Aviation aims to land net zero as Veganuary sets record: GWM news brief

Written by Lori Campbell on 3rd Feb 2020

The airline industry aims for ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050 as Veganuary sees a record number of people sign up. Meanwhile, global oil giants invest just three per cent of spending on renewables, digital wealth manager Nutmeg partners with Great Ormond Street Hospital to launch a Junior ISA that supports seriously ill children, and EQ investors joins Climate 100+ to put pressure on big companies to act on climate change.

 

Aviation chiefs commit to landing zero carbon plan

A coalition of UK aviation chiefs are to publicly commit to cutting the industry’s net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

The group Sustainable Aviation – which includes airlines, airport owners and aircraft manufacturers – plans to unveil the joint pledge at an event with the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, next Tuesday.

It is the sector’s most significant move so far in efforts to tackle climate change – although it is will raise questions about how one of the world’s most substantial carbon-emitting industries can meet this tough target.

The aviation industry is currently responsible for around two per cent of all global CO2 emissions. With no intervention it is on course to hit 22 per cent by 2050, according to campaign group Transport & Environment.

Executives from British Airways, easyJet, Virgin Atlantic, Heathrow Airport, Manchester Airports Group, Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce Holdings are expected to be among the signatories of the new pact.


How we can achieve net zero emissions


Veganuary hits record numbers

Veganuary – a global organisation where people try vegan in January – saw a massive 400,000 people sign up this year.

The figure is up from 250,000 in 2019, far outstripping the group’s target of 350,000.

Those taking part included rock legend Brian May, former Dragon Deborah Meadan and actor Rebecca Callard, all of whom have now committed to permanent diet changes. Hundreds of new plant-based products and menu items were also launched this January, reflecting the rising popularity of veganism.

Fast food giants KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King have all added vegan options, with sales of many exceeding all expectations. KFC sold one million vegan burgers in the first month they were on sale – equivalent to one being sold every three seconds since the launch on 2nd January. And according to Deliveroo, orders of vegan dishes almost doubled (up 78 per cent) compared to January 2019.

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Global oil giants invest only 3% of spending on renewables

Global oil giants – which are collectively responsible for half the world’s energy output – are investing just three per cent of their spending on renewable sources.

According to a new report by law firm CMS, fifteen of the world’s largest oil companies, including Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, and Saudi Aramco spent approximately $6.6 billion (£5 billion) of a combined $228 billion (£174 billion) into renewables in 2018.

European companies led the way in terms of investment, spending an average of 6.2 per cent per company, compared to 0.8 per cent from the rest of the world.

Spain’s Repsol, which aims to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050, was the highest ranking with 16.7 per cent invested in renewables in 2018.


Renewables top investors’ wish list for 2020


Nutmeg partners with Great Ormond Street Hospital for JISA launch

Digital wealth manager Nutmeg has partnered with Great Ormond Street Hospital to launch a Junior ISA that supports seriously ill children.

The Nutmeg Junior ISA is available in all three investment styles: socially responsible investing portfolios – for customers who want to invest in line with their values; fully managed – for customers looking for the reassurance of a discretionary investment management service to manage their child’s nest egg on a day-to-day basis; and fixed allocation – where technology-based portfolio management offers investment at a low cost.

A Nutmeg Junior ISA can be opened with just £100 and parents and guardians do not need to be existing Nutmeg customers.


What is an ISA and why do you need one?


EQ Investors signs up to climate change investing pact

Wealth manager EQ Investors has joined Climate Action 100+, the world’s largest group of investors by assets pressuring companies to act on climate change.

The initiative is aimed at pushing the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to take action on climate change.

Launched in 2017, Climate Action 100+ is a group of around 370 institutional investors that represents around $41 trillion (£31.4 trillion) in assets. The group pressures fossil fuel producers and other companies responsible for two-thirds of annual global industrial emissions to show how they will reduce carbon dioxide pollution. It has successfully pressured oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and BP to set targets to reduce emissions and disclose more data.

EQ’s Head of Impact Investing, Damien Lardoux, says: “Evidence of the impact of climate risk on investment portfolios is building rapidly and we’d encourage more companies to develop climate strategies in line with the 2016 Paris Agreement.”


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