Sign up to get occasional updates and environmental news to your inbox.Sign Up
Cause Updates Feb 2024
The penultimate four months of 2023 were Britain’s lowest-carbon quarter on record. Renewables supplied over 40% of Britain’s electricity in this period. There are a few factors that contributed to this — wind output increased one-fifth compared to Q3 2022, and electricity demand fell by 5%, perhaps because of the extended warm spells. Another major factor was a reduction in consumer use because of high prices. But the carbon reduction is an upside that should only grow as renewable capacity increases, more people get electric vehicles, and the Dogger Bank wind farm begins supplying energy.
Farm to (negotiating) table
For months, remarkable footage of the ongoing farmers’ protests across Europe has slipped in and out of mainstream news channels in the UK. Immense in scale, fervour and impact, the protests represent some of the key tensions at play in the climate movement. How can we make sustainable food systems and climate-friendly agricultural practices, while ensuring those running these operations aren’t left behind?
Tilting Temperatures and Tipping Points: Preparing for El Niño
After declaring earlier this summer that El Niño had developed over the tropical pacific for the first time in seven years, new predictions from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) indicate a 90 percent probability of ‘El Niño’ during the second half of 2023. This could have severe weather and supply-chain impacts over the next 9-12 months. WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas said “The onset of El Niño will greatly increase the likelihood of breaking temperature records and triggering more extreme heat in many parts of the world and in the ocean”
Subduing the Soya Surge
We are the flour in your bread, the wheat in your noodles, the salt on your fries. We are the corn in your tortillas, the chocolate in your dessert, the sweetener in your soft drink. We are the oil in your salad dressing and the beef, pork or chicken you eat for dinner. We are the cotton in your clothing, the backing on your carpet and the fertiliser in your field.
Good Tythings - May 2023
Clean Air Task force released a first-of-its-kind study measuring attitudes across Europe on methane emissions and regulations. This comes as the EU continues to deliberate on its first ever EU-wide methane policy following the Global Methane Pledge. While the Clean Air Task Force has been pivotal in establishing the existence of the methane problem (as well as demonstrating excellent solutions), public opinion has often been felt to be lacking, which may explain part of the extended EU deliberation. The survey, conducted in August 2022, with 6,251 voting-age respondents from France, Italy, Germany, and Poland, is hoped to fill this gap.
The Forever Chemicals
It’s been a big month for the ‘Forever Chemicals’, otherwise known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a large, complex group of manufactured chemicals valued for their non-stick and detergent properties. PFAS can be found in various everyday products such as non-stick pans, cosmetics, rinse aid, textiles, and a lot of paper and cardboard food packaging. They’re also a major source of contamination in waterways across Europe, and a potentially very serious risk to human health.
Victim and Villain?
Earlier this month ClientEarth filed a groundbreaking lawsuit in the High Court against 11 directors at oil giant Shell. The case, which is believed to be the first of its kind worldwide, seeks to leverage ClientEarth’s position as a minority shareholder in Shell to hold the latter’s corporate directors personally liable for its failure to drive the company away from fossil fuels quickly enough. It’s not clear when ClientEarth became a shareholder in Shell, but this capacity allows them to bring what’s called ‘derivative action’ on behalf of the company against some or all of its directors.
Optimism from COP15
2022 undoubtedly brought many lows, but the year ended on a high note after delegates from over 200 countries came together at the COP15 UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal (not to be confused with the recent COP27 on climate change in Egypt). COP15 delegates struck a landmark deal including a target to protect 30% of nature by 2030. The historic agreement is hoped to help the drive towards the Paris Agreement goals.
Good Tythings - November
A summary of good news from our grantees last month - Clean Air Task Force’s Magnolia Tovar and Jonathan Lewis appeared at COP27 discussing global hydrogen hubs. Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier considered by many to be a critical piece in the effort to decarbonisation of heavy industry. While the International Energy Agency (IEA) wants hydrogen from low-carbon sources to make up 10% of energy consumption globally by 2050, this ambition is still a while off.
Most headlines following from COP27 focused on one thing — the loss and damage fund, intended to bring climate justice to developing countries, including those impacted by droughts, floods and other disasters attributed to climate change. It’s still unclear what this will look like in action, with governments agreeing to establish a ‘transitional committee’ to recommend how to move forward in advance of COP28.
COP27 is upon us. For the next two weeks, over 90 heads of state and 30,000 delegates from 190 countries will meet in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi hopes the meeting will ‘showcase unity against an existential threat we can only overcome through concerted action’. The summit is expected to focus on three main targets: reducing emissions, increasing countries’ resilience against climate change, and improving technical support for developing countries. It’s been billed as both the ‘Africa COP’ and the ‘Implementation COP’ and significant attention will be focused on the particular challenges and opportunities confronting the continent, as well as strategic plans for how to turn last year’s commitments into clear action.
Hot Sewage Summer
How Britain’s sewage problem impacts marine life and international relations - If you weren’t aware of the dismal state of British waters by now, the persistent news alerts about sewage runoffs and unsafe waters this summer most likely forced it to your awareness. It’s a topic we’ve covered before, as marine conservation is one of our core collections.
The Heatwave in Numbers
As you already know, Europe witnessed unprecedented temperatures in July, wreaking havoc to biodiversity and infrastructure. A now viral clip of meteorologist John Hammond discussing the heatwave with GB News pundits went viral after onlookers compared the presenters’ facetious response to scenes from climate-comedy ‘Don’t Look Up’.
Helping Ukraine - 100% Donor Matching
It's been a month since Putin invaded Ukraine. As we're presented with daily evidence of the appalling hardship being faced by people in the country and those who have fled, most of us are stimulated to try to alleviate their suffering. Although Tythe is focussed on supporting climate action, we're part of The EQ Foundation (EQF) which has wider philanthropic aims and a number of you have asked what the best way of helping is.
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
Gale force winds brought havoc last month as Storms Eunice, Franklin, and Dudley hit the UK in quick succession. Strong winds also brought rain, which put stress on sewage systems and waterways.
A Year In Review
As the curtains closed on 2021, star-studded sci-fi satire ‘Don’t Look Up’ was released onto streaming platforms. If you haven’t seen or heard about it yet, the movie follows two astronomers (played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) who are desperately trying to convince indifferent world leaders to do something about the asteroid on course to destroy the planet.
COP26 — What Now?
It's been a few weeks since COP26 and we've been watching closely as governments, companies, charities and activists react to the events which took place in Glasgow. So what progress, if any, was made across Tythe's Climate Action cause areas? And where do we stand moving forwards?
Introducing Food & Agriculture
Hi! In case you missed it, we've added Food & Agriculture as a cause area on Tythe, so you can now support two amazing and complementary initiatives in the space: The Good Food Institute & The Sustainable Food Trust.
Fueling the Fire
Prophecies of a long, hard, cold winter dominated headlines over the past few weeks after soaring wholesale gas prices and the HGV driver shortage coalesced to create chaos across Britain. Gas companies went bust, fertiliser plants were forced to shut, and millions of consumers were left fearing high bills and empty shelves and fuel tanks. While much remains uncertain, what we can be sure about is that the climate crisis will continue to engulf our everyday lives until the Government takes even more serious action to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Seeing Code Red
August saw the landmark publication of the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC, a report that’s been described as a ‘code red for humanity’. It offers irrefutable evidence of mankind's role in the ongoing climate crisis and a clear signal that if we want to prevent further disaster, we have to take urgent action now.
After the Deluge
From Wallonia to Maharashtra, July saw unprecedented floods devestate communities in Germany, Belgium, China and India. After rapid rainfall triggered landslides in Western Europe, it’s estimated over 180 died in Germany and Belgium. At least 99 people are believed to have died in China, and more than 200,000 people were moved to shelters.
G7: More Empty Promises?
Earlier last month, world leaders gathered in Carbis Bay, Cornwall for the widely anticipated G7 Summit. As the seven largest IMF advanced economies, the G7 nations account for close to 60% of global net wealth. As such, the promises they make and/or miss have wide-reaching consequences. This is truer than ever as the coronavirus pandemic and climate crisis continue to wreak havoc on the world. The summit generated headlines for some of the leaders’ hypocritical antics, but did anything really happen?
Climate Battles & The Future of Farming
News emerged this month about a potential trade deal between the UK and Australia which could eradicate quotas and tariffs on trade. Critics call the deal a ‘betrayal of British farming’, as analysts predict that Australian imports could rise by 83.2% as part of the deal, with animal products expected to comprise a significant chunk of that.
No, Nature Isn’t Healing
When, a year ago, the world found itself in various forms of lockdown, a whimsical meme emerged. Quaint images of dolphins gliding through Venetian canals and Kashmiri goats roaming through an empty Welsh village were adorned with a message — ”nature is healing”. Sometimes silly, sometimes serious, the message offered a form of cosmic solace, a sense that, while the pandemic was an unprecedented disaster, perhaps there was still a silver lining to it all.
Happy Earth Day!
It’s 51 years to the day since the first Earth Day was held. What started as a call for environmental reform by the American public has evolved into what it is today - a loud, worldwide movement made up of millions. Join events online this year - it’s hard not to feel energised (hopeful even), hearing from leaders within environmentalism speak about the mobilisation of global climate action.
It would be hard to talk about March 2021 without mentioning the giant container ship hopelessly stranded in the Suez Canal for over a week, holding up $59 billion in traded goods. From the plethora of resulting memes sprang the website istheshipstillstuck.com, which went very viral. Its creator Tom Neill selflessly used his newfound fame to promote Tythe, bringing in a wave of subscribers. A warm welcome to you all! The internet is wild.
The Unseen Pandemic
We won't cushion it, February wasn't a great month for the climate. As the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon reaches a 10-year high, critics have put pressure on Facebook to tackle the illegal purchase of plots of Amazon rainforest on its platform. The BBC went undercover to investigate this frightening trend.