Earth sizzles as Brits fear soaring energy bills

Written by Lori Campbell on 17th Jan 2022

Earth simmered to its sixth hottest year on record in 2021 as a third of Brits live in fear of rising energy bills they can’t afford. Meanwhile, a record $210bn (£153 billion) of climate bonds were certified last year, Tandem Bank is to buy consumer lender Oplo in a bid to become a “greener, fairer” digital bank, and luxury fashion house Burberry has agreed to link a £300 million loan to the performance of its sustainability targets. It’s the Good With Money weekly newsbrief.


Earth hits sixth warmest year on record

Earth simmered to its sixth hottest year on record in 2021, according to new data.

Scientists say the exceptionally hot year is part of a long-term warming trend that shows signs of accelerating.

Temperature measurements from US science agencies – NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – and a private measuring group show last year’s global temperature wasn’t far behind ultra-hot years 2016 and 2020.

Six different calculations found 2021 was between the fifth and seventh hottest year since the late 1800s. NASA said 2021 tied with 2018 for sixth warmest. It comes as separate research reveals world oceans hit record temperatures in 2021 for the sixth year running.

Gavin Schmidt, the climate scientist who heads NASA’s temperature team, said: “The long-term trend is very, very clear. And it’s because of us. And it’s not going to go away until we stop increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

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Third of Brits living in fear of energy bills they can’t afford

A third of UK adults expect their energy bills to rise to an unaffordable level this year, a survey has revealed.

Prime minister Boris Johnson, chancellor Rishi Sunak and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, are currently reviewing ways to reduce the impact of rising energy costs, which could see bills go up by half to almost £2,000 a year from April.

A YouGov survey of 1,774 adults conducted on January 6 and 7 showed that 86 per cent expected their gas and electricity bills to increase in the year ahead.

Some 67 per cent of voters said they were worried about rising prices, while 59 per cent supported using tax revenue to limit the rise in gas and electricity bills which is expected when the energy price cap is reviewed in April.

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Record £153bn of climate bonds certified in 2021

A record $210bn (£153 billion) of climate bonds were certified in 2021,  helping to unlock a wave of fresh investment into the net zero transition.

The milestone was announced by the Climate Bonds Initiative, which said bonds, loans, and other debt instruments certified under its most rigorous science-based scheme had now been issued by over 220 businesses, financial firms, and governments across 40 countries worldwide.

Green bonds meeting the standard must ensure their revenues are invested in projects consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 2C global warming pathway, so that issuers “genuinely contribute to addressing climate change”, the UK-based bonds tracking agency said.

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Tandem Bank buys consumer lender Oplo

Tandem Bank has agreed to acquire fast-growing consumer lender Oplo as part of its bid to create a “greener, fairer” digital bank.

The combined business will have £1.2 billion of total assets – including £230 million in green lending – £1 billion of funding and a growing customer base of over 171,000 customers serviced by a UK-based team of 500 people.

The acquisition will also broaden Tandem’s product offering across a range of consumer lending products including mortgages, home improvement loans, car finance and personal lending.

When the deal completes, which is expected to be at the end of January, the combined business will have offices in London, Blackpool, Cardiff, Durham and Manchester.


Burberry links £300m loan to sustainability targets

Burberry has agreed to link a £300 million loan to the performance of its sustainability targets, including a headline goal of becoming climate positive by 2040.

The luxury fashion house has agreed with Lloyds Bank to refinance its Revolving Credit Facility to cover the  sustainability-linked loan. The loan will be linked to its performance against a host of sustainability initiatives.

The business will attempt to become climate positive by 2040 by reducing emissions across its extended supply chain by 46 per cent by 2030, a move that goes beyond its pre-existing net-zero target.



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