Environment news: 28th August
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Environment & COP26
Sir Ed Davey has been announced as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. Davey has a strong track record on promoting green policies, once stating his favourite piece of legislation would be a law on energy conservation to tackle climate change. He has also questioned the profits of the energy companies on gas, especially British Gas, which are around three times that of the margins on electricity. Read more about his appointment here.
The Institute of Development Studies has been looking into practical approaches and policy priorities to tackling the global water crisis ahead of COP26. Policy experts have been discussing the need for a more holistic, circular approach to water and climate change, and how practical tools such as water accounting, computer based-modelling, and drought and flood planning can help protect the most vulnerable. Read more about the research here.
DEFRA has revealed plans to clamp down on illegal deforestation and protect rainforests. Proposals to clean up the UK’s supply chains would prohibit larger businesses operating in the UK from using products grown on land that was deforested illegally. Businesses would also have to carry out due diligence on their supply chains by proving that they produced key commodities in line with local forest conservation laws. Read more about the plans here.
A new WWF survey has revealed that two thirds of the UK public want the government to do more to tackle the destruction of the Amazon. A further 81% called for greater transparency of the origin of UK imports, and three quarters said the UK should stop trading with countries that fail to protect the natural environment. This comes as more than 20,000 fires were detected in the Amazon in August this year – an increase of 33% since last year. Read more about the survey here.
The DfT has published its latest report on public attitudes towards current, emerging and future transport technologies. It reveals that knowledge and awareness of EVs has risen 72% among the general public, the highest level recorded to date. The survey also found that 18% are most likely to buy a hybrid vehicle next time, and 8% intended to buy a fully electric vehicle (an increase from previous years). Read the full report here.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey has outlined plans compelling trustees to assess and report on the financial risks of climate change within their pension portfolios. Subject to a forthcoming consultation, pension schemes with £5bn or more in assets will have to publish climate risk disclosures by the end of 2022. Climate change risks a significant impact on pension schemes' assets and also returns for savers. Read more about the plans here.
The Local Government Association has published a report outlining how local councils can support a green economic recovery. The report seeks to address how electric charging infrastructure in particular can help councils to transition their vehicle fleet. It argues that further investment must come from local government to support this transition and meet climate targets. Read the full report here.
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