Race to Net Zero
Your weekly CogX briefing on green tech and the future of energy
AI fights greenwashing, $100 billion climate fund, green policy U-turn
In a surprising move, the UK Prime Minister has postponed the ban on new petrol and diesel cars by five years and relaxed other green policies. With the government striving to find a middle ground between its environmental commitments and the cost of living crisis, will the net-zero emissions pledges be undermined?
This year, over 98% of the world's population was affected by human-induced climate change, with record-breaking July and August temperatures exceeding pre-industrial levels by 1.5°C. Meanwhile, WWF has partnered with leading universities to launch a new AI-powered tool designed to combat greenwashing, enabling financial institutions to scrutinise companies' net-zero transition plans.
Read on for more on these topics — as well as the latest on how plastic pollution is claiming lives and the UK’s leading EV ranking — in the CogX Must Reads
CogX Must Reads
UK Prime Minister delays ban on new petrol and diesel cars
Sunak has announced a five-year delay in the ban on new petrol and diesel cars to ease financial pressures on British households. While this shift in green policy aims to protect families from excessive costs, experts caution that it may undermine the country's net-zero commitments.
Developing nations propose $100 billion climate fund
Developing nations proposed a new UN fund to raise $100 billion for addressing irreversible climate damage ahead of COP28. However, reaching an agreement on the fund's financing will be challenging, as wealthy nations struggle to reach consensus on the fund’s focus and distribution.
Nearly all of world's population is affected by climate change
98% of the global population faced elevated temperatures in 2023 due to human-induced climate change, a new study reveals. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration anticipates with 95% certainty that 2023 will go down as one of the hottest years on record.
Plastic pollution is claiming lives
Research by Tearfund reveals that up to one million people in developing countries die annually due to diseases caused by mismanaged waste. With two billion people lacking adequate waste disposal, experts emphasise the urgent need to cut down on single-use plastics.
Fighting "greenwashing" with AI
WWF has launched an AI-powered tool to help financial institutions better assess companies' net-zero transition plans. This cutting-edge tool can detect if companies are greenwashing by providing precise data-driven assessments of climate transition efforts.
From biowaste to sustainable heating
AstraZeneca is investing £100 million to establish the UK's first subsidy-free biomethane gas system, turning biowaste into sustainable methane gas for low-carbon heating. Set to begin operations in 2025, this project will supply four UK sites with 100 gigawatt-hours of green gas annually — enough to heat more than 8,000 homes.
UK ranks fifth in EV readiness
The UK is the 5th most prepared country for the electric vehicle transition, according to a recent study. However, challenges like slow charging infrastructure and the absence of regulatory incentives persist, placing the UK behind leaders like China and Norway.
Methane emissions are worse than reported
New satellite data shows that methane emissions from oil and gas operations are 30% higher than reported, with the US, Russia, Venezuela, and Turkmenistan among the top emitters. Detecting these venting leaks is challenging and requires specialised tools for tracking. But given methane's greater warming impact, prompt action in fixing these undisclosed emissions is essential.
In case you missed it
Market specialist Ingrid Moons examines how behavioural insights can incentivise more eco-friendly consumer behaviour:
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