Hitting COP26 goals ‘tough’ as gas firms seek bailout

Written by Lori Campbell on 20th Sep 2021

Edit November 2021: Please note that Bulb has now gone into ‘special administration’ in the UK because of the energy crisis that has sent wholesale gas prices soaring.


Getting world leaders to commit to crucial COP26 finance goals is proving “tough,” admits Boris Johnson, as struggling gas firms seek a taxpayer bailout amid soaring energy prices. Meanwhile, fossil fuel firms are suing governments around the world as climate policies threaten their profits, ethical bank Triodos hits its £2 million target for Highlands rewilding bond offer Trees for Life in record time, and renewables firm Thrive sets its sights on net zero. It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief.

Meeting COP26 finance goals proving “tough”, warns PM

There is a “six out of 10” chance of getting other countries to sign up to financial and environmental targets ahead of November’s key COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Johnson is currently in the US for a UN meeting where he will urge leaders to take “concrete action” on the climate crisis.

G7 countries promised more than a decade ago at the Copenhagen summit to make $100 billion (£73 billion) in private and public finance available to developing countries, to help them transition to low-carbon technologies and cope with extreme weather.

Asked if he thought that total could be reached this week, Johnson said: “Getting it all this week is going to be a stretch. Getting it all done by COP, six out of 10. It’s going to be tough.”

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Gas firms seek bailout amid soaring energy prices

The government is considering offering emergency taxpayer-backed loans to struggling gas firms as energy bills are set to soar for customers.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will hold crisis talks with industry bosses including from Centrica and E.On today (Monday).

High demand for gas and reduced supply are behind a surge in wholesale prices. Consumers are protected from sudden hikes through the government’s energy price cap, which is the maximum price they can be charged.

But that also means energy firms are unable to pass on higher wholesale costs to their customers, which is forcing some companies to go out of business. The UK’s sixth largest energy company, Bulb, is seeking a bailout, while four smaller firms are expected to go bust in the coming days as a result.

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Fossil fuel firms sue governments as climate policies threaten profits

Fossil fuel companies are suing governments across the world for more than $18 billion (£13 billion) as climate policies threaten their profits.

Five energy firms, including two from the UK, are using a legal process that allows commercial entities to sue governments under international laws governing trade agreements and treaties.

Triodos hits £2m target for Trees for Life rewilding in record time

Triodos Bank UK and charity Trees for Life hit their £2 million fund raise target to support the world’s first rewilding centre in the Scottish Highlands in just 48 hours.

The ambitious project between Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye will showcase action on the nature and climate emergencies, creating green jobs, and provide inspiring visitor experiences.

The offer was Triodos’s fastest-ever crowdfund to reach £2 million. The average investment size was £4,800, with eight per cent of investors based in Scotland. Triodos is a Good With Money ‘Good Egg’ firm.

Meanwhile, Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust (SLIPIT) is working with KF Forestry and Kilrie Trees on an ecological restoration project in the Cairngorms National Park. The aim is to restore woodland and peatland over the 1,440 hectares, planting over 1.5 million trees while helping SLIPIT to reduce its carbon emissions.

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Thrive targets net zero by 2030

Good With Money ‘Good Egg’ firm Thrive Renewables has pledged to hit net zero by the end of the decade as part of B Corp’s Climate Collective.

Thrive’s wind, solar and hydro projects have saved over 835,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the last 26 years, supporting the UK’s journey to net zero. Its direct carbon emissions are already low, at 2.6 tonnes in 2020 – an average individual’s carbon footprint is 10.4 tonnes per year.

Now the renewables firm is on a mission to go further to help power the transition to a sustainable future. It will calculate and address its indirect emissions, which are those that come from the construction and operation of its renewable energy projects.

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