Oil stocks plummet as plastic pollutes Med

Written by Lori Campbell on 2nd Nov 2020

Oil and gas giants in Europe have lost £324 billion in market value in 2020 so far as a report finds 200,000 tonnes of plastic is leaked into the Mediterranean Sea every year. Meanwhile, Barclays Bank has raised £400,000 through its second green bond, Primark commits to Net Zero by 2050 and the world’s largest investment banks are found to have lent more than £1.9 trillion linked to the destruction of ecosystems and wildlife last year. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief. 

European oil stocks lose £324 billion as renewables surge

Oil and gas giants in Europe have lost more than €360 billion (£324 billion) in market value this year while renewable energy stocks and technology companies focused on cleaner fuels have surged.

The widening gap in performance between the two groups highlights how investors are betting on a transition away from fossil fuels. Oil majors such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell are also dealing with a harsh downturn in crude prices and how to execute their own shift towards greener forms of energy.

The 16 oil and gas groups on Europe’s blue-chip Stoxx 600 index have taken a €364 billion (£328 billion), or 53 per cent, tumble in market value, according to data from Bloomberg.

BP, Shell, Repsol and Eni have lost around 60 per cent each this year in local currency terms, with peer Total losing around 50 per cent.

How renewables can make you money

More than 200k tonnes of plastic leak into the Med each year

Over 200,000 tonnes of plastic are being released into the Mediterranean Sea every year, according to a shocking new report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Microplastics are by far the greatest proportion of the great tide of waste entering the seas from 33 countries, making up 94 per cent of the total plastic leakage, and of that proportion, more than 50 per cent comes from vehicle tyre dust.

The report’s authors estimate in total there could be around 100 million tonnes of plastic littering the Mediterranean.

The report, titled Mare Plasticum: The Mediterranean finds Egypt contributes the most waste plastic, at around 74,000 tonnes a year, while Italy contributes waste totalling an estimated 34,000 tonnes a year, and Turkey adds 24,000 tonnes a year.

How to reduce your plastic use

Barclays raises £400m with second ‘green bond’

Barclays Bank has raised £400 million through the issue of its second green bond, which will be used to support climate-related products and initiatives.

The 2020 Green Bond, which matures in 2026, attracted strong investor interest and was oversubscribed five times, according to the bank. It will offer a yield of 1.7 per cent.

The funds raised will be used to finance or re-finance mortgages on energy efficient residential properties in England and Wales that were taken out within the last three years.

More than half the funds raised will be allocated to refinance Barclays’ Green Home Mortgage Product mortgages, which are offered to customers at a discount provided their property meets certain energy efficiency thresholds.

What are green bonds and why are they so popular? 


Banks lent £1.9tn linked to ecosystem and wildlife destruction in 2019

The world’s largest investment banks provided more than $2.6 trillion (£1.9 trillion) of financing linked to the destruction of ecosystems and wildlife last year, according to a new report.

Led by Wall Street giants Bank of America, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase, 50 top investment banks provided financial services to sectors driving mass extinctions and biodiversity loss worth more than the GDP of Canada in 2019, the analysis found.

It argues that financial institutions are unable to monitor and measure the impact of their activities on the natural world because of limited policies on protecting ecosystems that are critical to human life and livelihoods when providing loans or underwriting services.

The findings in the Bankrolling Extinction report were produced by portfolio.earth, a new initiative led by finance, economics and environmental experts to better understand the role of the finance industry in the destruction of the natural world.

How to invest in companies that make a positive impact on the planet, people and wildlife

Primark commits to Net Zero by 2050

Fashion giant Primark has signed the UN’s Fashion Charter, committing it to reducing emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050.

By joining the Charter, Primark commits to tackling emissions from across its entire value chain, including beyond its own operations, or ‘Scope 3 emissions’, which make up the vast majority of its carbon footprint.

In the coming months, the retailer must develop a decarbonisation pathway with support from the Science-Based Targets Initiative. Key focus areas will include raw materials, manufacturing, distribution and logistics and stores.

On distribution and logistics, Primark has already begun work to decrease its reliance on air freight as it says the “vast majority” of its products are sent by road or shipped. Its delivery trucks also have a ‘reverse logistics’ function with drivers collecting waste after delivering products, reducing miles travelled for Primark.

On store energy use, Primark established an internal Energy Reduction Group (ERG) in 2015, bringing together operational staff and energy experts. The Group has spearheaded numerous behaviour change campaigns and encouraged investments in more energy-efficient and automated technologies.

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