25 biggest European banks are failing on their own green pledges

Over the last decade or so, the laws of countries across the developed world have not kept up with changes in our knowledge of threats to the natural world. As a result, promises to not fund projects that destroy ecosystems are what consumers have to go on in choosing which bank to let use your money.

Yet, out of the 25 biggest European banks none are actually living up to their promises. ShareAction, the body which carried out the research, did state that some banks such as NatWest are doing well on net zero targets, and restricting funding for fossil fuel projects.

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British Banks have funded more than 800 million tonnes of carbon production a year

Alarmingly this quantity is twice the amount that the UK emitted in the same year, indeed British banking would be the 9th highest emitter in the world.

In this day and age it is not good enough to merely be environmentally conscious yourself. Many of these products would not been able to take place without funding from the UK.

These banks must change their policies. For one it is severely damaging the worlds, however even if the banks are not interested in whether they are damaging the world, these Investments are clearly poor, as they will have to stop being used long before they make their money back.

The British public must take action. If banks and companies that are investing in in industries that are emitting large quantities of carbon, they are destroying our future. We must take action by defending them completely so that they either change their behaviour or go out of business.

I encourage you, to look into your banks behaviour, and move your money if they are not acting in the planets best interest – make sure they know why you are moving.

A logging company based in in Borneo taking a bizarre action

The company in question, which has no rights to do any logging, is now suing the longtime inhabitants and owners of land it wants to clear, for trespass.

This is obviously quite peculiar, and a case that should be laughed out of court. The community alleges the company has encroached on community land, has withheld key documents about the certification process, and failed to obtain free, prior and informed consent of affected communities during the certification process. 

This should be very simple, if they have permission and they got it legally without dishonesty they will be able to prove it. All of the evidence would suggest that that is not going to be possible, and therefore they should be laughed out of court, unfortunately that is not likely to happen.

Daily mail fear mongering over taxes on electric cars

The daily mail, a British tabloid newspaper, has a habit of writing sensationalist articles.

They have published an article today which states “Families could face new £765 annual green tax on cars as ministers plan new levies for electric vehicles to fill £34billion black hole left by the death of fuel duty” as its title – with details saying the figure comes from the AA later in the article (AA is a roadside rescue firm).

Now this is clearly click-bait. The article is written to make out that electric cars are going to have to be taxed far higher, in order to make up the governments funding. Now there are several problems with their arguement.

  1. The government spends roughly 1 trillion pounds a year, so 34 billion is roughly 3%. While this is significant, it is amongst the governments total spending, a rounding error. There are many places that the government could raise this money
  2. Public sector spending on roads in the United Kingdom reached 10.94 billion British pounds in 2019/20, an increase of 820 million British pounds when compared with the previous year.
  3. The improvement in air quality could see a noticeable improvement in health from a breathing point of view. Currently 11 billion is spent a year, on conditions caused or exacerbated by pollution. It would be conceivable, that the benefit to the countries health could alone increase productivity by 3%
  4. The reduction in carbon emissions is likely to lead to a reduction in money needed to be spent on mitigating the damage done

This is the standard form of article that the daily mail puts out, and indeed while there are very occasional articles that share concern for climate change, the daily mail has put out far more which take swipes at electric cars and any other way that the government might try to change our behaviour.

From an article as early as 2010, the writer claimed that the range will never be good enough bizarrely stating that they can drive their diesel car 800 miles on a tank – at motorway speeds, even assuming speeding that is 10 hours during which time you will need at least a handful of stops for food and a toilet break. Modern electric cars can gain 200 miles range or even more in 15 minutes charging.

Indeed, even last year they published an article claiming that 1 in 3 cannot afford an electric car. Now they quoted a figure of at least £2100 spent on their current car as the point at which electric cars would become affordable. By 2030 there are likely to be far more ‘runabout’ cars and similar, but the simple fact, is that most people will be spending at least £1500 on fuel a year. Given that electric cars last longer, and these people they are referring to, are likely to hold onto their car as long as possible, and probably do not buy new anyway we can assume the car is kept for at least 10 years. Electric charging is much cheaper, so you can be expecting to save at least £1200 per year, an amount that more than makes up for the initial higher price of purchase (the article states that entry level electric cars are around £5000 more expensive, so a purchaser will be better off after 4 – 5 years). There may have to be a change in car loan terms, to make borrowing more affordable, but this is all.

Articles on the difficulty of charging, range longevity and many more, are published every few weeks (or more regularly).

What is the daily mails problem?

Every country around the world seems to have a similar publication. Yes electric cars create slightly more emissions at manufacture (though this gap is narrowing) and yes they can be more expensive however prices are falling and the cost of ownership over the lifetime of the vehicle is significantly lower. Importantly environmental costs are far lower, and given the situation that the human race finds itself in, having to cut our emissions to zero pretty fast – caused I should note, largely by the sort of companies that newspapers like the daily mail praises constantly- we have no choice. The best impact that the daily mail can have is slowing the change. Given that the daily mail is based on a island, a place which stands to loose much from extreme global warming not least in terms of land. This sort of slanted analysis is only useful for confirming your biases.

It should be avoided (though the daily mail gives plenty of subjects to write on)

What should we do with companies like Exxon Mobil?

Despite having led the world on climate research, they were having board meetings about climate change and the impact of their activities 50 years ago, Exxon Mobil have spent the last half century putting out slick adverts and then carrying on with business as normal.

As the world wakes up to the incredible threat that climate change holds for the world, they are continue to fight hard against climate change mitigation or reduction in fossil fuel emissions – in private through professional lobbyists, but in public they act the good company taking their responsibilities seriously.

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Indonesian government is still fighting to hide bad behaviour

In a judgement handed down in 2017, a court ruled that the Indonesian government must unveil their maps showing what land use has been decided where.

The government is still fighting.

It is odd that they are still fighting. In recent years there have been multiple problems where plantations have seemingly been given permission in areas that are also set aside for nature.

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