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Nominations open for Observer Ethical Awards 2015

Nominations have now opened for the 2015 Observer Ethical Awards, which are celebrating their tenth anniversary. The awards are an annual event recognising businesses, individuals and communities working to improve the environment. The Observer Ethical Awards were set up in 2005 to recognise and reward those in society who...


car fumes by Riley Kaminer via Flickr

Government rejects MPs’ plans for air pollution inquiry

The government has rejected MPs’ calls for a public inquiry into the impacts of air pollution and a change in legislation to prevent schools and care homes being built in pollution hotspots. The move has been labelled as a “failure” to act on an opportunity to address the issue....


boost for offshore Scottish wind - Kim Hansen via Flickr

Policy uncertainty leads to UK slipping down renewable investment rankings

The UK’s top ten position as one of the most attractive destinations for renewable investment is at risk because of policy uncertainty, according to a report from financial advisory firm EY. A “lack of clarity” over the role of renewable energy after May’s general election and uptake of the...


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University of Edinburgh academics call for divestment

The University of Edinburgh is facing calls to divest from the fossil fuel and arms industries following an open letter signed by academics from the institution. The university has one of the largest endowment funds in the UK, totalling £230 million. The letter has been published ahead of a...


santander by Mike Mozart via Flickr

Santander commits to cutting funding for deforestation firm

Multinational bank Santander has pledged to stop financing pulp and paper company Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL) because of its unsustainable practices causing the destruction of the Indonesian rainforest. According to Greenpeace, Santander had loaned ten of million of pounds to APRIL, as well as directly brokering syndicated...


antarctica ice by Liam Quinn via Flickr

Study: global warming ‘pause’ caused by natural climate cycles

The so-called global warming ‘pause’ in recent years is likely to have been caused by natural variations in the climate cycle, not a slowdown in man-made climate change, according to a team of scientist. The research, which has been published in Science, notes the importance of ensuring that studies highlight...


Bank of england by Rev Stan via Flickr

Stranded assets and climate change on Bank of England agenda

The Bank of England has acknowledged that climate change could have an impact on the financial markets in a research agenda. The paper also notes that the move to a low-carbon economy could leave fossil fuel assets ‘stranded’. The discussion paper – One Bank Research Agenda – aims to...


power plant emissions by Martin Nikolaj Bech via Flickr

Carbon Tracker launches new tool to manage carbon investment risks

A new tool from the Carbon Tracker Initiative has been launched to help investors challenge fossil fuel company boards over future investment decisions that are high risk when climate change is factored in. The organisation will publish regular Capex Tracker surveys that detail the recent capital expenditure (capex) of...


Prince Charles - John Williams via Flickr

Prince Charles: A healthy planet means healthier people

Prince Charles has likened the planet to a “sick patient” and warned that we may have to issue a “death certificate” if the world does not act on climate change soon, during a speech that noted a healthier environment means healthier people. The Prince was speaking to health experts...


food waste by Jbloom via Flickr

Report: tackling food waste should be a priority

Cutting back food waste could save up to $300 billion (£194bn) each year by 2030 and make a “significant contribution” to climate change mitigation efforts, according to a new report. The report – Strategies to achieve economic and environmental gains by reducing food waste – is from the UK...


another wind turbine by lamoix via Flickr

Government awards £315m in renewable contracts

The government has awarded contracts worth more than £315 million to renewable energy projects. The allocations have been labelled a “milestone” by the renewables industry but the outcome has also faced criticism for the amount awarded to solar. Contracts for difference (CfD) are long-term contracts that help provide stable...


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Investor coalition calls on companies to report human rights risks

Investors from across the globe, with $3.9 trillion (£2.5tn) of assets under management, have urged companies to use a new guide to help them report human rights risks. The investors point out that human rights abuses can be financially material, as well as an ethical issue. The call comes...


Bamboo forest by odonata98 via Flickr

EcoPlanet Bamboo receive US government Award for Corporate Excellence

Bamboo plantation specialist EcoPlanet Bamboo has won a US government Award for Corporate Excellence. The company has been recognised for its environmental and social commitment. EcoPlanet Bamboo works to makes bamboo a viable and environmentally attractive fibre for timber manufacturing industries. The company explains that bamboo can be grown...


drought by DFID - UK Department for International Development via Flickr

UN: world must address water challenge or risk conflict

Without large new water-related investments many societies will soon confront “rising desperation and conflicts over life’s most essential resource”, according to a new report published by the UN. Population increases and climate change are expected to put more people at risk of extreme water scarcity in the coming decades....


New York By William Warby via Flickr

Sea levels near New York ‘jumped’ by 4 inches in 2 years

Sea levels from New York to Newfoundland increased by four inches between 2009 and 2010 because ocean circulation changed, according to a new study. The findings suggest that extreme sea level rise events could occur more frequently if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. The study, which was led...



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