Barclays Bank set a net zero carbon target

Barclays said it planned to set a net zero by 2050 carbon target, to be voted on by shareholders at its forthcoming annual general meeting in May.

The bank said it would also commit to align its financing activities with the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement.
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‘The alignment of Barclays’ portfolio will start with the energy and power sectors, and will cover all sectors over time,’ the company said.

‘Barclays will provide the transparent targets required to judge its progress and will report on them regularly, starting from 2021.

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National Trust celebrate 125th Anniversary with Zero Carbon pledge

The National Trust has today unveiled one of the UK’s biggest woodland expansion and tree planting projects in an ambitious plan to become carbon net zero by 2030 as the charity celebrates its 125th anniversary.

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National Trust outlines fresh ambition in landmark speech by Director General

  • Charity will become carbon net zero by 2030
  • 20 million trees to be planted and established over ten years to tackle climate change, creating new woodland ‘one and a half times the size of Manchester or equivalent to 42 new Sherwood Forests’
  • Ambitious plans to create green corridors for people and nature near towns and cities
  • Year-long campaign to connect people with nature during 125th anniversary year includes dancing outdoors, watching dawns and a celebration of Britain’s own blossom season
  • Continued commitment to investing in arts and heritage
  • Charity expects to welcome its six millionth member this year

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Hilary McGrady said: ‘It’s our 125th year and the National Trust has always been here for the benefit of everyone. That is why we are making these ambitious announcements in response to what is needed from our institution today.

As Europe’s biggest conservation charity, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight climate change, which poses the biggest threat to the places, nature and collections we care for.

People need nature now more than ever. If they connect with it then they look after it. And working together is the only way we can reverse the decline in wildlife and the challenges we face due to climate change.‘.

Source: NationalTrust.org.uk 

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Firms must act now on climate change warns Bank of England Governor

The world will face irreversible heating unless firms shift their priorities soon, the outgoing head of the Bank of England has told the BBC.

Mark Carney said the financial sector had begun to curb investment in fossil fuels – but far too slowly.

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He said leading pension fund analysis “is that if you add up the policies of all of companies out there, they are consistent with warming of 3.7-3.8C”.

Mr Carney made the comments in a pre-recorded BBC Radio 4 Today interview.

The interview, by presenter Mishal Husain, is one of several items on the programme which are focusing on climate change, on the day the show is guest edited by environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.

Mr Carney added that the rise of almost 4C was “far above the 1.5 degrees that the people say they want and governments are demanding”.

Scientists say the risks associated with an increase of 4C include a nine metre rise in sea levels – affecting up to 760 million people – searing heatwaves and droughts, and serious food supply problems.

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Mr Carney, who will next year start his new role as United Nations special envoy for climate action and finance, continued: “The concern is whether we will spend another decade doing worthy things but not enough… and we will blow through the 1.5C mark very quickly. As a consequence, the climate will stabilise at the much higher level.”

Speaking to the Today programme, he re-iterated his warning that unless firms woke up to what he called the climate crisis, many of their assets would become worthless.

“If we were to burn all those oil and gas [reserves], there’s no way we would meet carbon budget,” he said. “Up to 80% of coal assets will be stranded, [and] up to half of developed oil reserves.

“A question for every company, every financial institution, every asset manager, pension fund or insurer: what’s your plan?

“Four to five years ago, only leading institutions had begun to think about these issues and could report on them.

“Now $120tn worth of balance sheets of banks and asset managers are wanting this disclosure [of investments in fossil fuels]. But it’s not moving fast enough.”

Source: BBC News

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COP25 Climate Change: Major emitters disagree over UN deal

UN climate talks in Madrid enter their final scheduled day with divisions emerging between major emitting countries and small island states.

Negotiators are attempting to agree a deal in the Spanish capital that would see countries commit to make new climate pledges by the end of 2020.

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But serious disagreements have emerged over how much carbon-cutting the major emitters should undertake.

The talks have also become bogged down in rows over key technical issues.

Negotiators arrived in Madrid two weeks ago with the words of the UN secretary general ringing in their ears – António Guterres told delegates that “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon”.

Despite his pleas, the conference has become enmeshed in deep, technical arguments about a number of issues including the role of carbon markets and the financing of loss and damage caused by rising temperatures.

Source: BBC News

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Climate change: Airlines putting profit before planet through “Fuel tankering”

A British Airways whistleblower has revealed an industry-wide practice that deliberately adds weight to flights, increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Fuel tankering” sees planes filled with extra fuel, usually to avoid paying higher prices for refuelling at their destination airports.

It could mean extra annual emissions equivalent to that of a large town.

BA said it was common to carry extra fuel for “operational, safety and price reasons”.

BBC Panorama has discovered the airline’s planes generated an extra 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide last year through fuel tankering.

John Sauven, Greenpeace UK’s executive director, told the BBC this was a “classic example of a company putting profit before planet”.

He added: “This is why we can’t afford another decade of believing corporate greenwash and waiting for the voluntary carbon reductions to appear.

“We need tough regulations to limit aviation’s emissions, because so long as there’s money in polluting, they’ll pollute as much as they can.”

Source: BBC News