Heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles signal faster and more abrupt climate breakdown, warn scientists, as the Chancellor prepares to reveal the Spring mini-Budget on Wednesday amid soaring living costs. Meanwhile, Unilever trials a groundbreaking blockchain system that digitally tracks palm oil across its supply chain, the EQ Foundation launches a new fund to help people affected by the war in Ukraine, and three funds by Triodos Investment Management join The Big Exchange. It’s the Good With Money weekly newsbrief.
Heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles alarm climate scientists
Heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles are causing alarm among climate scientists who warn the “unprecedented” events could lead to faster and more abrupt climate breakdown.
Temperatures in Antarctica reached record levels at the weekend, an astonishing 40C above normal in some places.
Meanwhile, weather stations near the north pole showed temperatures reaching 30C above normal. These levels are normally only seen far later in the year.
At this time of year, the Antarctic should be rapidly cooling after its summer with days slowly starting to get longer. It is unprecedented for both poles to show such heating at the same time.
Chancellor to announce Spring mini-Budget
The Chancellor is expected to lay out the sheer scale of the cost-of-living crisis facing Brits when he delivers his Spring mini-Budget on Wednesday.
Energy bills, National Insurance and inflation are all rocketing, outstripping any benefits, pension and wage rises and putting a tight squeeze on UK households. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is expected to make inflation soar above already high predictions.
Rishi Sunak is said to be looking at cutting fuel duty by five pence a litre, and raising the National Insurance threshold to take some of the lowest-paid Brits out of the soon-to-be-hiked tax.
There are also suggestions that he could increase the £150 council tax rebate or the £200 repayable discount off energy bills.
Unilever trials blockchain tracking for palm oil
Unilever is to trial a blockchain system that will digitally track palm oil across its supply chain.
The consumer goods giant has teamed up with software specialist SAP to use the ‘GreenToken‘ system. This enables suppliers to create digital tokens that capture information on the palm oil’s journey from origin to destination.
SAP says that with GreenToken, companies can assess what percentage of palm oil products they purchased is from a sustainable origin and track it to the end product bought by consumers.
Unilever’s chief procurement officer Dave Ingram said: “Unilever is committed to achieving a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023 and blockchain technology has the potential to help companies, like ours, track their supply chains to ensure the commodities we source respect people and the planet.”
EQ Investors creates fund to help people affected by Ukraine war
The EQ Foundation, a registered charity set up by EQ Investors, has created a fund to help people affected by the war in Ukraine.
The new fund is for organisations that have been working actively in Ukraine for many years and have the infrastructure in place to help now, but that do not benefit from the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal. Donations to the fund will be split equally between the charities Direct Relief, Hope and Homes for Children, Lumos Foundation, Medicin Sans Frontiers, Unicef, United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) and World Central Kitchen.
All donations will be matched by The EQ Foundation, up to £1,000 per donation. To find out more, and donate, visit https://eqfoundation.org.uk/ukraine/
Triodos joins The Big Exchange
Three funds by Triodos Investment Management have been added to positive impact investing platform The Big Exchange.
The funds were put through a stringent independent assessment process, with Triodos Pioneer Impact being awarded a gold medal for the highest level of positive impact.
Triodos Global Equities Impact and Triodos Sterling Bond Impact both received silver medals. Triodos IM’s parent company, sustainable bank Triodos, is a Good With Money ‘Good Egg’ company.