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The Government has allocated £65m to divert waste heat from data centres to nearby households in a bid to heat homes and cut emissions.
The Government has selected five new projects that will receive a share of £65m to keep nearby homes warm using waste heat from local data centres.
The Old Oak Park Royal development in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham will use the funding to recycle waste heat from large computer systems to supply heating for the local community.
The project, backed by £36m from the Government, will connect 10,000 new homes and 250,000m2 of commercial space to the low-carbon heat.
Other projects are located in London, Watford, Suffolk and Lancaster, all of which will receive grants from the Green Heat Network Fund. Lancaster University will use £21m to attempt to fully decarbonise its campus via a low-carbon heat network, utilising heat pumps, a new solar farm and access to wind energy.
The UN has stated that public finance flows for climate adaptation to the most vulnerable nations and regions must increase at least tenfold if global agreements on sustainable development are to be met.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has today (2 November) published a major new report assessing the global needs for adaptation-related funding and funding levels to date. By subtracting the former from the latter, it has calculated the current and likely future adaptation finance gap.
Developing nations are likely to need at least $215bn and up to $387bn of international public finance for climate adaptation each year this decade, as the physical impacts of rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns begin to crystallize to a greater extent, the report states.
Yet just $21bn of public multilateral and bilateral adaptation funding was provided from developed nations to developing nations in 2021, the last year for which data is available. This funding level was down 15% year-on-year. This means the annual adaptation funding gap for 2021 was at least $194bn.
More than 360 financial institutions and large businesses are urging businesses in high-carbon sectors such as steel, chemicals and logistics to set science-based targets to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
The call to action, coordinated by CDP and made today (1 November), has the support of more than 367 financial giants and multinational corporates with a collective valuation of more than $33trn.
Included in this cohort are the likes of Legal & General Investment Management, Credit Agricole, Bayer, BMW and L’Oreal.
These businesses are calling on more than 2,100 other firms, with a focus on those in high-emission sectors, to pledge to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Science-Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) 1.5C trajectory. SBTi targets are typically set for the 2030s and must cover some Scope 3 (indirect) emissions as well as operational emissions.
Companies asked to develop science-based targets include FedEx, Rio Tinto, Nippon Steel and Dow Chemical, as well as China’s biggest online retailer JD.com.
The majority of corporate sustainability professionals are aware of the benefits of collaborating on green initiatives, but many are fearful of breaking competition rules and the risk of litigation.
A new survey of 500 sustainability professionals in the UK, USA, France, Germany and the Netherlands, commissioned by law firm Linklaters, analysed the attitudes of corporate sustainability professionals on collaborating with other firms on ESG initiatives.
The survey found that while 82% of sustainability professionals believe it is important to collaborate on sustainability goals, 60% have paused or canceled initiatives over concerns of breaking competition rules.
Antitrust regulators and antitrust laws – such as those aimed at preventing price fixing in markets – or liabilities are a major concern for companies and currently act as a roadblock to collaboration.
More than half of sustainability professionals, reported that sustainability projects had not been pursued because the perceived legal risk was too high. Additionally, 60% stated that competition laws were a deciding factor in abandoning sustainability initiatives with other firms – up from 48% in 2020.
Linklaters’ global head of antitrust and foreign investment practice, Nicole Kar, said: “Commitment to sustainability objectives continues to be high with 82% of those surveyed recognising the importance of working with peers to pursue sustainability goals.
UK Government departments and Ministers in Westminster now have new legal obligations to consider how their decisions could impact the delivery of pledges on nature, pollution and waste.
This is because the Environmental Principles Policy Statement has been implemented today (1 November).
The Statement was first promised under the Environment Act, which received Royal Assent in November 2021. Then, the Statement in its current form was laid before Parliament this January by the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Five environmental principles are covered in the Statement, the first being ‘the integration principle’. This stipulates that the consideration of environmental protection must be integrated into the process of designing policies.
Policies are defined in the statement as not only formal Bills and Acts, but also statements, proposals and strategies that intend to inform legislation in the future. Documents prepared by public bodies which ministers are required to approve also count.
The Statement will apply to new policies plus those currently in development and not yet finalised.