• FutureTrack

This Week in Sustainability News 21.10

This past week was filled with interesting sustainability and climate news, we’ve summarised the top stories below.


A study suggests that lost rainforest could be revived across Great Britain

  • An analysis released by Lost Rainforests of Britain suggests that the Atlantic temperature rainforest, which once covered the west coasts of Britain and Ireland, has the potential to be revived across 20% of Great Britain.

  • Temperature rainforest is an incredibly rare habitat found only in a few locations in the world. Today, it covers less than 1% of the land of Britain and Ireland.

  • According to ecologists, invasive species, pollution, and livestock grazing are among the pressures that damaged the Atlantic temperature rainforest in Great Britain.

  • Two maps created by Lost Rainforests of Britain reveal which regions have climates that would allow temperature rainforests to naturally regenerate. Suitable conditions for a potential rainforest regrowth can be found in Wales, western Scotland, Cornwall, the Lake District, and north of Manchester.

  • Leading wildlife NGOs, including the National Trust, the RSPB, and the Woodland Trust, have recently written to the government calling on public officials to ensure that all of England’s rainforests are put under protection.

  • The letter also urges the government to adopt a rainforest strategy that would involve farmers and landowners in biodiversity regeneration and conservation efforts.


European Parliament calls on countries to develop a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

  • On the 20th of October 2022, the European Parliament passed a resolution that outlines its demands for the UN COP27 climate summit in Egypt next month.

  • In the resolution, the Parliament calls on countries to develop and adopt a Fossil-Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as steer away from fossil fuels, end all investments in extraction, and halt fossil fuels subsidies.

  • The call from the European Parliament for an immediate phase-out of fossil fuels is the latest development in the recent push for the transformation of the global energy system by other countries and organisations, such as Vanuatu and the World Health Organisation.

  • Climate campaigners state that in addition to the newly passed resolution, the European Parliament needs to take further measures and ensure that the pillars of the Treaty are incorporated within its domestic policy.


UK advertising watchdog bans HSBC’s ‘misleading’ sustainability adverts

  • HSBC’s sustainability-focused adverts have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for green claims that omit to disclose the bank’s involvement in financing fossil fuel and deforestation businesses.

  • The ASA has received 45 complaints over HSBC adverts promoting the bank’s net zero strategy and support for tree-planting campaigns.

  • The advertising watchdog has ruled that these advertisements show ‘unqualified claims’ about HSBC’s ‘environmentally beneficial work’ and could mislead the public about the bank’s involvement in projects and businesses that contribute to the emissions of greenhouse gases.

  • In the ASA’s ruling, the bank has been urged to ensure that all “future marketing communications featuring environmental claims were adequately qualified and did not omit material information about its contribution to carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions”.

  • Environmental campaigners have welcomed the ruling by saying that it sets an important precedent for other banks and businesses to be more transparent and avoid greenwashing claims in their marketing campaigns.