Top articles of the week: September 20

200

This week on Blue & Green Tomorrow, Oxford City Council became the first UK local authority to commit to fossil fuel divestment.

We also reported on a giant observation tower which is due to be built in the Amazon to assess the relationship between climate change and the forest. In other news, Unilever, Siemens and BT have all been named as sustainability leaders in this year’s Dow Jones Sustainability Indices review.

1. Author claims Richard Branson has failed to deliver on $3bn climate pledge

Charlotte Malone: Richard Branson has failed to deliver on a pledge to spend $3 billion (£1.8bn) on climate action over a ten-year period from 2006, according to author and activist Naomi Klein in her new book. Klein argues that this demonstrates that relying on the world of big business to address climate change is “hypocrisy”. Read more.

2. Met Office warns of high pollution levels in southeast England

Ilaria Bertini: Weeks of low pressure bringing pollution from across the country to the southeast of England has led the Met Office to issue a health alert to vulnerable people such as elderly and children. Read more.

3. Greenest government ever gets a ‘red card’ from MPs

Ilaria Bertini: The Environmental Audit Committee has said the government has failed to tackle air pollution, protect biodiversity and prevent flooding, therefore earning a ‘red card’ on its handling of green issues. In a new report, the committee also called on parties to give top priority to environmental protection in their manifestos. Read more.

4. Brazil to build a tower in the Amazon to monitor climate change effects

Ilaria Bertini: A giant observation tower to assess the relationship between climate change and the forest is to be built in the Amazon, whose sensitive ecosystem can provide unique insight data on weather events and carbon capture. Read more.

5. Unilever and Siemens among companies named sustainability leaders

Charlotte Malone: Unilever, Siemens and BT have all been named as sustainability leaders in their respective industries in this year’s Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) review, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Read more.

6. UK at all-time low in attractiveness for renewable energy investment

Richard Heasman: The UK has fallen to 7th place in the renewable energy attractiveness index for the first time since December 2009 due to instability in government legislature and the emergence of more attractive, foreign markets. Read more.

7. Oxford City Council commits to fossil fuel divestment

Tom Revell: Oxford City Council has become the first UK local authority to commit to fossil fuel divestment, after pledging to end its investments in the polluting industry on ethical grounds. Read more.

8. Antarctic sea ice reaches record high levels as Arctic levels hit record low

Richard Heasman: Scientists have confirmed that the extent in which Antarctic sea ice cover has reached is the highest since records began, as they announced earlier this week that Arctic sea ice had shrunk to its sixth lowest level ever. Read more.

9. Sports Direct accused of ‘disregarding’ shareholder concerns

Charlotte Malone: At its annual general meeting (AGM) last week retailer Sports Direct faced tough questions about practices in regards to its employees, including the use of zero-hour contracts and legal action related to bonus schemes. Read more.

10. 90% of small businesses prefer challenger banks

Charlotte Malone: Some 90% of small and medium sized enterprises (SME) believe that challenger banks, such as Metro and Handelsbanken, offer better services than the ‘big four’ on the high street, according to a new survey. Read more.

Photo: NASA Goddard via Flickr