Is purpose killing performance?

By Ian Morris Could the ever-increasing focus of management teams on ESG issues be distracting them from running their companies successfully? The question was raised this week, as influential fund manager Terry Smith, in his annual letter to investors, turned on Unilever, whose leadership team he said was “obsessed” with its sustainability credentials at the…

Chewing Bubble Gum will not save us from disaster

By Anthony Hughes Is it me or is our existence on the planet actually looking particularly precarious at the moment? For those worried about the state of the world’s climate, the news out of COP26 has been disappointingly lukewarm. Back in 2017, Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute as part of the Global Priorities Project…

Revving up for a net zero future?

By Andrew Adie Post COP the question that hangs in the air for business is how do we deliver a net zero transition, particularly in sectors that are hard-to-abate or environmentally toxic? This week has delivered a number of interesting announcements that may seem unrelated but offer a partial glimpse at that future. Royal Dutch…

Insights from COP 26: Day 12 – The final day of COP26?

By Dafydd Rees and Andrew Adie Friday 12th November may or may not be the final day of COP26. Officially the Conference ends at 6pm this evening, in reality fundamental differences remain on the nature of the final agreement to be reached. Alok Sharma who is COP26 President has said that in his view it is…

Insights from COP26: Day 11 – Cities & Built Environment Day

By Andrew Adie & Dafydd Rees Today’s theme here in Glasgow is devoted to Cities and the Built Environment, yet broader themes dominated discussions outside the conference halls. Last night’s surprise joint statement from the US and China that they will work together to limit global warming and achieve the 1.5C temperature ceiling for global warming has increased…

Insights from COP26: Day 10 – Transport Day

By Andrew Adie With just two days left before the end of the COP26 Conference the negotiations are now focusing on the final text for an agreement. Unusually, the initial draft has been published which calls on all countries to come back in 2022 with strengthened NDC targets that enable the world to deliver no more…

Insights from COP26: Day 9 – Gender, Science & Innovation Day

By Andrew Adie In the final days of the COP26 negotiations, the pressure is really mounting. Climate Action Tracker this afternoon published its analysis of countries’ pledges on greenhouse gas emission reductions and says the world is heading towards 2.4C of warming by the end of this century. This is based on analysis of the short-term…

Insights from COP26: Day 8 – Adaption, Loss and Damage Day

By Andrew Adie Day eight and the start of week two is arguably the point where COP26 becomes a real diplomatic slog. The world leaders have come and gone, many of the key announcements have been made (with some significant progress and the IEA calculating that the commitments made so far, if implemented, would cut global…

Insights from COP26: Day 5 – Youth and nature

By Andrew Adie & Dafydd Rees As the week closes after a positive and, from many perspectives, successful start to COP26 we were reminded again of why it matters. Today is Youth and Public Empowerment Day and that has been visibly illustrated by the Fridays for Future demonstration that has brought thousands of young people onto the streets…

Insights from COP26: Day 4 – Energy Day and the demise of coal

By Andrew Adie & Dafydd Rees Alok Sharma, President of COP26, started Day 4 (Energy Day) by declaring that ‘the end of coal is in sight’ as more than 40 countries signed up to pledge that they would phase out the use of coal fired power generation. While the news provided a positive backdrop to discussions, the countries…