Fortnightly Bulletin – 26th September 2022
26 September 2022
Occupational Pension Schemes (Climate Change Governance and Reporting) (Amendment, Modification and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2022
These regulations will amend the Occupational Pension Schemes (Climate Change Governance and Reporting) Regulations 2021, on the 1st October 2022.
The 2021 regulations require trustees of certain occupational pension schemes to take climate change governance action. The recommendations of the Task Force on Climate Related Disclosures (TCFD) are also applied to these schemes, under these regulations.
The 2022 amendment requires the inclusion of a portfolio alignment metric as part of each TCFD report. The metric must provide an assessment of the scheme’s assets against the goal of keeping the global average temperature increase to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels. The portfolio alignment metric needs to be reported in scheme years ending after 1st October 2022.
The regulations only apply to England, Wales and Scotland.
Collecting and Storing Mixed Fuel From Misfuelled Vehicles: RPS 9
This regulatory position statement (RPS) applies to when you can collect and store mixed fuel from misfuelled vehicles without an environmental permit.
It remains a legal requirement to obtain an environmental permit when collecting and storing mixed fuel from missfuelled vehicles. However, if this occurs without an environmental permit, the Environment Agency are not likely to take enforcement action if the requirements of this RPS are met.
This enforcement position does not apply to any other legal requirements.
Biological Waste Treatment: Appropriate Measures for Permitted Facilities
This guidance explains the standards (appropriate measures) that are relevant to permitted waste management facilities that handle organic waste, also known as biowaste. Facilities that operate under a relevant waste exemption can also use this guidance.
The guidance covers when appropriate measures apply, the definition of biodegradable and sewage sludge, bespoke wastes suitable for biological treatment, site location, design and capacity, general management and appropriate measures and other sections.
This guidance applies to aerobic and anaerobic processes.
Articles of Interest
Government Outlines Plans to Help Cut Energy Bills for Businesses
On the 21st September 2022, new support for households, businesses and public sector organisations facing rising energy bills in Great Britain and Northern Ireland was unveiled.
Through a new government Energy Bill Relief Scheme, the government will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers (including all UK businesses, the voluntary sector like charities and the public sector such as schools and hospitals) whose current gas and electricity prices have been significantly inflated in light of global energy prices.
It will apply to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022, as well as to deemed, variable and flexible tariffs and contracts. It will apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, running for an initial 6-month period for all non-domestic energy users. The savings will be first seen in October bills, which are typically received in November.
Customers do not need to take action or apply to the scheme to access the support. Support (in the form of a p/kWh discount) will automatically be applied to bills.
To administer support, the government has set a Supported Wholesale Price – expected to be £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas, less than half the wholesale prices anticipated this winter – which is a discounted price per unit of gas and electricity.
The level of price reduction for each business will vary depending on their contract type and circumstances.
Climate Change Threatens Health and Survival of Urban Trees
City-dwelling oaks, maples, poplars, elms, pines and chestnuts are among more than 1,000 tree species that have been flagged at risk due to climate change.
Researchers used the Global Urban Tree Inventory – a database recording more than 4,000 different trees and shrubs planted in 164 cities in 78 countries – to assess the likely impact of global warming on the trees planted along streets and in parks.
Of the 164 cities analysed, more than half of tree species are already at risk in some cities due to rising temperatures and changes in rainfall. And by 2050, this proportion is predicted to rise to more than two-thirds. They found that drier weather under climate change is expected to have a big impact on trees, particularly in York, London and Birmingham.
Trees have cooling effects and provide shade, making cities more liveable. They can improve physical and mental health, are important for social integration and can mitigate the effects of temperature rises.
Manuel Esperon-Rodriguez of Western Sydney University in Penrith, Australia, said
“All these benefits are mainly provided by big mature trees so we need to make sure that what we are planting today will get to that stage where they can provide all those benefits for future generations,”
Scientists want better protection of existing trees and for drought-resistant varieties to be planted.
To access the full article, click here.
Online Learning and Events
Alliance of Sustainable Building Products – Steel Reuse in The Construction Sector
11th October 2022 13:00-14:00
Join the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) to find out more about the DISRUPT project (Delivering Innovative Steel ReUse Project) which is exploring the innovative reuse of structural steel in construction.
The project is led by ASBP with project partners – steel reuse experts Cleveland Steel and Tubes Ltd, global construction company ISG and the National Federation of Demolition Contractors. Supporters of the project include the Grosvenor Group, one of the world’s largest privately-owned international property businesses.
Although commonly recycled at end of life, the reuse of steel in buildings is currently minimal despite the apparent environmental, carbon and circular economy benefits. DISRUPT will deliver new circular business models that can act as a blueprint for other companies interested in entering the reuse sector, ultimately to achieve a greater supply of reused steel into the marketplace.