- Natural resources ,
- Carbon Trading ,
- Management/saving ,
A round up of news from the European commission and European Investment Bank, Decc, and the Law Commission.
New EU finance tools
Private sector involvement in energy efficiency and biodiversity projects could be boosted by two new European financial instruments. The European commission and European Investment Bank (EIB) are funding an €80 million scheme to encourage private investment in energy efficiency projects. The money will be used to fund long-term low-cost loans, credit risk protection and technical expertise to encourage local financial institutions to increase lending for the schemes. The money is expected to unlock at least €500 million of private sector investment. Meanwhile, the natural capital financing facility will support investments in flood protection, rainwater recycling, biodiversity offsets, eco-tourism and projects to protect forests, and reduce water and soil pollution.
Climate tool launched
An interactive tool has been launched to help businesses, charities and governments better understand the trade-offs for energy and land use resulting from reducing carbon emissions. The free online calculator uses data reviewed by more than 150 international experts in a project led by the energy and climate department (Decc). The calculator is an extension of a similar tool launched by Decc in 2010 to allow users to explore energy futures for the UK to 2050. National Grid and Friends of the Earth are among the organisations that have used the previous version, says Decc. It also says that governments, including those of China, India and Vietnam, have adopted the model to develop their own national calculators. The new calculator goes further than the old edition by allowing users to add up actions at a global level. International organisations from the US, China, India and Europe worked with Decc to develop the calculator, which was co-funded by Climate-KIC, an EU climate innovation initiative.
Law on invasive plants
The Infrastructure Act, which received royal assent in February, provides regulators with new powers to control and eradicate invasive non-native plants. Environmental authorities in England and Wales will be able to issue species control orders to compel land owners or occupiers to control or eradicate the plant. Alternatively, the issuing authority could carry out the operations. The Law Commission, which recommended this extension of powers, says the orders may be issued only when it has been impossible to reach an agreement with the owner or occupier or action is urgently required. In addition, the plant must be identified as both “invasive” (a serious threat to biodiversity, the economy or other social or economic interests) and “non-native” or “no longer normally present in Great Britain”. Breaching a species control order will be a criminal offence, but owners or occupiers will have the right to appeal at a tribunal.
Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.
The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.
COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.
Half of the world's 40 largest listed oil and gas companies will have to slash their production by at least 50% by the 2030s to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, new analysis has found.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.