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Channel 4 announces it will host the UK’s first ever election climate change debate as Yorkshire Building Society launches a bond to help end youth homelessness. Meanwhile, private equity investor Foresight reaches £500m in funds under management, Coldplay puts touring on hold until it can make them ‘environmentally beneficial’, and Whitbread pledges to remove all ‘unnecessary’ single-use plastics by 2025.
Channel 4 to host UK’s first ever election climate change debate
Channel 4 is to host the first ever party leaders debate dedicated to discussing the climate crisis.
Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Greens have all committed to appearing on the one hour special dubbed ‘Emergency on Planet Earth’. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to confirm if he will take part in the historic debate.
The broadcaster has not confirmed a date but has told the parties that it could host the show any weeknight during its 7pm slot ahead of the December 12 election. Despite the channel being ‘open to all dates’ Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage have not yet responded to requests to take part.
Channel 4 said in a statement: “We will.. ask the leaders of the UK’s six largest parties what they intend to do about it [climate change] if they form the next government.”
Coldplay pauses touring until it can be ‘environmentally beneficial’
Coldplay has pledged to make any tour in support of its new album “actively beneficial” to the environment.
Frontman Chris Martin says the British group is waiting to tour its new album, Everyday Life, so it can ensure such a tour is carbon neutral. “Our next tour will be the best possible version of a tour like that environmentally,” said Martin. “We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon neutral. We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around so it’s not so much taking as giving?”
Coldplay is the latest music act to address the impact of touring on the environment. Singer Billie Eilish has announced plans to make her world tour “as green as possible” by banning plastic straws, encouraging fans to bring refillable water bottles and providing comprehensive recycling facilities.
Every venue on the tour, commencing next March, will feature the “Billie Eilish Eco-Village”, where fans can learn about their role in the climate crisis. Those who pledge to fight the climate emergency with the organisation Global Citizen can earn free tickets to the sold-out shows.
Yorkshire Building Society launches bond to help end youth homelessness
Yorkshire Building Society has launched a one-year ‘End Youth Homelessness’ (EYH) fixed rate bond.
EYH is a national movement of local charities working together to end youth homelessness in the UK. The society will make a one-off donation to EYH of 0.10 per cent of all balances held in the bonds after the account has been withdrawn from sale.
The bond will see savers receive 1.35 per cent interest fixed until 31 December 2020. Through the partnership, Yorkshire Building Society intends to help vulnerable young people to live independently by providing rental deposit guarantees, home essentials grants and dedicated support.
The society, which has been working with EYH since 2017, says that high rents and upfront costs associated with starting a tenancy can make it difficult for homeless young people to secure their own home. To date, the partnership has helped more than 355 young people into their own rented homes and has raised more than £730,000.
The limited issue bond can be opened with a minimum balance of £1,000. Interest is payable either monthly or annually and the maximum deposit for the account is £2 million. No access is allowed during the term of the bond.
Private equity investor Foresight reaches £500m in funds under management
Foresight Group, an independent infrastructure and private equity investor, has raised £500 million in funds in less than two years.
The group puts the success of its Foresight Capital Management Team down to the growing demand for environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) and sustainable investing, as well as predictable cash returns and lower market volatility.
Founded in 2017, the team manages two open-ended investment companies (OEICs). These are FP Foresight UK Infrastructure Income Fund (“FIIF”) and FP Foresight Global Real Infrastructure Fund (“GRIF”). FIIF focuses on renewable energy and infrastructure investment companies in the UK while GRIF invests in the publicly traded shares of companies that own or operate real infrastructure and renewable energy assets globally.
Whitbread to remove ‘unnecessary’ single-use plastics by 2025
Hospitality firm Whitbread has pledged to rid all 800 of its UK hotels and restaurants of unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025.
Whitbread has already removed more than four tonnes of single-use plastics from its premises by switching to paper straws. It will now target sauce sachets, nappy bags and textile packaging.
The firm owns Premier Inn, which looks set to reduce the equivalent of another 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools of plastic just by removing the plastic wrapping from staff uniform.
Whitbread commissioned a survey that found 58 per cent of the public have stopped using products and services from firms that are failing to set and deliver ambitious sustainability strategies. Three quarters (74 per cent) say more needs to be done by local businesses to improve sustainability.