Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


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

Top Stories

November 04, 2015

Climate Change

CDP: Apple, Google, Microsoft are climate leaders; Facebook least transparent

Apple, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet are among the companies doing the most to fight climate change, claims a new report by not-for-profit CDP. The three US technology giants, worth a combined $1.6 trillion, are among the 113 corporations awarded an ‘A’ grade by CDP. The report, which analysed data voluntarily disclosed by 2,000 of the world’s largest listed companies, found that 44 percent of the companies have set targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, up from just 27 percent in 2010. However, while the majority of the world’s major businesses were found to be pushing global leaders to agree to tougher climate emission reduction targets, they are yet to reduce their own emissions. CPD co-founder, Paul Dickinson, said “These pledges and actions by a clear majority of companies engaging will greatly embolden government to move ahead and tax and regulate greenhouse gas emissions.” Facebook was the largest and highest profile company absent from the ranking, failing to disclose information on its climate impact, emissions or risks. Dickinson said he was “surprised” by the company’s “worrying lack of transparency” (Bloomberg; Guardian)


‘Destroy capitalism to save Mother Earth’, Bolivia says in submission to UN climate talks

Capitalism is leading humanity towards the ‘horizon of destruction’ and death from climate change, according to the Bolivian government. In 2013, every nation was asked to submit pledges for how to reduce carbon emissions ahead of next month’s Paris conference. Around 150 countries have submitted so far. However, Bolivia’s submission stands out from many: according to the country’s statement, “The structural cause that has triggered the climate crisis is the failed capitalist system… For a lasting solution to the climate crisis we must destroy capitalism.” Within it there are practical pledges, such as a vow to protect natural resources and promote renewable energy. But the government also puts forward a structural solution: “Adopt a new model of civilisation in the world without consumerism, war-mongering and mercantilism, a world without capitalism”. Climate policy analyst Sophie Yeo from Carbon Brief said: ‘Most countries that have submitted pledges have stuck to staid statements … Bolivia is unusual in making such an overtly political statement.’ (Metro)

Human Rights

Deloitte report shows how the power of partnership can stop modern slavery

The world’s largest consulting firm has teamed up with Free the Slaves to tackle one of history’s greatest challenges: the eradication of slavery. Deloitte has been volunteering its staffers this year to take stock of the anti-slavery movement and recommend ways for it to be more effective. The result is a new analysis report, The Freedom Ecosystem. The study examines how an ecosystem of organisations – from the private sector, civil society, government, academia, the funding community and the broader public – is working to eradicate slavery, and how they could amplify their efforts through greater collaboration. The report authors have identified three elements that allies should apply in collaborating for increased progress: Align on common goals, build mutual ownership and create scalable solutions. It also addresses some current challenges such as a standard definition for human trafficking, gaps in and sharing of data, limited resources and policy. (Free the Slaves)

Corporate Reputation

Chinese court penalises polluters under new law

A Chinese court handed environmental groups their first victory under a new law making it easier to sue polluters, which green groups hope can be a powerful tool for tackling the country’s pernicious pollution problems. The court in China’s southern Fujian province ordered four mine operators to pay 1.27 million yuan (about $200,000) in clean-up costs, as well as the legal costs of Friends of Nature and Fujian Green Home, two environmental groups that brought the suits. The groups accused four mine operators of damaging about two hectares (4.4 acres) by stripping a mountainous area of trees. In addition to empowering more nongovernment organisations to sue polluters, this first revision to the country’s environmental law since 1989 also increased penalties for those caught damaging the environment. However, lawyers and environmentalists say that significant challenges remain, including NGOs’ lack of legal experience and courts’ reluctance to penalise local businesses. (WSJ)


EDF Renewables chief: UK subsidy cuts will help drive down green energy costs

Antoine Cahuzac, the chief executive of EDF’s renewable arm, has claimed the government’s recent cuts to subsidies for renewable energy have forced clean energy firms to become more competitive. Speaking at an event in London, he said changes to renewable subsidies have created a tougher market for clean energy developers than it was in the past, but said there was a “good aspect” to the changes. “It forced all companies involved in renewable energy to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy,” he said. Last month, EDF announced it would double its global renewables capacity from 28 gigawatts today to 50 gigawatts by 2030. Cahuzac said he was confident the cost of renewables would fall fast enough to make this achievable, regardless of subsidy changes in individual markets. “And therefore, despite a change of policy in a given country, and even the fact that the subsidies to this sector are lowering around the world, we are truly confident that it will work,” he said. (Business Green)

Image Source: Palacios de gobierno Bolivia by Rodrigo Acha / CC BY 2.0