Water companies fail to hit environmental targets
- Pollution & Waste Management
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%.
In its progress report, the Agency says companies are “failing to live up to their responsibilities”. Although there were 285 fewer pollution incidents than in 2019, this was still the second highest number since 2015. Southern Water and South West Water both performed significantly below target, with the Agency calling their performances “consistently unacceptable”. More than half of serious incidents were due to Anglian Water and Thames Water.
Southern Water was sentenced to pay a record-breaking £90m fine earlier this year after pleading guilty to 6,971 unpermitted pollution discharges, while Thames Water was also fined £4m and £2.3m for separate pollution incidents.
Environment minister Rebecca Pow said companies must have more ambition. “I will not hesitate to set higher expectations for both water companies and regulators to ensure a level of service that the people of this country and the environment deserve,” she added.
Read the full report at bit.ly/WaterPerform
Image credit: Shutterstock
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.
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”.
The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.
The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.