World leaders are failing to show enough ambition to tackle climate change, warns UK minister Alok Sharma, as prime minister Boris Johnson opens talks with energy company EDF on the construction of the £20 billion Sizewell C nuclear power station. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank links management pay to performance on environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) criteria, Tesco ditches 20 million plastic items from its Christmas range, and a £2.6 billion electric vehicle battery plant is to be built on an old coal-burning site. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief.
‘Not enough’ climate ambition shown from world leaders
The UK minister tasked with leading UN climate talks has said that world leaders are failing to show enough ambition.
Speaking at a virtual Climate Ambition Summit organised by the United Nations, UK and France, Alok Sharma was said “real progress” had been made and 45 countries had put forward new climate plans for 2030. However, he warned that these were not enough to prevent dangerous warming this century.
At the summit, which took place on the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, UN secretary general António Guterres urged every country to declare a climate emergency until the world has reached net zero carbon.
The move would require countries to step up their actions on greenhouse gas emissions urgently. An increasing number of governments have a target to reach net zero emissions by around the mid-century, but few have detailed plans on how to get there.
During the summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK is to become the first major industrialised nation to end all public funding of fossil fuel projects overseas.
More than £20 billion of oil and gas exports has been funnelled into overseas energy projects through trade promotion and export finance in the last four years. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this support will end “with very limited exceptions” before UN climate talks, COP26, to be hosted in Glasgow next November.
Green light for £20bn Sizewell C nuclear plant
The UK government has opened talks with energy firm EDF on the construction of the £20 billion Sizewell C nuclear power station.
The site in Suffolk could generate enough electricity for around seven per cent of the UK’s power demand.
The plant would be a near replica of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, which is Britain’s first new nuclear plant in more than two decades and is already being built by the French energy firm with backing from China’s CGN.
The Government said it would enter into negotiations with EDF – but any deal must be affordable and provide value for money, with the project having already proven controversial with protesters slamming its huge cost.
The ‘Stop Sizewell C’ campaign group has warned the site will divert investment from other green energy sources such as renewables and would damage tourism and nature in the area.
But EDF claims it will generate enough ‘always-on’ low-carbon electricity to power six million homes and create 25,000 jobs.
Deutsche Bank links management pay to sustainability targets
Deutsche Bank is to link management pay to performance on environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) criteria.
Germany’s largest bank said that from 2021, management pay would be tied to reaching targets on sustainable finance investments, on the sustainability ratings it receives from five leading ESG ratings agencies and on succeeding in reducing the bank’s own energy consumption.
Banks such as HSBC, BNP Paribas and UniCredit also have varying models in place that link pay to ESG, as more investors look to invest in companies that perform better on the sustainability.