News In Brief 14 August 2017


The Government has been accused of undermining its own efforts to tackle climate change after new research revealed it is investing twice as much in fossil fuel projects overseas as it is in renewables. 46% of the money the UK spent on energy overseas went on fossil fuels while 22% was spent on renewable energy sources. Of the £7.5 billion the UK spent on energy abroad, £1.3 billion was spent on renewables and £2.9 billion on fossil fuels. The research, commissioned by the Roman Catholic charity CAFOD and carried out by the Overseas Development Institute, analysed spending between 2010 and 2014.


In 2010, 17 foundations and trusts committed £5 million to a rehabilitation service for criminals released after serving less than a year at Peterborough prison in the UK, investing in what was called by Social Finance (the non-profit organisation behind the scheme) the “world’s first social impact bond”. Investors have now learned that they will be repaid in full, receiving the equivalent of a 3% annual return over the investment period. An independent evaluation found the Peterborough Social Impact Bond succeeded in reducing new convictions by an average of 9%. Social Finance now has 89 social impact bonds in 18 countries, with investments totalling more than $322 million.


Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, is to stop selling single use 5p carrier bags in its UK stores from the end of the month, instead offering shoppers reusable bags for life costing 10p. The move by Tesco follows a 10-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, which led to a 25% cut in bag sales as shoppers either brought their own or switched to the bags for life. The more expensive bags are made from 94% recycled plastic and would be exchanged without charge when damaged, the supermarket said. Tesco has handed out 1.5 billion fewer single-use bags since the introduction of the carrier bag charge in England in 2015, but still sells more than 700m each year – the highest among the major supermarkets. It said ending sales of single-use bags – from Monday 28 August – will significantly reduce the number of bags sold and would therefore help to reduce litter and the number of bags sent to landfill.


Greg Clark, the business, energy and industrial strategy secretary, has granted planning consent to Scottish Power Renewables to build a 1.2GW wind farm off the coast of Norfolk. The East Anglia Three offshore wind project will feature up to 172 turbines measuring nearly 250 metres in height. Scottish Power Renewables will now commence work to prepare the project, for entry into a future contracts-for-difference (CfD) auction. The firm is aiming to begin construction in 2022 and have the wind farm up and running by 2025. East Anglia Three is one of four projects being developed by Scottish Power Renewables in the area, with a total capacity of 3.5GW. It is currently constructing the East Anglia One offshore wind farm, which secured a strike price of £119 MW/h in the first competitive CfD auction and will have a capacity of 714MW when it becomes fully operation in 2020.



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