Top Stories

November 04, 2020

Climate Change  

Global investor group urges United States to re-join Paris climate accord

A group representing investors with a collective $30 trillion in assets has urged the U.S. to quickly re-join the historic Paris Climate Accord to tackle climate change. While the Presidential election results are still uncertain, the country has formally withdrawn from the Paris Agreement today. The group, whose members include big investors such as BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, warned that the United States risked falling behind in the race to create a cleaner global economy by leaving the 2015 Paris Agreement. The statement was timed for release on Wednesday morning, after U.S. election polls were due to be closed, indicating how the withdrawal from the Paris deal remains a contested issue. (EURACTIV) 

Digital Ethics 

Twitter, Facebook suspend some accounts as U.S. election misinformation spreads online 

Social media platforms Twitter and Facebook have suspended several recently created and mostly right-leaning news accounts posting information about voting in the hotly contested U.S. election for violating their policies. Twitter said the accounts had been suspended for violating its policy against “coordination” by posting identical content while appearing independent or engaging in other covertly automated behaviour. However, even as social media companies took action, false or exaggerated reports about voting fraud and delays at the polls circulated throughout the day. Media intelligence firm Zignal Labs said unfounded claims about closed polling stations and excessively long lines in Republican-leaning areas in Pennsylvania, one of the most closely contested states, received more than 33,000 mentions on Twitter. (Reuters)  


GSK commits to net zero climate and net positive impact on nature by 2030

Pharma giant GSK has announced a set of new environmental targets with a commitment to have a “net zero impact on climate and a net positive impact on nature” by 2030. Targets include a shift to electric vehicles, 100% renewable energy at all sites and zero waste across its supply chain. Single-use plastics will be eliminated, except for those critical to product development, health and safety, and regulatory requirements. It has said that where it cannot reduce its impact on the environment any further it will invest in restoration projects, with CEO Emma Walmsley noting GSK’s role “in protecting and restoring the planet’s health”. (Evening Standard) 


Boeing commits $1.3 million to support indigenous communities across the United States

In observance of National Native American Heritage Month, aerospace giant Boeing has committed $1.3 million to support Indigenous communities across the United States. The investment package includes $300,000 in grants for Southwest Tribal Nations to improve access to clean water, bridge the digital divide in education and provide better natural disaster response and preparation. The package also includes separate grants to support STEM education programmes for students. An additional $840,000 will fund future projects for Native American and Indigenous communities to be detailed at a later date. The new investments build on the company’s previously announced multi-year commitment to combat racism and advance racial equity and social justice at all levels. (DiversityInc) 

Sustainable Development  

BHP signs up for responsible copper production framework

BHP Group, the world’s largest listed miner, has submitted a letter of commitment to responsible copper production under the Copper Mark framework, launched by the International Copper Association in April 2019. Under the programme, copper producers will be assessed by an independent body against a set of “responsible production criteria” in line with the United Nations sustainable development goals, according to Copper Mark. The pledge adds to BHP’s environmental goals announced in September that included reducing operational emissions by 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels. BHP added it believes the program will help to hold the copper industry accountable in areas such as environment, community, human rights and governance issues. (Reuters)