race to Zero: COP26 campaign launched to push nations towards net-zero targets
To mark World Environment Day, the UK Government has launched its "Race to Zero" global campaign to mobilise support for the net-zero transition across businesses, cities and nations, with new data finding that 53% of global GDP is covered by a net-zero ambition in some form.
Fossil fuel profits set to collapse by two-thirds
The global market value of fossil fuels is set to collapse by almost two-thirds, creating heightened economic risk for companies, financial markets and countries failing to embrace new low-carbon technology.
EU urged not to mess with UN aviation rules
Leading MEPs have asked the European Commission and Council not to seek changes to the UN's global aviation scheme, which is aimed at making the industry carbon neutral. Airlines have requested more leeway to ride out the coronavirus outbreak slump.
Boris Johnson confirms new COP26 date, urges nations to focus on green recoveries
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reiterated a desire for the UK to deliver a "sustainable" recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a way that brings together key international nations to reach the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
'Use it or lose it': Pandemic recovery a decisive moment for climate action
A new report from global analyst firm McKinsey has found that recovery packages from the coronavirus pandemic will be decisive in putting the world on course to meeting the Paris Agreement, calling for low-carbon technologies and solutions to be prioritised.
Reports: COP26 to be delayed until November 2021
Reports have emerged that the UK Government has put forward the first two weeks of November 2021 as new proposed dates for the crucial COP26 climate conference, citing concerns over the state of international travel safety due to the coronavirus.
Business giants failing to disclose climate-related risks
Europe's largest businesses are failing to provide relevant climate-related data to investors, which could jeopardise the European Union's aims to deliver a "just" carbon-neutral transition by 2050.
Business giants call for science-based green economic recovery
More than 150 business giants, including Carlsberg, H&M and Pernod Ricard, with a combined market capitalisation of more than $2.4trn, have signed a joint statement calling on all governments to align coronavirus economic responses to climate science.
Carbon price: Tax polluters not people to assist coronavirus recovery, report urges
Carbon pricing aligned to the needs of the Paris Agreement can raise revenue to support the coronavirus recovery in a better way than a tax on income or labour, new research by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has found.
Oil and gas giants overstating net-zero ambitions, study finds
Recent announcements from European oil and gas majors such as Total, Shell and BP to commit to net-zero aren't actually aligned to the required, science-based cuts to emissions to reach net-zero or the 1.5C target of the Paris Agreement, new research has found.
Law firm Slaughter and May's carbon goals approved by SBTi
Legal giant Slaughter and May has confirmed that a goal to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) as aligned to the 1.5C ambition of the Paris Agreement.
Financiers join EU 'green recovery alliance'
More than 50 CEOs from the banking and insurance sector - including household names such as BNP Paribas, AXA, Allianz, and Santander - have joined the "green recovery alliance" in the European Parliament.
Total commits to net-zero emissions by 2050 following investor pressure
Global energy company Total is the latest in the sector to commit to net-zero emissions, setting a target for 2050 or sooner after extensive engagement with a climate action investor coalition.
World GBC's 'Paris proof' buildings and Abu Dhabi's low-cost solar: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
EU lawmaker puts 65% emissions cut on the table
The European Parliament is gearing up for tough talks on the EU's climate target for 2030, with a 65% emissions cut now firmly on the table.
Messages of hope: How world leaders are rallying for a green Covid-19 recovery
The two-day Petersberg Climate Dialogue finished yesterday evening, with ministerial leaders from the UK, Germany, the EU and the UN all delivering rallying cries for nations to focus on climate mitigation as part of any efforts to stimulate the economic downturned caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
EU's climate strategy can spur 'just' and resilient labour market
On the eve of the release of the EU's recovery strategy, a group of business leaders have called for the bloc's climate-neutral target to be coupled with a "just transition" that could deliver job growth against future climate, demographic and technological megatrends.
Barclays and HSBC blasted over £158bn fossil fuel financing
Banking giants Barclays and HSBC have been accused of financing a combined £158bn into the fossil fuel sector since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, despite both organisations pledging to ramp up sustainable investment portfolios.
Alok Sharma: 'Focus has not stopped' on global climate action
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Alok Sharma had stated that the UK remains focused on preparations for the delayed COP26 climate summit, claiming that nations can't treat the coronavirus pandemic and climate action as an "either-or" scenario.
Refinitiv, JLL and Ball unveil 1.5C science-based carbon commitments
Refinitiv has committed to setting science-based targets to reduce emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement, while manufacturer Ball and real estate firm JLL have confirmed that their targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Six key areas of focus for sustainability professionals during lockdown
It's been almost a month since the UK Government introduced lockdown measures in response to Covid-19 and has since announced a further three-week extension to social distancing. As such, edie offers some best-practice advice for sustainability professionals to keep focusing on the climate battle during the pandemic.