From Britain’s week without coal to a boost in lending from the World Bank to Africa

Britain has gone a week without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since 1886. The UK is committed to phase out coal-fired power by 2025, but its energy system still relies on coal-fired power stations as a backup during periods of high demand.

Related: We’ll soon know the exact air pollution from every power plant in the world. That’s huge.


New World Bank President David Malpass has announced plans to boost the institution’s lending to African countries to help fight poverty. Speaking to reporters during a tour of Madagascar, Ethiopia, and Mozambique, Malpass said ‘the bank will be making more of its grants, more of its loans to Africa as a percentage and also in absolute dollars.’

Related: World Bank to lend Kenya $250m so poorer Kenyans can get mortgages


The Arctic Council issued a short joint statement this week that excluded any mention of climate change following pressure from the US, the first time since the formation of the council that it has been unable to issue a joint declaration laying out its priorities.

Related: Europe May Use Trump’s Favorite Economic Weapon to Punish His Inaction on Climate Change


A new IMF report says that a carbon tax of USD $70 per ton of carbon dioxide would be the most efficient means of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. However, in the wake of the gilets jaunes protests in France which were sparked by plans to increase France’s carbon tax from  €44.60 to €55, analysts are skeptical that policy maker’s would be able to generate public support for such a measure.

Related: Raise taxes on firms that harm nature, OECD tells G7 countries


The UK’s development finance institution the CDC Group has responded to a critical report from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, offering details of its work to improve development assessments, better monitor development impact, and more actively engage with companies it invests in.

Related: Aid funding must recognise climate change emergency, say MPs


Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, resigned ‘with immediate effect’, five months after his leadership was called into question in a damning report into sexual harassment and bullying within the agency. Sidibé had faced calls to resign when the report was published but he instead announced he would stay on to institute changes at the agency before leaving at the end of June. Sidibé’s decision to leave ahead of schedule was due to him accepting a position as minister of health and social affairs in his home country of Mali according to a statement from the agency.

Related: Questions arise over Tedros’ new deputy director-general


Blackstone, one of the world’s largest investment firms, has announced the launch of a new impact investing platform that will be part of the firm’s Strategic Partners group. The platform will focus on four themes: Health & Wellbeing, Financial Access, Sustainable Communities and Green Technologies, and will be led by former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division, Tanya Barnes.

Related: LeapFrog Breaks Impact Investing Record, with $700M (EURO 623 Million) Emerging Markets Fund


With impact investing’s profile rising in recent years, more and more nonprofits are looking to impact investing as a alternative approach to their goals than more traditional nonprofit activities. But not all nonprofit missions and organisations are are suited for a move into impact investment, and so Stephanie Marienau Turpin and Shikhank Sharma, co-editors of the report Amplifyii: The Next Mile of Impact Investing for INGOs,’ have put together six questions organisations should ask themselves to see if they are suited to impact investing.

Related: Towards a Hippocratic oath for impact investing


South Korea has pledged USD $355 million to support green infrastructure in Southeast Asia. Korea has pledged USD $350 million for cofinancing and USD $5 million for technical assistance to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Catalytic Green Finance Facility, with a focus on projects to boost ocean health.

Related: The Nature Conservancy and Encourage Capital Release Global Sustainable Aquaculture Impact Investment Report