Our Top Stories
Decarbonising faster: Edie reports on new research from Ecosystem Marketplace which has revealed that companies engaged in the voluntary carbon market (VCM) are surpassing their counterparts in key areas of climate action, accountability, and ambition. This contradicts perceptions that companies only invest in the carbon market as a means to ‘buy their way out’. Furthermore, businesses who purchase carbon credits in the VCM are more likely to disclose emissions data to governing bodies. Although there has been recent controversy linked to carbon credit projects, efforts to strengthen oversight within the VCM are just as important as internal carbon reduction projects to help accelerate decarbonisation. [Edie]
The damage of the climate crisis: Thred highlights new research in Nature which has shown that the onslaught of extreme weather fuelled by the climate crisis has cost £13 million every hour. The study considers that devastating floods, heat waves, and droughts have not only left land, homes, and local infrastructure damaged or completely ruined – but have also claimed countless human lives. The research comes just in time for COP28, where the debate around the amount of funding needed for a loss and damage scheme will continue to be a major talking point of UN climate change conferences. [Thred]
Climate change and beer: According to The Guardian, climate breakdown is already changing the taste and quality of beer. Researchers forecast that hop yields in European growing regions will fall by 4-18% by 2050, while the content of alpha acids in the hops - which gives beers their distinctive taste and smell - will fall by 20-31%. The projected decline will be driven mainly by hotter weather and more frequent and severe droughts. Farmers are already having to adapt, with many implementing advanced irrigation systems in preparation for worsening weather. [The Guardian]
Business Spotlight - Hilton
The hotel chain Hilton has refreshed its menus - following carbon labelling trials earlier this year - to include more lower impact dishes. Observations over the trial period showed that diners chose significantly more low-carbon and medium-carbon dishes. Hilton EMEA’s vice president for food and beverage strategy and development, Emma Banks, said: “Carbon labelling is an easy way to empower guests to make more informed choices, and we’re delighted to see they’re already embracing these insights, even if it’s simply reducing the frequency with which they order dishes with a higher carbon footprint”. [Edie]
Polluting trees in a warming world: Abira Sahu and her team have found that certain trees could actually worsen air pollution on a warming planet. Plants such as oak and poplar trees will emit more of a compound called isoprene as global temperatures climb. Although isoprene isn’t inherently bad - it actually helps plants better tolerate insect pests and high temperatures - it can worsen air pollution by reacting with nitrogen oxides from automobiles and coal-fired power plants. Evidence therefore suggests that reducing car and coal emissions will also reduce the impact of isoprene emissions, as temperatures continue to rise. [PNAS]
“The Climate Change Committee’s updated conclusion to Rishi Sunak’s green policy rollback is that around 20% of the emissions reductions required through to 2030 are not backed up with sufficient, credible policy plans. Heating and buildings present key policy gaps, as does agriculture.”Edie / CCC
The Big Picture
The food and agriculture industry is at the heart of the climate crisis, generating around a third of man-made greenhouse emissions. And while the challenge of reducing its impact may seem beyond our grasp, it is one that we all have the power to tackle.
We believe that the solution lies in climate transparency. That’s why we’re equipping businesses with the means to evaluate and communicate the emissions of their products. This, in turn, means consumers are armed with credible, independent information, which can be used to make more sustainable choices.
We know that many people want to take climate action but lack the necessary tools and information to do so. We're confident that, armed with the right knowledge, everyone can and will do their bit to build a greener, more sustainable food system.