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The new payments will be offered in England only

UK farmers to be paid for soil stewardship from 2022, but green groups warn subsidy scheme isn't enough

The UK Government has confirmed that farmers will receive payments for improving and conserving soils and grasslands from next year, but is facing criticism over the scheme, with green groups saying it does not pay enough or have a broad enough remit.

Following COP26, the CCC has called on the UK Government to strengthen domestic and international approaches to reaching net-zero

Climate Change Committee: UK Government needs to 'raise ambitions' on reaching net-zero

The UK's climate watchdog has called on the UK Government to deliver a "genuine increase in ambition" to reach the measures detailed in the new Glasgow Climate Pact at COP26, including the submission of new emissions targets, rewriting the tax system to phase-out fossil fuels and strengthening international collaboration between countries.

Pictured: Cornwall Airport, Newquay

UK Government unveils £4.3m subsidies for domestic flights, despite green backlash

Just weeks after cutting air passenger duty for short-haul flights, in a move broadly dubbed hypocritical in light of national net-zero targets, the UK Government has announced up to £4.3m in additional funding for domestic flight routes.

Image: UNClimateChange flickr

Glasgow Climate Pact: The 7 key talking points from the new global deal at COP26

As the dust settles on COP26 in Glasgow, people are still getting to grips with the new Glasgow Climate Pact and what that means for the global climate movement. Here, edie outlines seven key talking points (not all of them bad) from this historic new announcement.

Regardless of language, nations will likely be asked to submit new 2030 actions plans next year. Image: UNClimateChange

Updated COP26 draft plan waters down key language on fossil fuels and NDCs

With negotiations scheduled to finish later today (12 November) at COP26, a new draft plan has been unveiled with subtle yet important changes, such as "requesting" that nations submit updated climate plans by the end of 2022, but has watered down facets on fossil fuels.

Image: UNClimateChange flickr

Fossil fuel phase-outs and new climate action plans remain in COP26 final draft, with strings attached

COP26 President Alok Sharma had unveiled a final draft proposal for negotiations, with key measures to raising climate ambitions by the end of 2022 and the phase-out of "inefficient" fossil fuel subsidies surviving in the texts.

The Youth Council was unveiled at COP26

Activists in the boardroom: The Body Shop's Youth Council on the future of sustainable business

At COP26, the Body Shop explored how a youth council could ensure that younger generations had their voices and issues heard by decision makers. Here, edie summarises what this youth council wants to see from businesses moving forward.

The documents set up a tense negotiating period at Glasgow

COP26 draft plan: Countries urged to submit and strengthen climate plans

The COP26 Presidency Unit has published the draft "cover decision" of negotiations at the summit so far, calling on nations to "revisit and strengthen" their 2030 climate targets by the end of 2022 in order to keep any chance of reaching the 1.5C pathway of the Paris Agreement alive.

Image: HM Treasury. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/hmtreasury/51632672881/in/album-72157720073583763/

COP26: Rishi Sunak vows to make UK 'world's first net-zero financial centre'

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has spoken of the UK's vision to help "rewire the global financial system fir net-zero" at the inance day of COP26 outlining plans on sovereign green bonds and corporate climate disclosures. 

UNEP found that governments plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than what would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5C

Nations on course to breach Paris Agreement targets through rising fossil fuel production

The world is on course to produce around 110% more fossil fuels than what is compatible with a 1.5C future, according to a new UN report warning that governments plan to double fossil fuel production by 2030 despite setting net-zero targets.

G20 leaders are meeting in Rome on October 30-31, ahead of COP26

Finance giants to G20 leaders: Close policy loopholes to end financing for activities that will derail net-zero

An alliance of finance giants collectively representing $90trn in assets is urging G20 nations to end fossil fuel subsidies, bolster carbon pricing and introduce new climate mandates for businesses, to ensure long-term net-zero pledges are credible.

More than 40% of the total $11.6trn in assets across PDBs is “highly dependent on vulnerable ecosystems” 

Banks linked to $800bn in annual nature destruction, report warns

A new report has warned that lending activities from public development banks is linked to around $800bn in annual damage to nature and ecosystems, according to a new report that is calling on banks to run stress tests on nature-related financial risks.

The letter calls for the immediate end to new coal power development

Business giants call on G20 to strengthen climate commitments

Some of the world's largest businesses, including Unilever, Netflix and Volvo, have written to the G20 calling on nations to strengthen climate targets and deliver on climate finance commitments in the build-up to COP26.

The two landmark announcements are a timely boost going into COP26

US doubles climate finance to $11bn as China pledges an end to overseas coal support

With less than two months to go until COP26, the world's two largest emitters - China and the US - have both announced landmark agreements that look set to bolster climate finance availability and drastically reduce the pipeline for overseas coal projects.

World leaders are set to discuss a global biodiversity framework next month, as part of virtual CBD negotiations

Investors call for stronger global biodiversity framework to be delivered at COP15

A group of investors worth more than $10.6trn in assets under management has issued a statement ahead of the Convention on Biological Diversity's COP15 next month, calling for heightened global action to end deforestation and ensure sustainable land use.

Tesco is expecting to see benefits in terms of improved soil quality, reduced water consumption and a boost for biodiversity

Tesco to subsidise more sustainable livestock feed for dairy farmers

Tesco is piloting a new scheme for UK-based dairy farmers, whereby they receive subsidies for growing more sustainable feed.

A decline in wind investments was offset by offerings from renewable energy firms

Renewable energy investments reach new heights for first half of 2021

Investment into clean energy projects and companies swelled to $174bn in the first half of 2021, with record levels of public market financing offsetting a decline in renewable project investments.

As hosts of COP26, the UK is expected to encourage, or indeed pressure, other nations to submit raised climate action plans ahead of COP26 this November

Almost half of world nations fail to submit updated climate plans ahead of COP26

A little over half of the world's nations have submitted updated climate action plans ahead of the crucial climate summit in Glasgow later this year, with the UK now pressing for the likes of China and India to outline decarbonisation plans.

Pictured: The San Juan Generating Station, one of the US's 241 coal-fired power plants

G20 nations have funnelled $3.3trn into fossil fuel subsidies since 2015, BNEF reveals

G20 member countries collectively allocated subsidies topping $3.3trn to the oil, coal, gas and fossil-fuelled electricity generation sectors between 2015 and 2019 - a level incompatible with the Paris Agreement.

The Strategy marks the first major review of the UK’s food system for 75+ years

National Food Strategy presses UK Government to clarify environmental incentives for farmers post-Brexit

With the food system accounting for 20% of the UK's domestic emissions and driving biodiversity loss, the Government must urgently clarify plans for implementing the Agriculture Bill and for preventing imports produced using lower environmental standards.

Policymakers are discussing the controversial reforms this week

Business reiterate Brazil boycott as nation urged to set deforestation-linked bonds

Nando's, Ocado and the Woolworths Group are the latest businesses to have signed a letter urging Brazilian policymakers to reject a new land-use proposal that could further spur deforestation in the Amazonian region, with a new report urging the nation to link efforts to combat deforestation to sovereign bonds.

Pictured: Drax's power plant in Selby, North Yorkshire

Stop subsidising Drax's biomass operations, UK's biggest green charities urge Government

Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and The Wildlife Trusts are among the coalition of green groups urging the UK Government to end subsidies for industrial-scale biomass projects, including Drax's power plant in North Yorkshire.

More and more companies are linking the performance against sustainability targets to loans and bonds

HP and JBS issue sustainability-linked bonds to drive towards net-zero

The world's largest protein producer, JBS, has announced the issuance of a $1bn sustainability-linked bond tied to net-zero targets, while technology firm HP has unveiled its sustainable bonds framework.

Low Carbon Hub believes that surplus energy produced from Ray Valley Solar will create more than £10m of community benefit funding

UK’s largest community-owned solar park to come online next year

The Ray Valley Solar project in Oxford is expected to come online next autumn, after Triodos Bank confirmed lending for what is expected to be the UK’s largest community-owned solar park.

Pictured: A semi-submersible oil rig off the coast of Aberdeenshire 

'Unlawful and irrational': UK Government taken to court over oil and gas subsidies

Environmental campaigners have launched a legal challenge against the UK Government, arguing that its continued support for expanding oil and gas production in the North Sea is incompatible with its climate laws and commitment to 'levelling up'.

The global biodiversity funding gap could surpass $824bn by 2030, Global Canopy warns

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.

Environment ministers want more done to guarantee renewable production and to support local businesses in the hydrogen supply chain

Five EU countries object to bloc's latest hydrogen 'manifesto'

Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain have issued a joint letter calling on the EU to clearly prioritise renewable energies under an EU-led project aiming to accelerate hydrogen deployment, research and infrastructure.

The latest draft text, obtained by EURACTIV, “significantly weakens the priority given to renewable hydrogen,”

Renewable or 'low-carbon'? EU countries face off over hydrogen

EU member states are fighting over which type of hydrogen to support, with two opposing camps facing off: those backing green hydrogen produced exclusively from renewable electricity, and those in favour of a broader "low-carbon" definition, which also includes nuclear power and decarbonised gases.

Greta Thunberg and other youth activists have vocally criticized the decision

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.

The end game, regardless, would be to achieve climate neutrality by 2050

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.

Once the new facility comes online, Amazon will be Ireland's largest corporate renewable energy purchaser. Image: Amazon Web Services

Amazon finances 115MW wind farm to power Irish data centres

Amazon has committed to source 100% of the power generated by a new 115MW onshore wind farm in County Galway, Ireland, as it strives to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2030.

Output over the three-month period was 19% higher than the previous peak

Report: Europe recorded record solar output amid Covid-19 lockdowns

Solar output in Europe hit a record high of 47.6TWh in the second quarter of 2020, new analysis from EnAppSys has shown.

GIG is aiming to improve the biodiversity at each site, with a Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment to be carried out on each project

Macquarie issues joint venture on 1GW solar and battery project pipeline

Macquarie's Green Investment Group (GIG) has announced a new UK joint venture with Enso Energy to create one of the largest solar and battery portfolios that will enhance the biodiversity on each project site.

Fossil fuel majors are believed to have received more than £2trn in finance since the Paris Agreement was ratified

Report: Global carbon budget will be exhausted in 15 years without fossil fuel finance overhaul

Without drastic action from banks, policymakers and regulators, the world risks becoming stuck in a "climate finance doom loop", whereby financial systems support the organisations contributing most to environmental changes which undermine their very security.

One key recommendation is the inclusion of “climate conditionalities” into stimulus packages that enable different-sized corporates to recovery through sustainable actions

Business leaders call for recovery packages to be tied to net-zero corporate targets

The chief executives from 40 global organisations including BP, Heathrow Airport, Shell and HSBC, have called on governments to focus economic recovery packages in ways that enable sectors and businesses to transition to low-carbon and resilient models of operation.

The CCC believes that the government can lead a shift to new social norms, including supporting home working and remote medical consultations as well as improved safety for cycling

CCC: Change tax systems to build green economic recovery post-coronavirus

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has advised Prime Minister Boris Johnson, COP26 President Alok Sharma and national first ministers across the UK, calling for climate action to be placed at the heart of an economic rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic.

Mighty Earth does note that some Governments and businesses are continuing to prioritise climate action as part of a stimulus response to the coronavirus

Airlines, automakers and fossil fuel firms blasted as 'coronavirus climate profiteers'

A new report has blasted the lobbying efforts of the airline, automaker, fossil fuel and logging industries, claiming that organisations are attempting to benefit from billion-pound bailouts in response to the coronavirus that enables them to carry on with climate-wrecking business practices.

The thinktank found that 46% of global coal plants will be running at a loss in 2020, rising to 52% by 2030

Nations risking 'uneconomic' coronavirus responses by prioritising coal, report warns

China, the US, India and European nations are at risk of being burdened with uneconomic, long-term plans to stimulate their economies in response to the coronavirus outbreak by focusing on new coal capacity, a new study from Carbon Tracker warns.

In total, 6.2GW of installed capacity was supported by FiTs between the scheme's launch in 2010 and closure in 2019

One year on: How has the solar feed-in-tariff closure impacted renewables in the UK?

The UK's Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme for small-scale renewable arrays closed on 1 April 2019, much to the disappointment of key green campaign groups and solar industry figures. But, in the 12 months that followed, how has the market responded?

The Chinese firm originally started out as a mobile phone battery manufacturer

BYD to offer electric vehicle components to auto rivals

Chinese automaker BYD has announced that it will "open its technology and products to the whole world" by sharing its electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing components with rivals and the rest of the industry, on the same week that it fully formed a joint research venture with Tesla.

Sunak has said that decarbonisation and nature protection will receive headline mentions in this week's Budget - but green groups have urged the Treasury to go further and faster. 

Budget: Green groups urge £33bn annual investment to meet UK's net-zero target

Ahead of Wednesday's (11 March) Budget, green groups have put forward their key asks for Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Here, edie rounds up the calls to action - including recent IPPR analysis claiming that £33bn more must be spent annually on decarbonisation to meet the 2050 net-zero target.

The Scout Moor Wind Farm (pictured) is England's second-largest onshore wind array - but the changes to policy could bolster the pipeline of developments in the coming months and years

Government announces major overhaul to UK's onshore wind subsidies

Updated: The UK Government has reversed its decision to effectively ban onshore wind, solar and energy storage from competing in the Contracts for Difference (CfD) rounds, following calls for a review to its renewables policy framework in light of the net-zero target.

Johnson’s preference to fill the Treasury with his own advisors suggests that he seeks more control over the spending decisions.

Cabinet reshuffle: Is the promised 'green budget' in doubt?

Earlier this week Chancellor Sajid Javid was said to be reviewing a string of new subsidies to assist with the UK's net-zero transition. With Javid today (13 February) resigning from the position, doubts have been caused as to whether the UK Government can prioritise the green economy in the March Budget.

The 7.3MW Creacombe community solar farm. Image: CORE

Subsidy-free community solar farm completed in Devon

In yet another boost to the UK's subsidy-free solar market, Community Owned Renewable Energy Partners (CORE) and Yealm Community Energy (YCE) have announced that a 7.3MW community solar farm has come online.

Javid will unveil his first Budget on 11 March. Image: Creative Britain, OGL v1.0

Reports: Budget to include new energy efficiency and EV subsidies to spur net-zero progress

Chancellor Sajid Javid is mulling a string of new subsidies to reduce building and transport emissions from homeowners and public sector organisations for next month's Budget, it has been reported.

According to the IPCC, humanity currently uses 72% of the Earth's ice-free land surface 

Convert half of UK farmland to nature, urges top scientist

Half of the nation's farmland needs to be transformed into woodlands and natural habitat to fight the climate crisis and restore wildlife, according to a former chief scientific adviser to the UK government.

It is the first of a pilot programme that will aim to add up to 6MWp of solar technology across four army sites in the UK over the next year

Plans submitted for subsidy-free solar farm at Gloucester army barracks

Plans have been submitted by a subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council to build a subsidy-free solar farm at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks in Gloucestershire that would generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 350 homes for the year.

The thinktank is calling for new measures to reach net-zero at the current 2050 deadline without spiralling costs or harming UK competitiveness

Net-zero by 2025 'practically impossible' due to spiralling costs, report finds

Moving the UK's net-zero emission target forward 25 years is "practically impossible", according to new thinktank research which found that setting a net-zero target for 2025 would cost £200bn each year at a minimum - more than the NHS's annual budget.

The report said it was crucial that workers in fossil fuel industries were helped into new employment as production ramped down

Fossil fuel production on track for double the safe climate limit

The world's nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas as can be burned in 2030 while restricting the rise in the global temperature to 1.5C, analysis shows.

Mission Possible: Achieving net-zero carbon in Utilities

Following the UK's world-leading commitment to reach net- zero emissions by 2050, this insight report investigates how the utilities sector can radically reduce carbon whilst enabling and empowering its customers to do the same.

In 2018, renewable energy growth reached 7.2%, its highest since 2010, but still accounts for less than 12% of the energy system

Global decarbonisation efforts 'stall', pushing climate goals out of reach

Global decarbonisation efforts will need to be seven times greater than current efforts, if the world is to stand a fair chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C, according to a new PwC report which found that the rate of global decarbonisation has slowed to its lowest level since 2011.

There are more than one million solar PV installations now in operation across the UK

Subsidy-free solar 'coming of age' thanks to battery technology

Subsidy-free solar projects are "coming of age" thanks to the falling costs and flexibility of co-located battery storage technology, according to a new report which claims that more than 5GW of solar capacity could be deployed in the UK without subsidies by 2030.

More than 2,600MW of onshore wind capacity came online in 2017

Scotland's first subsidy-free onshore windfarm to be operational by 2020

A 46MW onshore windfarm in Dumfries and Galloway, in south-west Scotland, has joined the race to become the first in the country to become operational without the support of Government subsidies.

 The freeze on fuel duty has saved motorists about £6bn since 2010, but is estimated to have increased traffic by 4%

Raise car fuel prices to fight air pollution, says right-wing thinktank

Vehicle fuel taxes should rise to combat the air pollution crisis in the UK, with an extra charge on diesel, according to the conservative thinktank Bright Blue.

These stories exemplify how businesses and governments across the world are ramping up efforts in all areas of sustainable development

Coors' plastic-free packaging and solar-powered trains: 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.

Jess has been at Little Freddie for just over a year and has previously worked in the food supply chain, environmental consultancy and environmental justice spaces

Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2019: Jess Ainley, Little Freddie

This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Next up: Jess Ainley, environmental & sustainability manager at organic baby food firm Little Freddie.

The subsidies for coal mining halved, from $22bn to $10bn

G20 nations triple coal power subsidies despite climate crisis

G20 nations have almost tripled the subsidies they give to coal-fired power plants in recent years, despite the urgent need to cut the carbon emissions driving the climate crisis.

Subsidies to restore woodlands and meadows would also boost wildlife, says Rewilding Britain

Rewild a quarter of UK to fight climate crisis, campaigners urge

A quarter of the UK's land could be restored to nature, making a significant contribution towards cutting the nation's carbon emissions to zero, under a new rewilding proposal.

The patent for the Dyson car shows an SUV/crossover vehicle design

Dyson unveils electric car blueprint

Plans for the first electric car from engineering firm and appliance maker Dyson have been unveiled as the firm looks to a 2021 sale date.

Onshore wind and solar developers have been unable access subsidies since the government closed the Renewables Obligation scheme to new applicants

Doubts raised over viability of 'subsidy-free' renewables

Senior figures from the energy and finance industries have declared doubts over the feasibility of building "subsidy-free" renewables at scale without some form of revenue stabilisation.

The plaintiffs are composed of groups representing communities in virgin forest areas of the EU and the US

European lawsuit on biomass rules threatens Drax plant

A coalition of environmental campaigners has launched a court bid to stop the European Commission treating forest grown wood as a renewable source of energy.

Reaching a target of more than 30% of electricity coming from offshore wind would also mean that 70% of Britain’s energy would be from renewable sources

Government throws its weight behind offshore wind power expansion

The government will throw its weight behind an expansion in the use of offshore wind power in the hope the renewable energy source will provide a third of the UK's electricity by 2030.

The two facilities will generate enough energy annually to power 18,000 homes (Pictured: Gridserve founder Toddington Harper)

Warrington Council moves towards energy self-sufficiency with major solar and storage deal

Two industrial-scale solar farms and a 27MW battery storage facility are set to be installed in York and Hull before the end of next year, after funding for the project closed today (28 February).

Sustainability experts from an array of businesses came together in London to discuss the potential solutions to energy and waste issues related to the circular economy

Circular roundtable: How can businesses accelerate the resource revolution?

Sustainability and corporate responsibility managers from a range of businesses recently gathered in London for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and EDF Energy, to discuss how organisations are stepping up efforts to accelerate a circular economy.

Progress on fossil fuel subsidies and coal has been too slow so far to reach global decarbonisation targets, the WRI has warned

Analysis warns of lack of progress on 2020 global emissions target

Removing coal from the global energy mix is taking too long, too many forests are still being destroyed, and fossil fuel subsidies are ongoing despite their distorting effect on the market, a new study has found.

The EU spent €55bn on fossil fuel subsidies in 2016, with the UK contributing €12bn

UK revealed as EU champion of fossil fuel subsidies

The UK spends the most of any EU nation on subsidising fossil fuels, according to a new report by the European Commission, which also found that EU-wide payments have failed to decrease despite the bloc's commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

MPs to examine environmental impact of UK's export credit agency

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has launched an inquiry into the sustainability efforts being made by UK Export Finance (UKEF), following claims that the body's financing of fossil fuels overseas is at odds with the aims set out in the UK's Clean Growth Strategy.


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