UK to miss climate target as green bonds boom

Written by Lori Campbell on 4th Jan 2021

The UK is set to miss its 2030 emissions target, warns climate thinktank Green Alliance, as investors prepare for a green bond boom in 2021. Meanwhile, London start-up YAYZY launches an app that tracks spending to calculate an individual’s personal carbon footprint, Germany commits to 65 per cent renewable power by 2030, and Nando’s, Burger King, KFC and Pizza Express join forces to plot a roadmap to net zero for the industry. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief. 

UK set to miss emissions targets, warns climate thinktank

UK plans announced in 2020 add up to less than a quarter of the emissions cuts needed to achieve a 2030 climate target, reveals a new report.

The analysis by charity and independent thinktank Green Alliance claims the government is yet to announce policy that would achieve the ambitious 75 per cent emissions reduction.

It argues that policies needed now to close the gap must include commitments to restore up to 60 per cent of peatlands, raise energy efficiency standards for new homes and mandate car manufacturers to produce an increasing proportion of electric vehicles every year.

The analysis also says government spending should follow suit to achieve UK climate goals. Green Alliance calculates that it will take an extra £22.7 billion every year on top of the £21 billion already committed until the end of this parliament in 2024.

£365 billion green bond boom set for 2021

Governments and companies are expected to issue $500 billion (£365 billion) in green bonds in 2021 as part of a sustainable recovery from the coronavirus.

The figure, estimated by Swedish bank SEB, is nearly half the total that has been raised in the history of green bonds. In the first 11 months of 2020, global borrowers sold $270 billion (£197 billion) of the debt. While green bonds still represent a sliver of the overall debt market, they are an increasingly popular tool for companies to fund projects that are more environmentally friendly.

Christopher Flensborg, head of climate and sustainable finance at SEB, said they are an important way of dragging banks into the climate fight. “You’re basically empowering the finance sector to start competing on the climate change issue,” he said. “And if that is not an impact, I don’t know what it is.”

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‘Fitbit for carbon’ app launches

London startup YAYZY has launched an app that tracks spending to calculate an individual’s personal carbon footprint. It allows people to see the impact of their purchases on climate change in real-time.

The app enables users to connect their spending to its impact on the planet, making it easier for them to lower their carbon emissions.

Mankaran Ahluwalia, CEO and co-founder of YAYZY, said: “It is clear from a plethora of surveys that the majority of people want to address climate change before it is too late, but that a huge intention/action gap blocks much of it. Our solution with YAYZY is to make environmental impact up close and personal and the action to tackle it super easy, all via your phone.”

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Germany commits to 65% renewable power by 2030

Germany has committed to 65 per cent of its total electricity demand being met by renewable power within the next decade.

An agreement within Germany’s governing coalition was reached after months of fighting over how high the target should be and how it should be designed. A compromise was found after all 27 EU governments agreed to a new more ambitious emissions reduction target of 55 per cent by 2030 last month.

The amended law can now take effect as planned this month. That start date was important because 20-year feed-in tariffs to many renewable plants are scheduled to finish at the end of January. The new renewable energy law will replace those feed-in tariffs with auctions for renewed support as of 2022.

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UK’s biggest restaurants team up to plot roadmap to net zero

Nando’s, Burger King, KFC and Pizza Express have joined a new hospitality coalition that is plotting a new roadmap to net zero for the industry.

The Zero Carbon Forum will collectively develop a pathway to net-zero for the UK’s hospitality sector, to be published by September 2021. The deadline is yet to be confirmed but will be more ambitious than the national 2050 vision.

The forum is supported by trade associations UK Hospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and MP Andrew Griffith, who was recently appointed the UK’s net-zero business champion for the COP26 climate talks.

It is hoped that the roadmap will receive sweeping support ahead of COP26 in November 2021, where it could be offered to hospitality players in other nations.

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