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UK News Solar energy boss has an electrifying warning: The protesters from Extinction Rebellion have a point - I was tempted to join them

00:45  19 january  2020
00:45  19 january  2020 Source:   thisismoney.co.uk

Activists protest against Australian government’s response to wildfires

  Activists protest against Australian government’s response to wildfires Extinction Rebellion activists are demanding more action from Scott Morrison’s government in solidarity with thousands of protesters in Australia.Extinction Rebellion activists, including many people from Australia, are calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to “act now” outside the Australian embassy in central London.

Extinction Rebellion protesters perform a water ceremony, mixing water from across the UK before pouring it into the River Thames, outside the royal courts “It has been announced that all protesters arrested during the April rebellion will be prosecuted. We are asking the police and legal system to

Extinction Rebellion protesters , activists and legal observers have told Guardian reporters some of those “The other thing is that if they come in and do a mass arrest, they might lose public support,” she There is a sense the Extinction Rebellion protests are being policed with a strict adherence to

Mike Bonte-Friedheim is not your typical eco-warrior. The former Goldman Sachs banker spent Christmas in St Lucia with his family (he offset his carbon emissions, he tells us), drives a BMW and has homes in both London and Majorca.

But his solar energy group, NextEnergy Capital, is one of Europe's biggest investors in solar projects, with $2.3billion (£1.8billion) invested – and the City is finally starting to fall in line with his lucrative brand of climate change evangelism by switching investments from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

On the day we meet at Bonte-Friedheim's third-floor Mayfair office, which gave him a ringside view of Extinction Rebellion's latest London protests – 'I was tempted to join in', he says – the world's biggest asset manager, BlackRock, said it will no longer actively invest in major coal producers.

UK police say it was mistake to call climate group extremist

  UK police say it was mistake to call climate group extremist LONDON (AP) — British police say it was an “error of judgment” to include environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion in an official document that listed extremist organizations. The counterterrorism police unit for southeast England included the climate change protesters alongside Islamic extremists and banned neo-Nazi group National Action in a guide to "safeguarding young people and adults from ideological extremism," The GuardianThe counterterrorism police unit for southeast England included the climate change protesters alongside Islamic extremists and banned neo-Nazi group National Action in a guide to "safeguarding young people and adults from ideological extremism," The Guardian newspaper report

Labour has backed the Extinction Rebellion protesters who have carried out a week of civil disobedience and occupations to highlight the ecological emergency, likening them to Miliband, who was the energy and climate change secretary under Gordon Brown, said the protesters were correct.

The UK group of Extinction Rebellion has three core demands Also on Thursday morning, protesters from XR Peace staged actions targeting the London offices of the arms makers A rail union meanwhile urged Extinction Rebellion protesters to think again over attempts to disrupt public

a man holding a sign posing for the camera: Ahead of the curve: The sun is shining on Mike Bonte-Friedheim’s energy company which is one of Europe’s biggest investors in solar projects © Provided by This Is Money Ahead of the curve: The sun is shining on Mike Bonte-Friedheim’s energy company which is one of Europe’s biggest investors in solar projects

BlackRock's co-founder and chief executive Larry Fink said his £5.7trillion giant will instead increase the money it invests in sustainable firms from £68billion to £760billion.

The billionaire's conversion followed Bank of England governor Mark Carney's warning to City chiefs last month that some of their assets would become 'worthless' unless they woke up to the climate change crisis.

'There will be trillions of dollars invested in solar over the next ten, 20 years,' predicts Bonte-Friedheim, who founded NextEnergy 13 years ago. It's a bold claim, but perhaps more believable after last week. The changing mood now sweeping City circles is clearly music to his ears.

Extinction Rebellion block Glasgow petrol station as part of climate change protest

  Extinction Rebellion block Glasgow petrol station as part of climate change protest The activist group is hoping to 'highlight the role of the fossil fuel industry in the climate emergency' with its protest outside Shell petrol station on Victoria Road.Around 20 of the group’s Scottish branch descended on the Shell garage on Victoria Road in the city’s south side on Sunday afternoon.

Extinction Rebellion bee protester glues himself to Lib Dem bus. Extinction Rebellion protesters to be held in jail for at least two weeks after being denied bail. The music industry has had a big carbon impact.

The protesters said they were risking arrest to highlight the dangers of climate change. Extinction Rebellion is a protest group that uses non-violent civil disobedience to campaign on environmental issues. “The David Attenborough documentary will have a huge impact,” predicted Ronan McNern

He says the interventions were 'hugely significant' – and not just because a four-degree Centigrade rise in global temperatures would put the Caribbean hotel he stayed at over Christmas 'nine metres under water'.

'It is fundamental that high-profile market participants, such as Larry and Mark, put that message out very clearly. Because to rapidly effect change we need to deploy capital for renewable energy and other carbon reducing investment strategies,' Bonte-Friedheim says.

Scandinavian investors, such as Norwegian pension fund KLP, are 'really pushing' to invest in his group's 90 solar assets while funds in the UK, the US and Europe are 'well behind'.

'To make the climate change crisis clear to financial decision-makers, we need society to say, 'You're managing our pension money, do something',' he adds.

Whatever your views on climate change, the 53-year-old has clearly identified a major opportunity ahead of the curve and staked his career on it.

Extinction Rebellion protesters blockade Edinburgh office over fossil fuel investment for MSPs

  Extinction Rebellion protesters blockade Edinburgh office over fossil fuel investment for MSPs Climate change activists chained themselves up outside the doors at the Baillie Gifford HQ to raise awareness Members of chained themselves up outside doors at the Baillie Gifford building in the city centre.

Police clear Extinction Rebellion protesters from Trafalgar Square overnight – video. Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in Until Monday night, Trafalgar Square had been specified by the Met as the only legitimate protest site and

They pointed out that a recent survey found more than half of teenagers in the US said they got their news from YouTube. As of 8 am on Wednesday there She said: “ I do plan to go to Trafalgar Square at lunchtime today to stand in solidarity with the Extinction Rebellion protesters because I believe that

Mike Bonte-Friedheim, 53: Green rocker

Family: Wife Odette, who runs health start-up BabyUp, and two children.

Education: The American School in Rome and University of San Diego.

Music: Heavy metal band AC/DC featuring Angus Young, below.

a person on a stage: Angus Young of the Australian band AC/DC © Provided by This Is Money Angus Young of the Australian band AC/DC

Car: BMW X5 hybrid.

Energy supplier: Ovo.

Favourite film: Sci-fi classic Metropolis.

Last holiday: A festive break with 21 family members in the Caribbean.

Inspiration: His father Christian, 85, was No.2 at the United Nations food and agriculture division. 'I call him the world's second-biggest farmer,' he says.

Charity: NextEnergy Foundation donates 5 per cent of the group's profits to green energy projects.

Bonte-Friedheim was born in Kenya before his family moved to Rome for his German father's job. After completing an MBA he worked on the energy advisory desks at Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. He launched Next-Energy using savings from his investment banking career.

He says he is now a committed environmentalist who partly powers his West London home by solar panels and Tesla battery storage that charges overnight from the National Grid (his favourite band, he confides, is the aptly-named Australian heavy metal group AC/DC).

Climate activists end blockade at Shell headquarters in Aberdeen

  Climate activists end blockade at Shell headquarters in Aberdeen The Extinction Rebellion Scotland members were outside the building for 13 hours.Extinction Rebellion Scotland members gathered at the premises in Altens at 6.30am on Thursday.

Extinction Rebellion protesters in Oxford Circus, London. But Extinction Rebellion (XR) point out that no political leaders in any country – certainly the current government in the The language around climate change has also changed. Words like “ extinction ”, “ rebellion ”, “crisis” and “breakdown” are

Day four of Extinction Rebellion , which has been a phenomenal success, as climate protesters occupy four pressure points in Britain’s congested At least now the UK climate deniers are trounced: the BBC rightly refuses them airtime. But guiltily, I am well aware that every day we obsess in the

'I'm living the strategy,' he beams. That strategy has been to invest in solar energy projects across the UK, Italy and, more recently, the US. The investments are held across three funds that are backed by pension funds and wealth managers, including Fink's very own BlackRock.

Investors in the flagship FTSE 250-listed NextEnergy Solar Fund receive dividends from profits made by selling the electricity generated by the solar assets to suppliers including Shell, EDF Energy and Centrica.

Over the six months to September 30 last year, NextEnergy Solar Fund generated enough electricity to power 134,000 homes, equivalent to Bradford and Bournemouth combined, producing a 6.7 per cent shareholder return.

an empty park bench sitting on top of a wooden fence: The costs of building solar plants have reduced by 90% since NextEnergy launched in 2007 © Provided by This Is Money The costs of building solar plants have reduced by 90% since NextEnergy launched in 2007

Its profits are boosted by taxpayer-funded subsidies. NextEnergy Solar Fund received £45.3million of incentives over the year to March 2019 through Feed-In-Tariffs and Renewable Obligation Certificates.

But the costs of building solar plants have reduced by 90 per cent since NextEnergy launched in 2007. Bonte-Friedheim says his firm's solar projects are now 'financially viable' without subsidies.

Last year, the group opened its first two subsidy-free solar plants, Hall Farm II in Leicestershire and Staughton in Bedfordshire, the UK's largest subsidy-free solar plant.

He says increasing numbers of Britons will lead sustainable lives through switching to renewable energy suppliers, driving electric and hybrid cars and installing electric boilers to heat their homes. 'I call it the electrification of GDP.'

Bonte-Friedheim hopes to double his group's assets under management to $4.6billion in three years, and says revenues will double too.

A recent study by Professor Christian Breyer of Finland's Lappeenranta University predicts solar will generate 69 per cent of global electricity supply by 2050 – the Government's deadline for the UK achieving zero carbon emissions.

In the meantime, he wants the Government to 'not put sticks in our spokes' by hampering his firm with regulation.

He says: 'The way I often describe my policy requirements is I just need governments not to impede us – just get out of my way. 'Because economically I can make solar work. I don't need your help, I don't need cash from you. I just need you to make our life easy so we can build as much solar as possible.'

Police Scotland confirm climate activists not classed as terrorists .
Police Scotland has confirmed that Extinction Rebellion and other climate protest groups will not automatically be referred to the Prevent scheme for tracking suspected terrorist activities. © Provided by The Scotsman Scottish Green justice spokesman John Finnie MSP wrote to the constabulary after counter terrorism police in England had issued guidance on Prevent, which included a reference to Extinction Rebellion.In its reply, the national force said unlawful protests were not considered terrorism.

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