UK halfway to Co2 goal as Charles makes water pledge

Written by Lori Campbell on 22nd Mar 2021

Britain is halfway to hitting its 2050 goal of achieving carbon neutrality as Prince Charles aims to bring sustainable water sources to 50 million people across Africa and South East Asia by 2030. Meanwhile, investors can now check how well their investments are aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement thanks to a new feature from green app Sugi, electric trucks and hydrogen buses get £54 million in government funding, and Brits are being urged to tackle the 16 million plastic bottles still not being recycled every day. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief. 

Britain halfway to hitting 2050 target on carbon emissions

Britain is halfway towards its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, as the Prime Minister prepares to put pressure on other nations to commit to the same target.

Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 13 per cent last year, bringing them to their lowest level in nearly 150 years. Greenhouse gases have also fallen by 51 per cent against the government’s baseline for measuring net zero progress.

A reduction in car traffic and industrial activity during lockdowns led to emissions falling at the fastest rate in 30 years.

An analysis of emissions shows 306 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were released in Britain in 2020, the lowest since 1879 apart from 1926 when the general strike saw emissions plummet.

The closure of coal-fired power stations is the largest contributing factor to the long-term decline. In 1990, coal supplied 67 per cent of Britain’s energy compared with just 1.6 per cent last year.

Prince Charles to bring sustainable water to 50 million people

Prince Charles has pledged to bring reliable and sustainable water sources to 50 million people by 2030 as part of a new initiative.

The Resilient Water Accelerator will bring together governments, the private sector, development banks and agencies to help fast-track finances towards protecting vital water services from climate and health threats.

Six locations, to be selected by September, will be identified in Africa and South East Asia for the project, where new approaches to tackling the issues of pollution, rising ‘water-stress’ and decreasing supplies can be tested. Work on the ground is expected to begin next January.

The accelerator is part of Charles’s Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), supported by the World Economic Forum, which aims to help financial markets become more sustainable.

Its launch follows a pledge at the SMI’s Roundtable on Water in London at a summit organised by development charity WaterAid to work towards increasing finance for climate-resilient water programmes, with a task force established to put this into action.

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Sugi app launches new climate ‘temperature’ feature

A new feature on green app Sugi enables investors to check the temperature alignment of their portfolios for the first time.

Users of the app can now check the warming potential of their personal investments and whether they are aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement’s 2°C target.

Through Open Finance technology, Sugi connects to more than 80 investment platforms, covering most of the UK online investing market. By connecting one or more portfolios on the Sugi app, investors can view their overall portfolio ‘temperature’.

Sugi’s portfolio temperature feature uses data from S&P Global Trucost to calculate results from 4,400 global listed companies and all the major global indices.

The goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2°C – and preferably to 1.5°C – compared to pre-industrial levels. Exceeding 2°C risks uncontrollable global warming, with catastrophic and irreversible effects on the planet.

According to Sugi, most investment portfolios are aligned with around 3°C of global warming.

Electric trucks and hydrogen buses get £54m boost

Three UK projects designed to slash emissions from the road transport sector have been awarded a combined £54 million in new funding, as part of government plans to fast-track the rollout of zero emission trucks and buses.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the projects in Cwmbran, Warwickshire, and Ballymena could secure nearly 10,000 jobs and cut emissions by 45 million tonnes.

He said: “The UK is leading the world by developing cutting edge technology that will help to tackle climate change and lead to a green, competitive future for our automotive supply chain. These projects will not only help accelerate the wider application of greener technology in lorries and buses, but will also help generate the high-skilled jobs to level up communities across the UK while ensuring we build back greener from the pandemic.”

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Brits urged to tackle 16m plastic bottles not recycled every day

Brits are being urged to take drastic action to tackle the 16 million plastic bottles that are still not being recycled every day, and instead end up in landfill or washing up on beaches.

To mark World Water Day yesterday, Friends of the Earth and City to Sea teamed up to ask that more people reuse, refill and recycle their plastic bottles to cut their waste.

The campaign calls on politicians to increase drinking water fountains and introduce a deposit return scheme. Around 14 billion plastic bottles were estimated to be bought in the UK in 2018 – and around half contain water.

City to Sea’s Refill app lets people know where their nearest water fountain is to make it easier to refill rather than buy another bottle.

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