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  Who ranks where – the headlines  Japan retains its top spot on the Henley Passport Index, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 191. Over the past decade its travel freedom score has increased by 31 points: in 2010, the country was ranked 6th worldwide, with a visa-free/visa- on-arrival score of 160. Singapore continues to hold onto 2nd place, with a visa-free/visa- on-arrival score of 190. Over the past decade Singapore’s travel freedom score has increased by 35 points: in 2010, the country was ranked 11th worldwide, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 155. Germany remains in 3rd place, with access to 189 destinations compared to the 161 destinations its passport holders were able to access a decade ago. It shares 3rd position with South Korea, which has increased its travel freedom score by 38 points: in 2010, South Korea was ranked 13th worldwide, with a visa-free/visa- on-arrival score of 151. The UK is currently ranked 7th on the index, with a visa-free/ visa-on-arrival score of 185. Over the past decade the UK’s travel freedom score has increased by 19 points: in 2010, the country was ranked 1st worldwide, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 166. The US is also currently ranked 7th on the index, with a score of 185. Over the past decade, the US’s travel freedom score has increased by 26 points: in 2010, the country was ranked 7th worldwide, with a visa-free/visa- on-arrival score of 159. The UAE has seen the biggest increase in travel freedom over the past 10 years. In 2010, the country was ranked 65th worldwide, with a visa-free/visa- on-arrival score of 64. It is now ranked 18th, with a score of 171 which means the country has added a remarkable 107 visa- free travel destinations over that period. the pandemic could ultimately re- duce current barriers to internation- al mobility. “Humanity is confronted with a truly global challenge against which no country – irrespective of its level of income – can fully protect itself. This pandemic could therefore trigger renewed and more intense in- ternational cooperation, something that has (so far) not happened with the other main global challenge that the world is currently facing, namely climate change.” Brexit The chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has cast further doubt on the timeline for the implemen- tation of the UK’s post-Brexit im- migration system, according to Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford. The UK, currently in 7th place on the Hen- ley Passport Index, with citizens theoretically able to access 185 destinations without acquiring a visa in advance, was set to end free movement with the EU in January 2021. However, as Sumption says, “The UK can only implement its new immigration system when the post-Brexit ‘transition period’ is over, and if this is extended to give negotiators more time to discuss trade and other issues, we may not be seeing the end of free movement with the EU quite yet.” In the US, also in 7th place on the Henley Passport Index, the impact of travel bans implemented at the beginning of the year appear to have been compounded by the pandemic, according to Greg Lindsay, Director of Applied Research at NewCities. “For the children of a rising global middle class with more and more options, this pandemic may prove to be the tipping point in terms of choosing educational destinations. When the world gradually recovers with China, South Korea, and Sin- gapore already succeeding in slow- ing the outbreak through effective quarantines don’t be surprised if the best and brightest take coronavirus responses into consideration when deciding on their future options.” A unique hedge against volatility in an uncertain future Commenting on the ever-expanding growth and popularity of the invest- ment migration industry, Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, says: “We believe that in the post Covid-19 environment, investment migration will take on a dramatically enhanced importance for both indi- vidual investors and sovereign states. Acquiring alternative residence or cit- izenship will act as a hedge against the significant macro-economic volatility that is predicted, creating even more sovereign and societal value across the world.” passport#   May 2020 Your business  33 what’s the difference?  the greenhouse gas. Or carbon off- setting can be done by simply not emitting carbon at all – for example, choosing to cycle instead of drive. You might also hear people using the term net zero or zero carbon – these all mean the same thing. For example, if you used 100 per cent re- newable energy to power your busi- ness and used carbon offsetting to ensure your net operations and sup- ply chain were carbon free, you could call yourself a ‘zero carbon’ business. Carbon negative or climate positive Carbon negative – also confusingly referred to as climate positive – goes one step further than carbon neu- trality, aiming to remove more car- bon from the atmosphere than you emit. For example, Drax – my firm’s parent company – announced their goal to become carbon negative by 2030. They’re doing this by using innovative technology to remove carbon from the air, meaning they will end up with less overall carbon emissions than they started with. Again, carbon negative has a number of other terms associated with it, but it is the ultimate goal for businesses of all sizes. Taking the next step It is a step in the right direction for businesses and organisations to commit to a carbon reduction plan, but it’s also important to look at the bigger picture and take the next step to reduce the overall emissions in the environment. While cutting down on air travel, using LED bulbs and switching to electric vehicles is to be applauded, industry lead- ers and governments now need to shift their focus to removing the amount of carbon that’s already in the atmosphere. This is because pro- actively working to ensure no more emissions are released won’t stop or slow down the impact that carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases are having on the earth; not unless we couple it up with removing the existing emissions, and collectively work to become carbon negative. Way of life And this isn’t just a job for big business and corporations. As recy- cling has been adopted universally, going the extra mile to reduce the greenhouse gases in the environ- ment needs to become a way of life for all businesses. Those looking to achieve carbon negative should first reduce their emissions by investing in energy-ef- ficient technologies and energy stor- age, and potentially generating their own renewable energy. Choosing a 100 per cent renewable energy sup- plier is also essential. Any remaining emissions can then be offset. While this may seem like a huge investment, particularly for smaller businesses, there are numerous benefits to be gained, from helping to save money and improving overall efficiency, to attracting and retaining top talent and improving customer loyalty. With the right negative emis- sions policy, companies can do much more, collectively removing millions of tonnes of emissions from the atmosphere each year. But there’s no one-size-fits all solution; every business will be at a different stage in their journey, so it’s impor- tant to focus on what’s right for you. Valpy Fitzgerald is director of green markets at Opus Energy  

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