Daily Media Briefing 30th August

Daily Media Briefing

 

Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Environment, Human Rights, Sustainable Investment

Top Stories

August 30, 2012

Human Rights

India seeks to outlaw child labour

India’s government has proposed a ban on the employment of children under 14, as it tries to push more pupils into school and address an issue that has sullied the country’s image as an emerging economic powerhouse. The International Labour Organisation and Unicef welcomed the move as a landmark in India’s child labour debate, though they admitted that enforcement would be a huge challenge. Hitherto, Indian policy makers had resisted a full ban on child labour, which they felt would harm impoverished households dependent on their children’s earnings to make ends meet. (Financial Times*)

 

Corporate Reputation

Serious Fraud Office launches Barclays criminal enquiry

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched an investigation into payments made after Barclays tapped Middle Eastern investors for emergency funds in 2008. The bank raised a total of £11.5 billion in two separate cash calls in June and November of that year. The inquiry is thought to be focusing on the Qatari end of those deals which also involved the Japanese corporation Sumitomo Mitsui, in June, and Manchester City’s owner Sheikh Mansour in November. The deals were controversial because new investors were offered very favourable terms not available to all shareholders. (BBC; Guardian; The Independent)

Environment

Gazprom quits drilling in Arctic

This week, the state-owned Russian energy giant Gazprom pulled the plug on plans for a $15 billion (£9.4 billion) flagship energy project involving Arctic drilling due to soaring costs, falling European demand and cheap shale gas in America. Greenpeace, who boarded a Gazprom platform last week in protest, celebrated the end of the controversial scheme in pristine waters, but a British energy commentator warned last night that it could lead to higher prices for British consumers. (GuardianThe Times*)

Obama signs off ‘historic’ fuel-efficiency rule

Detroit’s car manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors, which owns Vauxhall in Britain, have dropped decades of resistance to fuel efficiency laws and endorsed a tough new set of requirements that will result in the average family vehicle achieving at least 54.5 miles to the gallon. The current average is about 29 miles. The new requirements will allow the US to overtake Europe as the market with the toughest emissions rules, although the European Union is expected to bring in matching legislation later this year. President Obama said: “These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” (The Times*)

Walmart joins Field to Market Alliance

Walmart has joined sustainable agriculture group Field to Market, making it the largest member and first retailer in the alliance whose members include Cargill, General Mills, Kellogg, Monsanto, Coca-Cola Company and World Wildlife Fund, among others. Field to Market is developing indicators to estimate the environmental, economic, social and health outcomes of US agriculture. Walmart consulted with Field to Market, among others, when launching its sustainable agriculture goals in 2010, which include a commitment to doubling the amount of locally grown produce it sells in the US by the end of 2015. (Environmental Leader)

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