Green Top 10 – December 2023

Bringing you the latest news about sustainability, green initiatives, renewable energy, conscious investments, climate actions and many more. Get the December 2023 Top 10 in Green edition!

Nilüfer AktaşContent Editor

December 5, 2023
6min read

1- BNP Paribas Ends Financing for Metallurgical Coal Mining

Paris-based global bank BNP Paribas has announced its decision to no longer provide financial support to projects focused on metallurgical coal extraction, a vital element in steel production, as part of its broader initiative to align its financial activities with net zero targets. BNP Paribas previously announced that it would stop providing direct financing for new oil and gas fields and set ambitious targets to significantly reduce financing for oil and gas extraction by 2030, while at the same time increasing support for low-carbon energy projects. In a statement, it reiterated its commitment, launched in 2020, to completely eliminate financing for the entire value chain of thermal coal-related companies in Europe and OECD countries by 2030 and globally by 2040.

Source: ESGtoday

2- Cop28 host UAE planned to promote oil deals during climate talk

Leaked documents show that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), host of the UN Cop28 summit, aims to use climate meetings to benefit its national oil and gas companies. Sultan Al Jaber, who serves both as CEO of the UAE’s national oil company Adnoc and as the country’s climate envoy, has come under criticism for his perceived conflict of interest. Leaked briefings for bilateral meetings reveal that Adnoc is interested in cooperating with 15 countries to exploit their oil and gas resources. These revelations raise concerns about the credibility of Al Jaber’s leadership in Cop28, given the dual roles and potential conflicts. The UAE has previously announced that it has stopped providing direct financing for new oil and gas fields in line with its net zero commitments.

Source: The Guardian

3- Climate change: Rise in Google searches around ‘anxiety’

According to Google Trends data, online search queries related to “climate concern” are on the rise globally, with a 27-fold increase in English searches between January-October 2023 compared to the same period in 2017. Similar increases were recorded in other languages such as Portuguese (73 times), (simplified) Chinese (eight and a half times) and Arabic (one in five). More than 40% of global searches on climate concern came from Scandinavian countries such as Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The data also shows a growing interest in climate-related topics, with a focus on the future, the environment, sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: BBC

4- Global warming on track for up to 2.9C as greenhouse gases keep rising, UN says

A report by the UN environment program warns that the world is heading for a temperature rise of up to 2.9C above pre-industrial levels, even if countries comply with climate commitments under the Paris agreement. The report reveals a disparity between current emissions trajectories based on existing pledges and the reductions needed to limit global warming. UN Chief António Guterres underlines the imperative to address fossil fuels if the Paris targets are to be met. The report estimates that emission reductions of 28% (14 billion tons) are needed by 2030 to limit warming to 2C, and over 40% (22 billion tons) for the 1.5C threshold. Even with full compliance with commitments, the probability of meeting the 1.5C target is only 14%. The COP28 summit in Dubai calls for specific commitments, including tripling renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency.

Source: Financial Times

5- High cost, low profitability and storage challenges: Is carbon capture a realistic climate solution?

According to recent studies, 42 commercial CCS projects are operating globally, capturing 49 million tons of carbon annually, which is only 0.13% of total emissions. High costs, ranging from €14 to €916 per ton, are a major barrier. Profitability concerns, the need for carbon pricing, technology readiness issues and limited geological storage sites are additional challenges. Community resistance to infrastructure projects, as seen in the cancellation of a $3 billion CCS pipeline in the US Midwest, makes deployment even more difficult.

Source: EuroNews

6- EU Commission Launches €800 Million Subsidy Program to Support Renewable Hydrogen Producers

The European Commission has launched the first trial auction under the European Hydrogen Bank as part of its efforts to stimulate the renewable hydrogen market. The auction allows producers to bid for subsidies in the form of a fixed premium capped at €4.5 per kilogram of hydrogen, which is said to serve to offset the cost differential between renewable and non-renewable hydrogen production.

Source: ESGtoday

7- Three climate fights will dominate COP28

The decision to hold COP28 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a leading oil producing country, has sparked controversy and raised questions about the commitment of an oil-rich country to address climate change. Despite the region’s vulnerability to climate-related challenges such as water scarcity, food shortages and extreme temperatures, doubts remain about the host country’s commitment to tackling environmental issues. The Summit is grappling with significant obstacles in tackling methane emissions, addressing climate finance shortfalls and managing the ideological conflict surrounding the phase-out of fossil fuels. While positive steps have been taken to reduce methane emissions, uncertainties remain over insufficient climate finance commitments and the contentious issue of fossil fuel use.

Source: Economist

8- Polluters could face jail under MSP’s ecocide plan

The Scottish Parliament is considering a ground-breaking “ecocide” bill, championed by Labour MSP Monica Lennon, which could result in large polluting companies being jailed for up to 20 years for environmental crimes. This initiative puts Scotland in a leading position in the UK by introducing strict penalties for ecocide, defined as deliberate or reckless acts that cause significant damage to the environment. The proposed legislation aims to hold perpetrators accountable by targeting corporate negligence, deforestation and illegal fishing. Critics question the severity of the maximum penalty, while supporters emphasize the need for a strong deterrent against actions that cause irreversible environmental damage.

Source: BBC

9- Biden’s Absence at Climate Summit Highlights His Fossil Fuel Conundrum

Preoccupied with pressing global issues such as the Israel-Hamas conflict and aid to Ukraine, President Biden will not attend the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. The decision has been met with conflicting pressures at home, with centrists calling for acceptance of record oil production while climate activists call for a halt to drilling. Biden’s absence is seen as a setback for strengthening climate leadership, especially given competing demands at home and the need to fulfill promises of climate-related aid to developing countries.

Source: The New York Times

10- PepsiCo has been sued by New York state for plastic pollution along the Buffalo River that is allegedly contaminating the water and harming wildlife.

According to the lawsuit, PepsiCo is the single largest identifiable contributor to the problem. PepsiCo, maker of Pepsi, Doritos and other snacks, is the world’s second biggest food company after industry leader Nestle.

The American giant is the latest major corporation to face a lawsuit by local authorities about its impact on the environment.

The New York complaint says Pepsi broke state laws by failing to warn the public about the risks from plastic packaging and promoting misleading statements about its effort to combat the pollution.

Source: BBC