British households face a £3.2 billion bill for energy suppliers that have gone bust in the worst energy crisis for 20 years, as a report warns the UK is ‘nowhere near’ meeting climate targets agreed at the COP26 summit. Meanwhile, dozens of major fashion brands have been linked to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, Morrisons is to feed its chickens with insects to produce carbon neutral eggs, and a liquid hydrogen-powered plane capable of flying non-stop to America’s west coast is in development. It’s the Good With Money weekly newsbrief.
UK households face £3.2bn bill for collapsed energy suppliers
British households face a bill of around £120 each for rescuing Bulb and the other 24 electricity and gas suppliers that have gone bust in the recent energy crisis, a new report reveals.
The research by Investec says that Bulb’s collapse, which required a government bailout of £1.7 billion, pushed the total bill for consumers to rescue suppliers that have failed since August to £3.2 billion.
The estimate is a 60 per cent increase on the bank’s last forecast earlier this month. Campaigners are calling for an urgent inquiry into the sector’s worst crisis for 20 years, which has affected nearly four million households.
Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive of trade body Energy UK, said “we certainly need a full examination of regulation and policy in this area” once “some stability hopefully returns to the market.
UK ‘nowhere near’ meeting COP26 targets
The UK is “nowhere near” meeting emissions targets enshrined at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, official advisers have warned.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) says that, at current rates, the UK will be contributing to a catastrophic temperature rise of 2.7C by 2100.
It says this could – in theory – be brought down to just under 2C, but this could only happen if the Government agrees tougher policies, and if other countries slash their emissions too.
The committee’s chief executive, Chris Stark, said: “The government is nowhere near achieving current targets. If it sets tougher targets that will simply widen the gap between ambition and delivery. What we really need is to strengthen delivery – and show the world that it can be done.”
Ministers insist that the UK will meet all its climate change targets.
Major fashion brands linked to Amazon deforestation
Dozens of major fashion brands have links to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, according to a new report into complex global supply chains.
The research, which analysed nearly 500,000 rows of customs data, found that brands including Coach, LVMH, Prada, H&M, Zara, Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Teva, UGG and Fendi have multiple connections to an industry that props up Amazon deforestation.
More than 50 brands have multiple supply-chain links to the largest Brazilian leather exporter JBS, which is known to engage in Amazon deforestation. JBS recently made a commitment to achieve zero deforestation across its global supply chain by 2035, something environmental groups have called insufficient.
Morrisons feeds chickens insects for carbon neutral eggs
Morrisons is switching soya-based chicken feed with insects to produce carbon neutral eggs.
Cambridge start-up Better Origin will provide insect ‘mini farms’ as feed for 10 of Morrison’s egg suppliers. The 320,000 free-range hens will also be fed a supplementary diet of British beans, peas and sunflower seeds.
The automated farms housed in shipping containers are run on artificial intelligence and will produce insects fed on waste from Morrisons’ fruit and vegetable processing site in Yorkshire in a “circular agriculture” scheme.
The supermarket, the UK’s fourth largest, aims to start selling its carbon neutral eggs laid by insect-fed chickens in 2022. It comes after Morrisons pledged to start selling carbon-neutral beef by 2025 and become completely net zero by 2030 earlier this year.
Plans for transatlantic hydrogen-powered planes take flight
A liquid hydrogen-powered plane capable of making a non-stop zero carbon transatlantic flight is in development.
The plane is being built through the £15 million Government-funded FlyZero project led by the Aerospace Technology Institute, based at Cranfield, Bedfordshire.
The midsize aircraft is designed to carry 279 passengers at the same speed and comfort as today’s airliners. It is hoped it could fly from London to San Francisco on the west coast of the US without stopping, or from London to New Zealand with one refuelling stop.
Cranfield has already played a leading role in developing zero-carbon alternatives for the aviation industry. The world’s first flight by a “commercially available aircraft” powered by hydrogen fuel cells took place at Cranfield Airport in September 2020.
Meanwhile, United Airlines has become the world’s first airline to operate a passenger flight with one engine running on 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel.