Daily Media Briefing 28th August

Daily Media Briefing

 

Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Environment, Policy & Research

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August 28, 2012

Emerging Markets

Spread of mine labour revolt casts shadow on SA’s ratings

Labour unrest in the mining sector is spooking foreign investors and could prompt a sovereign credit rating downgrade for South Africa, analysts say. Credit ratings help determine a country’s cost of borrowing and affect investor appetite for local assets, as well as interest in funding new projects. The killing of 34 striking mineworkers by police at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine this month triggered a sell-off of domestic bonds by foreign investors, and weakened the rand. Two of the three top global rating agencies said on Friday that the events highlighted the social challenges they had already flagged as a key concern when they decided to put a negative outlook on South Africa’s credit ratings. "If we continue to see a lot of unrest, destruction and instability … it would certainly put us in a position where we would have to think very hard about what the rating implications are," said Konrad Reuss, managing director of Standard & Poor’s in South Africa and Southern Africa. (Business Day Live)

Environment

REEEP calls for clean energy solutions with €4 million fund

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) is calling for proposed clean energy solutions that target key emerging markets with a €4.1 million (£3.2 million) fund. REEEP is looking for long-term commercial solutions in five key thematic areas, which include scaling up successful business models, supporting off-grid generation, harnessing the benefits of clean energy in both food production and in reliable water supply, and opening up energy data in emerging markets. The fund will support around 30 projects with the maximum amount of funding per project at €150,000. Businesses, project developers, governments, regulators and development institutions have been encouraged to apply, while preference will be given to those who bring significant co-funding. (Edie)

Water

Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism

Water scarcity's effect on food production means radical steps will be needed to feed a global population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, leading scientists have warned in one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies. In order to avoid catastrophic shortages it is advised that the world's population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years. Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet.  Adopting a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in an increasingly climate-erratic world, the scientists said. The report is being released at the start of the annual world water conference in Stockholm, Sweden, where 2,500 politicians, United Nations bodies, non-governmental groups and researchers from 120 countries meet to address global water supply problems. (The Guardian Global Development)

Diversity

Research shows still not enough women on boards

New research from appointment tracker Boardwatch shows that only four of the 87 executives appointed by FTSE 100 companies in the past two years have been female, despite moves by the British Government to encourage large companies to recruit more senior women. Jane Scott, UK head of the Professional Boards Forum said the lack of female executive appointments was “great cause for concern”. Although the number of FTSE 100 women executives has increased to 6.5% from 5.6%, the level before Lord Davies of Abersoch published his landmark ‘Women on Boards’ report in February 2011, the rate of increase is slow compared to the rise in the proportion of non-executives. Many companies are trying to address the problem, by introducing flexible working arrangements and better mentoring to nurture future female bosses. (The Times)*

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