Sense and Sustainability - September 2021

MAKING, BREAKING AND POTTY TRAINING (COWS)

As Boris’s government approaches a ‘make or break moment’ less than 50 days before Glasgow’s COP26 climate summit, it’s now or never for the event itself, with issues around some delegates getting access to vaccines but a ‘horrifying’ warning of ‘10 million deaths’ if world leaders fail to act. Elsewhere in the world, meet ‘Orca’ the world’s largest factory sucking carbon dioxide from the air and turning it into rock is up and running in Iceland, while the first batch of ‘green steel’ has been made without using coal. And if you work in cleantech, here are Edison’s seven ways to improve your investor relations

INVESTING IN SOLUTIONS
Corporates are developing answers, with JCB’s heir launching a £1bn fund to put Britain at the forefront of the hydrogen revolution, Walmart unveiling a plan to tackle the climate crisis and AT&T developing a scheme to help businesses cut emissions by a billion tons. As Pfizer issues a $1bn sustainability bond to fund vaccine development, the Queen’s bank Coutts believes green gilts can help mobilise finance to fight climate change. With ‘greener’ Cardano becoming the third largest cryptocurrency, here is Edison’s take on how dirty the Bitcoin network’s carbon footprint is.  Scientists are toilet-training baby cows to cut emissions, although potato milk could be the most sustainable dairy alternative yet. As a nightclub tracks dancers’ body heat to warm and cool its building, read Edison’s explainer on deep geothermal energy

FOCUSING ON THE NEXT PROBLEMS TO FIX
Some other matters are looking fragile. Despite most new coal power plants being scrapped since the Paris climate change treaty, Britain’s last coal power stations are to be paid huge sums to keep their lights on. As 20 meat and dairy firms are said to emit more greenhouse gases than Britain, Germany or France, watch Edison’s webinar on the investment case for the future of fish. Air pollution is likely to cut nine years off the life expectancy of about 40% of Indians. Gabon, which absorbs more carbon than it emits, says protecting the Great Congo Basin rainforest will be ‘very difficult’ unless it is properly rewarded for conservation efforts.

BRACING ISSUES
Although above-zero temperatures led to rain falling for hours at the summit of Greenland’s ice sheet for the first time, Lewis Pugh’s endurance swim was still the ‘coldest swim on earth’. This climate solution is hidden in the hedgerows. And here Edison discusses the five key ESG questions that investors are asking.

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