Climate raised bushfires risk by THIRD as £12bn invested in electric fleets

Written by Lori Campbell on 9th Mar 2020

The first report into the Australian bushfire crisis reveals climate change raised the risk of it happening by at least a THIRD, as British companies are set to invest £12 billion in the switch over to electric vehicle fleets. Meanwhile, eight in 10 Brits admit having ‘no idea’ how green their home is, Wealthify launches fully digital pension and Ikea slashes its global emissions while simultaneously growing the business. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief. 

Climate change raised Australia bushfire risk by a third

Climate change raised the risk of the hot, dry weather that caused the Australian bushfires by at least 30 per cent, reveals the first scientific assessment into the crisis.

The study, by the World Weather Attribution consortium, also shows that if global temperatures rise by 2C, which is now likely, such conditions would occur at least four times more often.

During the 2019-2020 fire season in Australia, record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought fuelled a series of massive bushfires across the country.

At least 33 people were killed and more than 11 million hectares (110,000 sq km or 27.2 million acres) of bush, forest and parks across Australia burned.

UK companies to invest £12bn in switch to electric vehicles

British companies are set to spend more than £12bn switching their fossil fuel vehicle fleets for clean electric versions over the next two years.

A survey found that nearly half of UK businesses are planning to invest in chargeable cars and vans in advance of the government’s ban on sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035.

The Treasury is expected to accelerate the switch in this week’s budget by signalling an end to a decade of freezes on fuel duty for millions of drivers, as part of plans to meet tougher climate laws.

Sales of electric vehicles are climbing quickly but official figures show that they still accounted for only 2 per cent of new car registrations last year.

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Eight in 10 Brits have ‘no idea’ how green their home is, finds new study

Eight in 10 Brits admit having ‘no idea’ how green their home is, according to a study.

Nearly half (44 per cent) don’t know what an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating is, despite the efficiency grade being commonplace for 13 years.

It also emerged that 49 per cent of adults aren’t worried about the impact of their personal carbon footprint. Most haven’t yet made significant purchases to change their lifestyle, with 98 per cent of drivers not currently driving electric cars. And less than one in 10 (seven per cent) have installed solar panels on their home in a bid to go greener.

The study was commissioned by Nationwide, which has pledged to make £1 billion available in new mortgages, offering preferential rates for EPC A-rated homes.

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Wealthify launches fully digital pension

Online investment platform Wealthify has entered the pensions market with a 100 per cent digital self-invested personal pension (Sipp).

The Wealthify personal pension offering allows savers to set their own level of investment risk as well as giving them the option to invest in ethical funds. Wealthify’s investment team will then choose the investments and build the pension based on the client’s selected level of risk.

Wealthify pre-funds the tax relief from the government so individuals do not have to wait for HM Revenue & Customs to pay it in.

The minimum initial investment is £50 and there is an annual fee of 0.6 per cent for managing the investments. The Sipp will be available both on an app and online dashboard where individuals will be able to see what their funds are invested in as well as how the investments are performing.

Wealthify has partnered with Embark Group, which is providing the technology and retirement solution to run the Sipp.

Find out how to make sense of your pension savings, and change them for Good, in our Good Guide to Pensions

Ikea slashes global emissions as business grows

Ikea has recorded a consistent decrease in its total carbon footprint while expanding its business at the same time.

The world’s largest furniture retailer revealed in its latest sustainability report that its global carbon footprint across all operations decreased 4.3 per cent during the 2019 fiscal year. During the same period, sales grew by 6.5 per cent as the firm continued to expand.

Ikea aims to use 100 per cent renewable energy across its global operations by 2030, with an interim aim for 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025.

Ikea sources its renewable electricity through a combination of onsite generators – like the solar roof at its new Greenwich store, an 18,240-panel rooftop solar panel on its Industry production unit in Portugal and an innovative solar cooling system at its Alexandra store in Singapore – and through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with external projects.

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