Request Free Trial
August 25, 2023

In Brief: EU awaits new Green Deal chief; India defines green hydrogen

The latest news in ESG policy and regulation.

The EU commissioner in charge of the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, has officially resigned from his position to focus on his candidacy in the upcoming Dutch elections. His duties will be temporarily covered by his colleague in the commission Maroš Šefčovič, until the Netherlands appoints a new member to the commission.

India has announced the parameters that it will use to define green hydrogen, setting the maximum emission threshold for hydrogen production to qualify as green at 2kg carbon-dioxide for every kilogram of hydrogen. The country has a national green hydrogen mission that aims to produce at least 5mn metric tonnes of green hydrogen a year, with an associated renewable energy capacity addition of approximately 125GW by 2030.

Australia’s climate change authority has opened a consultation on the economic modelling approach it should take to inform the Australian government on its 2035 emission reduction target. The authority is proposing four pillars upon which its model should be based: international considerations; wellbeing; sectoral pathways and economic analysis. Feedback can be sent until September 15.

Japan has started releasing treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, which originated from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. Despite the plan receiving approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency in July, neighbouring countries have expressed criticism, with China banning seafood imports from the whole of Japan. 

Ecuador has voted in a referendum to ban oil exploration and drilling in a protected area in the Amazon, in which several indigenous communities live, some in voluntary isolation. The designated area in the Yasuni national park has been considered a biosphere reserve by Unesco since the late 1980s, but also holds large oil deposits which have been an export product for the country.

Lawyers representing US company Delta Air Lines have filed a motion to dismiss in a federal court in California, arguing the class-action lawsuit targeting the company’s carbon neutrality claims should not be accepted because of federal law provisions related to the Airline Deregulation Act.

A group of 32 investors representing $7.3tn in combined assets have signed a statement calling on G20 finance ministers to align agricultural subsidies with climate and nature goals. The statement, which was coordinated by investor network FAIRR Initiative, says “action on subsidy reform by G20 finance ministers is essential for climate mitigation and long-term environmental resilience which is critical for global financial stability, since climate change and nature loss are sources of systemic risk to investments.” Legal & General Investment Management and BNP Paribas Asset Management are two of the investors backing the statement. 

A service from the Financial Times