Two huge coal projects on the EU’s borders backed by Chinese banks are going ahead on the basis of false information about their economic viability and regardless of serious environmental concerns, according to an Unearthed investigation. At least one of the planned coal plants in Bosnia and Serbia is reportedly part of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, which treats the region as a crucial strategic transitway for Chinese goods to Western Europe. But previously unpublished documents, obtained and translated by Unearthed and examined by experts, show that the feasibility studies used to seek and obtain approval for the power stations contain basic flaws which massively underestimate the costs the plants will face once Bosnia and Serbia join the EU’s carbon market, which they would need to in order to become EU members. That could leave local taxpayers on the hook, since parliaments in both countries have provided state guarantees to China on the loan repayments.
Unearthed 14th Jan 2020 read more »
Britain’s first new deep coalmine in 30 years is unnecessary and incompatible with UK climate ambitions, according to a report. The £165m Woodhouse colliery in Cumbria was given cross party-backing in March 2019, leading to protests from climate campaigners who said the mine would harm the UK’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. Now a report by the independent thinktank the Green Alliance has found the colliery, along the coast from Whitehaven, will hold back the development of low-carbon steelmaking. The report, authored by two university professors who specialise in environmental issues, claims that opening a new coalmine would hinder this strategy by ensuring the continued availability of cheap coal.
Guardian 15th Jan 2020 read more »
BlackRock, the world’s largest fund manager, has announced it will put sustainability at the heart of its investment decisions. In his annual letter to chief executives, the BlackRock boss, Larry Fink, writes that the climate emergency is altering how investors view the long-term prospects of companies. “Awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”
Guardian 14th Jan 2020 read more »
The decision by BlackRock, a giant fund manager with $7 trillion under its control, to start using its considerable clout to tackle climate change should be welcomed. But its newfound commitment to the environment has some major limitations.
Independent 15th Jan 2020 read more »
One of the world’s most powerful fund management groups has warned company bosses to get to grips with climate change and sustainability or it may move to vote them off the board at their next shareholder meeting. In its annual “Dear CEO” letter, published yesterday, Blackrock told corporate executives that it would be putting an assessment of a company’s environmental, social and governance practices at the centre of decisions about whether to buy or sell its shares.
Times 15th Jan 2020 read more »
A group of climate change protesters have barricaded the entrance to the office of an investment management firm in Edinburgh. Members of Extinction Rebellion Scotland arrived at Baillie Gifford in Greenside Row at around 7.30am this morning to protest against their investment in the fossil fuel industry.
Herald 14th Jan 2020 read more »