ING further strengthens coal policy
The Dutch banking and financial services company, ING Group, announced on 12 December its plans to accelerate the reduction of funding in coal power generation.
In a bid to support its transition to low-carbon economy, the firm had planned to reduce its exposure to close to zero by 2025.
“We realise that contributing to the Paris Agreement targets is also about making clear choices in what we’ll no longer finance, especially when there are good alternatives available,” said Vice Chairman of ING, Koos Timmermans.
“We are taking this decisive step as part of our overall ambition to support the energy transition.”
The company has pledge to no longer finance clients in the utilities sector that are more than 5% reliant on coal fired power by 2025.
As of 12 December, ING will only support new clients that are no more than 10% reliant on coal powered energy, as long as they also have a strategy to reduce their coal percentage by 2025.
The company itself has been climate neutral since 2007, and now plans to cut its CO2 emissions by 50% as well as sourcing 100% renewable electricity for all its buildings by 2020 from the base year being 2014.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.