UN climate report to be bleak as pensions fund forest loss

Written by Lori Campbell on 28th Feb 2022

A major new United Nations report is set to send the starkest warning yet on the impacts of climate change on people and planet, as £300 billion of UK pension money is found to be funding deforestation. Meanwhile, Bitcoin emits a similar level of carbon emissions as the entire country of Greece, according to a new report, HSBC pledges to cut emissions linked to its oil and gas loans by 34 per cent this decade, and Tesco becomes the first British supermarket to ban the sale of plastic baby wipes. It’s the Good With Money weekly newsbrief. 


UN report to paint bleak picture of climate change

A new United Nations report is set to send the starkest warning yet about the impacts of climate change on the planet and all living things.

The study, the second in a series of three major reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is the latest large-scale review of climate science. These take place every six or seven years for governments.

It is being published today, just over 100 days after the COP26 summit agreed to step up action to try and limit global warming to 1.5C to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.

The first in the series of reports was described as a “code red for humanity” by UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres when it was released last summer.


Billions of UK pension money invested in deforestation

Billions of pounds of UK savers’ money is funding deforestation, according to a new report.

Make My Money Matter (MMMM), led by filmmaker Richard Curtis, warns the pensions industry should be “put on red alert” after it found that £2 in every £10 invested in an average UK pension is linked to forest loss.

The campaign group estimated that British pension holders unknowingly have £300 billion invested in around 6,500 in companies that are – directly or indirectly – helping destroy natural ecosystems and habitats, drive climate change and impact indigenous communities.

“This is bad for the planet, risky for returns and goes against the values of UK savers,” said Mr Curtis.

Globally 30 football pitches’ worth of forest are cut down every minute, according to World Resources Institute.

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Bitcoin’s climate impact ‘comparable to Greece’, says report

Bitcoin emits around the same level of carbon emissions as the entire country of Greece, according to a new report.

The findings contradict other studies that found the cryptocurrency’s reliance on fossil fuels had fallen since a crackdown on it being mining in China last year.

The latest report ‘Revisiting Bitcoin’s Carbon Footprint‘, published in the journal Joule, reveals the share of renewables that power the cryptocurrency’s network decreased from 41.6 per cent to 25.1 per cent following China’s clampdown.

It showed Bitcoin is emitting around 65.4 megatonnes of CO2 annually, which is comparable to country-level emissions in Greece.

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HSBC pledges 34% oil and gas emissions cut by 2030

Britain’s biggest lender HSBC aims to cut emissions associated with loans made to its oil and gas clients by 34 per cent this decade.

More than 100 banks have pledged to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. They are under pressure to provide details on shorter-term cuts to “financed emissions” that are desperately needed if banks are to meet their goal.

“This is rewiring the way we make financing and investment decisions from here on in,” Group Chief Sustainability Officer Celine Herweijer said of HSBC’s 2030 targets.

HSBC is a major lender to corporate clients across Asia and some of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies. Its new target is expected to set the tone for other banks in the region, most of which have yet to release net zero goals.

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Tesco bans sale of plastic baby wipes in first for UK supermarkets

Tesco is to become the first UK supermarket to ban the sale of baby wipes containing plastic.

Some Huggies and Pampers products are among those that will no longer be sold in Tesco stores across the country as of March, as part of the company’s pledge to cut plastic use.

The supermarket is the UK’s largest supplier of wet wipes, selling around 75 million packs a year or more than 200,000 a day.

The move follows its decision to make its own-brand wipes plastic-free two years ago, which instead contain plant-based viscose which breaks down quicker in landfill. Tesco will also stock wipes manufactured by eco-friendly brands such as Waterwipes and Rascal + Friends.

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