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G7 miss chance to make covid-19 response ‘greener’

Ahead of the recent G7 summit in the UK, a new report has suggested that despite pledges to ‘build back better’ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the seven largest advanced economies have invested more in fossil fuels than in green energy.

The analysis from development charity Tearfund, in collaboration with the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Overseas Development Institute, claims that fossil fuels received more than half of the total support to energy-intensive sectors in the period between January 2020 and March 2021.

The report – ‘Cleaning up their act? G7 fossil fuel investments in a time of green recovery’ – noted that in G7 countries initial covid-19 rescue measures disproportionately benefited fossil fuel-intensive activities, notably in the transport sector – such as airlines and car manufacturers – and supported projects often associated with carbonintensive infrastructure.

Only $1 in every $10 of the G7’s covid-19 response – in relation to energy production or consumption – benefited the ‘cleanest’ energy measures such as renewables.

Meanwhile, 83% of the energy commitments to fossil fuel-intensive sectors failed to include any climate targets or additional pollution reduction requirements.

With the climate crisis expected to dominate the agenda at the political summit this week, the report called on participating countries to take concrete steps to address these issues.

Bank of England to stress test for climate risks

The Bank of England has published plans to stress test 19 of the largest UK banks and insurers to help better understand the risks presented by climate change across the financial system.

The 2021 Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario (CBES) will explore the resilience of the participants to the physical and transition risks associated with climate change.

It will explore three different climate policy scenarios that generate a range of possible future outcomes for global temperatures and the economy, each spanning 30 years.

It will include both banks and insurers for the first time, with participants such as Barclays, Lloyds, Legal & General and Aviva covering around 70% of UK bank lending to households and businesses; around 65% of the UK life insurance market and around 60% of the UK general insurance market.

The Bank of England expects to publish the aggregated results in May 2022.

Apple in talks for electric car batteries

Reports suggesting iPhone maker Apple is in talks with China’s CATL and BYD over the supply of batteries for its planned electric vehicle (EV) saw its share price jump around 2% on Tuesday (8 Jun).

Although Apple has not officially announced any automotive plans, reports surfaced in December 2020 suggesting the tech company was targeting production of self-driving electric cars by 2024.

It has been reported that central to Apple’s car strategy is a new battery design that could reduce costs and increase range. However, it has not been confirmed whether the talks relate to Apple’s battery design or an alternative. CATL is the world’s biggest automotive battery maker, supplying the likes of Tesla, while BYD is the fourth largest.

The news comes at a time when the US government is looking to attract more EV production, with Apple reportedly making building US manufacturing facilities a condition of any deal with potential suppliers.

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