Top Stories

September 13, 2016


EU drafts law to tighten up energy efficiency targets

EU regulators are to propose a more stringent energy efficiency target than planned, according to documents seen by Reuters. The draft law, which has yet to be agreed formally by the European Commission, would see the EU commit to a binding goal to cut energy use by 30 per cent by 2030 compared with a business-as-usual scenario. A previous preliminary agreement for 27 per cent was made between the EU member states in October 2014. However, pressure has been rising from business leaders, MEPs, and campaigners for a much more stringent efficiency goal. The EU currently has a 2020 target to cut emissions 20 per cent compared to the projected use of energy, alongside a 2030 target to cut emissions by 40 per cent compared to 1990 levels. (Business Green)


The UK is one of the most unequal countries says Oxfam

The richest 1 per cent of the UK population owns more than 20 times the wealth of the poorest fifth, according to Oxfam. That makes Britain one of the most unequal countries in the developed world, and contributed to the vote for Brexit, the charity said. The charity’s report analysed data from Credit Suisse and found that the richest 10 per cent of the UK population own over half of the country’s total wealth, with the top 1 per cent owning nearly a quarter. The poorest 20 per cent share just 0.8 per cent of the UK’s wealth between them. The charity welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s recognition of the need to reform corporate culture and proposed a series of measures for the government to adopt. (BBC)

Corporate Reputation

Sugar industry funded research to cast doubt on sugar’s health hazards

The sugar industry began funding research that cast doubt on sugar’s role in heart disease as early as the 1960s, according to newly uncovered documents. Sugar Assn., a sugar trade group, paid Harvard researchers today’s equivalent of $48,900 for an article reviewing the scientific literature, supplying materials they wanted reviewed, and receiving drafts. The resulting article published in 1967 concluded there was “no doubt” that reducing cholesterol and saturated fat was the only dietary intervention needed to prevent heart disease. Sugar Assn. said that it “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” but that funding disclosures were not the norm when the review was published. (Los Angeles Times)


Samsung & LG sued over US employee recruiting policies

Samsung and LG have been accused of agreeing not to poach each other’s US employees. A proposed class action lawsuit accuses Samsung and LG of antitrust violations and driving down employee wages. The case is similar to one against Apple and Google and other tech companies which settled last year for $415 million. It is “implausible” that such a deal in the United States could have been reached without the consent of each company’s corporate parent in South Korea, says the lawsuit. The plaintiff, A. Frost, was allegedly contacted by a Samsung recruiter on LinkedIn, who then informed Frost the same day: “I made a mistake! I’m not supposed to poach LG for Samsung!!! Sorry!” (Reuters)


Carbon capture and storage could be cheaper than nuclear, says report

Energy produced using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology could become cost competitive with nuclear and offshore wind power in the 2020s, according to a report produced by the UK’s Parliamentary Advisory Group on CCS. The report sets out the potential for the beleaguered technology in the UK, and how the government could foster a cost-competitive industry before 2030. The UK is ready for CCS, says the report, both the technology and the supply chain are ready to deliver. The report envisages new projects being built as soon as 2020, to be operated by 2023. (Eco-Business)


Image source: Sugar lumps by condesign / Public Domain