1. BMW invests in low carbon copper firm Jetti
BMW, a German car manufacturer, has invested in Jetti Resources, a company that has developed technology for extracting more copper from low-grade resources while producing metal with a low carbon footprint. BMW aims to have at least 50% of its vehicles be all-electric by 2030. Electric vehicles require significantly more copper than traditional internal combustion vehicles, and demand for copper used in the power sector is expected to double to 50 million tonnes by 2035. Jetti’s technology uses a process called leaching instead of smelting, which requires less energy and reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 40%.
2. Over 200 investors representing US $30 trillion in AUM sign up to ‘Advance’ – world’s largest Stewardship initiative on human rights
The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has launched a new initiative called “Advance”, which aims to bring together a large group of investors to address social and human rights issues. Over 220 investors, representing around $30 trillion in assets under management, are participating in the initiative, with 120 of them taking active roles in engaging with 40 target companies. This marks the first time that the list of investors engaging with each focus company has been made public, which will increase transparency for all stakeholders involved.
3. Ryanair and Shell join forces for sustainable aviation fuel
Ryanair and Shell have signed a memorandum of understanding to bring 120 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to Ryanair, Europe’s largest carrier, between 2025 and 2030. Under the agreement, Shell will supply Ryanair with SAF at 200 airports across Europe where the airline operates. If the deal is successful, it is expected to result in the equivalent of 900,000 tonnes of emissions being saved, or about 70,000 flights between Dublin and Milan. Ryanair plans to use 12.5% SAF by 2030, and this agreement will help the airline secure about 20% of that target. Thomas Fowler, Ryanair’s Sustainability Director, said that SAF is a key part of the company’s Pathway to Net Zero strategy and that Shell is a key sustainability partner for Ryanair.
4. WeWalk raises cash to bring computer vision to smart cane for visually impaired people
UK-based startup WeWalk, which has developed a “smart cane” for the visually impaired, has raised $2.4 million in venture funding from a range of investors, including Manchester City footballer İlkay Gündoğan. The cane, which costs around $600, is equipped with sensors that can detect physical obstacles on the sidewalk and alert the user through vibrations and sounds, and it also integrates with a navigation app. WeWalk has previously announced a partnership with Intel-owned Moovit to incorporate local transit data into its product. The company plans to use the new funding to enhance its product with computer vision technology developed in partnership with Imperial College London and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
5. Companies Must Reduce Impact on Biodiversity Under New U.N. Rules
Under a global plan agreed upon at the United Nations’ COP15 conference on biodiversity held in Montreal, companies will be required to reduce their impact on the natural world, though no specific level of reduction has been specified. The framework, called the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework or GBF, also calls for the cutting of subsidies that are harmful to biodiversity by $500 billion per year. As part of the agreement, governments will be required to introduce laws and policy measures by 2030 that will require large companies and banks to disclose and reduce the harm they cause to ecosystems through their operations, supply chains, and portfolios. They will also be required to provide information to the public that will help promote more sustainable consumption.
6. Brazil, a Bastion of Hydropower, Is Gaining Traction in Wind and Solar
According to government data, hydropower made up 58% of Brazil’s electricity capacity last year, while solar and wind power contributed 2% and 10%, respectively. An additional 8% came from renewable sources that serve specific consumers, such as rooftop solar panels on homes or factories, including some that sell excess power. About 7% of the country’s electricity was generated by thermoelectric plants using renewable sources, while nonrenewable sources such as fossil fuels accounted for 15% of the mix.
7. London Stock Exchange Launches First Fund Under New Market for Carbon Credits
The London Stock Exchange Group has launched the first fund on its new market for carbon credits, which is intended to provide capital for green projects and increase transparency in the field of sustainable finance. The market allows companies and investors to purchase carbon credits to offset emissions and fulfill net-zero commitments. Developers can use the exchange to raise funds for projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, and in return for their investments, companies and shareholders can receive carbon credits rather than cash dividends.
8. EU Delays Labeling Lithium Toxic as Concerns From EV Industry Mount
There are concerns that the EU is not doing enough to attract investment in the electric vehicle battery industry and that it will lose out to the US, partly due to the Inflation Reduction Act in the US. The European Commission was set to rule on whether lithium should be classified as a toxic substance, but the decision has been delayed. If it is classified as toxic, handling it in the EU would come with additional safety measures and costs for potential lithium refiners and battery makers in Europe, leading some to warn that investors may move away from the continent.
9. Global coal use set to reach fresh record
Global coal consumption will reach an all-time high this year, driven by increasing demand in Europe and India and the conflict in Ukraine, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). This trend goes against commitments made by 194 countries at last year’s United Nations climate talks to phase out their use of coal in order to reduce emissions. The IEA expects coal consumption to increase by 1.2% this year compared to the previous year, surpassing the previous record set in 2013. China, India, and Indonesia, the top three producers, are all expected to reach production records in 2022, largely due to domestic consumption. The IEA also predicts that global trade in thermal coal will decline by 10% between now and 2025, while trade in metallurgical coal, which is used in steelmaking, will increase by around 6% in that period.
Source: Financial Times
10. US scientists announce major nuclear fusion breakthrough that could ‘revolutionise the world’
Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have announced a major breakthrough in fusion energy, as they have successfully carried out the first nuclear fusion experiment to achieve a net energy gain. The $3.5 billion experiment involved placing deuterium and tritium in a small capsule and firing a 192-beam laser at it, simulating the conditions inside a star. This caused the capsule to implode and the hydrogen atoms to fuse and produce energy. While this is a significant achievement, it will likely be several decades before fusion energy can be used to power homes and other buildings without producing carbon emissions or hazardous nuclear waste.