Feb 13, 2019

COFCO International joins sustainability group WBCSD

Andrew Woods
2 min
CSO reports on COFCO
Agricultural commodities dealer COFCO International has joined nearly 200 forward-thinking companies as the newest member of the Wo...

Agricultural commodities dealer COFCO International has joined nearly 200 forward-thinking companies as the newest member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Headquartered in Geneva, COFCO International handles over 100 million tons of agricultural commodities each year. With 12,000 people in 35 countries, COFCO International is the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corporation, China's largest food and agriculture company. The WBCSD partnership is part of COFCO International’s work to contribute to a sustainable global food supply chain.

COFCO International also becomes a member of WBCSD’s Soft Commodities Forum (SCF) which includes founding members Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), and Glencore Agriculture who have recently joined the SCF. The first focus area of the SCF is to tackle soy production land use challenges in the Brazilian Cerrado.

By connecting with WBCSD’s network of forward-thinking businesses across a variety of sectors, COFCO International can make a true impact on global corporate sustainability.

See also…

Diageo to source 80% of raw materials through sustainable agricultural supply chains

Olam International launches new technology to boost agricultural sustainability

McCain foods invests in vertical farming company TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture

Mr Johnny Chi, Chairman of COFCO International, states: “As a fast-growing global agri-business, we are committed to playing an integral part in the world’s food system over the long term, building on our core values of partnership and sustainability. WBCSD offers a platform for further collaboration with stakeholders across various industries with the common goal of feeding a growing global population sustainably.”

WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker says: “Transformation of the global food system is essential and will cover a wide array of sustainability targets. It’s not simply about reducing emissions in this sector – addressing malnutrition, providing healthy diets and improving the livelihoods and resilience of small farmers is just as urgent.”

“As one of the world’s largest agri-businesses, the inclusion of COFCO International towards these efforts is vital. Mr Chi has already overseen an impressive focus on sustainability across the company. I look forward to working with Mr Chi and his team to scale up these efforts in tandem with our other member companies in this sector and with our Council of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.”

 

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Jun 25, 2021

UK must stop blundering into high carbon choices warns CCC

climatechange
Energy
Netzero
UK
Dominic Ellis
5 min
The UK must put an end to a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices warns the Climate Change Committee

The UK Government must end a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices, according to the Climate Change Committee as it released 200 policy recommendations in a progress to Parliament update.

While the rigour of the Climate Change Act helped bring COP26 to the UK, it is not enough for Ministers to point to the Glasgow summit and hope that this will carry the day with the public, the Committee warns. Leadership is required, detail on the steps the UK will take in the coming years, clarity on tax changes and public spending commitments, as well as active engagement with people and businesses across the country.

"It it is hard to discern any comprehensive strategy in the climate plans we have seen in the last 12 months. There are gaps and ambiguities. Climate resilience remains a second-order issue, if it is considered at all. We continue to blunder into high-carbon choices. Our Planning system and other fundamental structures have not been recast to meet our legal and international climate commitments," the update states. "Our message to Government is simple: act quickly – be bold and decisive."

The UK’s record to date is strong in parts, but it has fallen behind on adapting to the changing climate and not yet provided a coherent plan to reduce emissions in the critical decade ahead, according to the Committee.

  • Statutory framework for climate The UK has a strong climate framework under the Climate Change Act (2008), with legally-binding emissions targets, a process to integrate climate risks into policy, and a central role for independent evidence-based advice and monitoring. This model has inspired similarclimate legislation across the world.
     
  • Emissions targets The UK has adopted ambitious territorial emissions targets aligned to the Paris Agreement: the Sixth Carbon Budget requires an emissions reduction of 63% from 2019 to 2035, on the way to Net Zero by 2050. These are comprehensive targets covering all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including international aviation and shipping.
     
  • Emissions reduction The UK has a leading record in reducing its own emissions: down by 40% from 1990 to 2019, the largest reduction in the G20, while growing the economy (GDP increased by 78% from 1990 to 2019). The rate of reductions since 2012 (of around 20 MtCO2e annually) is comparable to that needed in the future.
     
  • Climate Risk and Adaptation The UK has undertaken three comprehensive assessments of the climate risks it faces, and the Government has published plans for adapting to those risks. There have been some actions in response, notably in tackling flooding and water scarcity, but overall progress in planning and delivering adaptation is not keeping up with increasing risk. The UK is less prepared for the changing climate now than it was when the previous risk assessment was published five years ago.
     
  • Climate finance The UK has been a strong contributor to international climate finance, having recently doubled its commitment to £11.6 billion in aggregate over 2021/22 to 2025/26. This spend is split between support for cutting emissions and support for adaptation, which is important given significant underfunding of adaptation globally. However, recent cuts to the UK’s overseas aid are undermining these commitments.

In a separate comment, it said the Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan was an important statement of ambition, but it has yet to be backed with firm policies. 

Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee said: “The UK is leading in diagnosis but lagging in policy and action. This cannot be put off further. We cannot deliver Net Zero without serious action on adaptation. We need action now, followed by a National Adaptation Programme that must be more ambitious; more comprehensive; and better focussed on implementation than its predecessors, to improve national resilience to climate change.”

Priority recommendations for 2021 include setting out capacity and usage requirements for Energy from Waste consistent with plans to improve recycling and waste prevention, and issue guidance to align local authority waste contracts and planning policy to these targets; develop (with DIT) the option of applying either border carbon tariffs or minimum standards to imports of selected embedded-emission-intense industrial and agricultural products and fuels; and implement a public engagement programme about national adaptation objectives, acceptable levels of risk, desired resilience standards, how to address inequalities, and responsibilities across society. 

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner said the report is another reminder that if the UK is to meet its ambitious climate targets there is an urgent need to scale up bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

"As the world’s leading generator and supplier of sustainable bioenergy there is no better place to deliver BECCS at scale than at Drax in the UK. We are ready to invest in and deliver this world-leading green technology, which would support clean growth in the north of England, create tens of thousands of jobs and put the UK at the forefront of combatting climate change."

Drax Group is kickstarting the planning process to build a new underground pumped hydro storage power station – more than doubling the electricity generating capacity at its iconic Cruachan facility in Scotland. The 600MW power station will be located inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain – and increase the site’s total capacity to 1.04GW (click here).

Lockdown measures led to a record decrease in UK emissions in 2020 of 13% from the previous year. The largest falls were in aviation (-60%), shipping (-24%) and surface transport (-18%). While some of this change could persist (e.g. business travellers accounted for 15-25% of UK air passengers before the pandemic), much is already rebounding with HGV and van travel back to pre-pandemic levels, while car use, which at one point was down by two-thirds, only 20% below pre-pandemic levels.

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