Daily Media Briefing 11th October

Daily Media Briefing

 

Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Environment

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October 11, 2012

Employees

South African gold miners offered better wages

South Africa’s leading gold mining companies have submitted proposals to unions to improve miners’ wages in an attempt to end illegal strikes that are costing the industry millions of dollars. Under the proposals, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony Gold, say they are willing to raise the entry level grade for miners, give an additional “allowance” to rock drill operators and improve the packages of other categories of miners. The companies agreed to the proposals with the understanding that it would not increase their overall wage bills by more than three percent and would not break existing salary agreements. It is not known yet whether the offer will be accepted by the country’s mining unions. (Financial Times*)

 

Environment

UN warns of rising food costs after year’s extreme weather

The UN has warned of increasing meat and dairy prices in the wake of extreme weather in the United States and across large parts of Europe and other centres of global food production. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome, global wheat production is expected to fall by five percent in 2012 and yields from many other crops grown to feed animals could be 10 percent down on last year. Prices for wheat have already risen 25 percent in 2012, maize 13 percent and dairy prices rose seven percent just last month. The warning came as some British supermarkets said they were struggling to keep shelves stocked with fresh produce and the National Farmers Union (NFU) reported that UK wheat yields have been the lowest since the late 1980s as a result of abnormal rain fall. (Guardian)

Global clean energy investment set to fall for first time in eight years

Global clean energy investment looks to be heading for a dip this year following a weak performance over the third quarter of 2012. Figures from the analyst, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, reveal that there was a 20 percent drop in investment in cleaner energy with a total of $56.6bn invested from July to September, a five percent drop on the previous quarter and 20 percent lower than the same period in 2011. The figures suggest that the full year 2012 figure will fall far short of last year’s record $280bn, the first down-year for global investment in the sector for the last eight years. (Business Green)

 

Corporate Reputation

Shell to appear in Dutch court on pollution charges

Oil giant Shell is due to appear in court in the Netherlands to face charges of polluting Nigerian villages. The case is being brought by four Nigerian farmers and the Dutch branch of campaigners Friends of the Earth. It is the first time a Dutch multinational has been put on trial in a civil court at home in connection with damage caused abroad. The Anglo-Dutch firm insists that it has been unable to clean up the spills due to insecurity in the region.  It also says that more than half of the leaks are caused by theft and sabotage. The case is linked to spills in the Ogoniland region in southern Nigeria. The farmers say that oil spills from the oil firm's pipelines have destroyed their livelihoods by damaging crops and fish-farms. (BBC, Guardian, Reuters)

Greenpeace activists hide overnight at Swedish nuclear plants

Six environmental activists evaded police and hid overnight at two Swedish nuclear power plants after the sites were invaded on the previous day by Greenpeace campaigners demanding the closure of the stations. A spokeswoman for Greenpeace Nordic said the six had remained hidden on rooftops in restricted areas around two plants, Ringhals on the west-coast and Forsmark on the east coast. On Tuesday, plant owner Vattenfall said police had detained 59 people who had climbed over or cut through fences into the grounds of the two plants. The activists were protesting against the poor security record of Swedish nuclear power plants, urging the government to shut the reactors. (Reuters)

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