Top Stories

November 13, 2020

Climate Change 

Global corporate net zero drive ‘resembles Wild West’, BNEF warns

Many of the world’s largest companies are now racing to set net zero emission goals, but the varying quality of these targets and a lack of regulation or standardisation means the current landscape for decarbonisation programmes “resembles the Wild West”, Bloomberg NEF has warned. It investigated 30 major corporates that have announced net zero goals across the utility, fossil fuel, technology, and materials sectors, but found huge variation in the level and scope of ambition, concluding that “no two net zero targets are the same”. It highlights the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), as the most credible approach corporates can take for carbon target setting and notes that the SBTi is working on a framework for setting net zero goals. (Business Green) 

Climate Change 

Top business groups urge government to plot ‘just transition’ to net zero 

Five of the UK’s leading business groups, CBI, Make UK, Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the British Chamber of Commerce have joined forces in calling for a ‘just transition’ to net zero emissions by 2050. The group is urging the government to set a “fairness test” for climate policy to ensure no companies or workers are ‘left behind’ in the shift to a greener economy. The group highlights that there have already been signs of the challenges facing companies and workers in higher carbon industries as markets, regulation, and consumer demand lead to a shift away from high carbon products and practices. As such, it calls for the government to mobilise investment in retraining programmes, maximise job creation and ensure the costs and impacts of emission reduction policies are spread fairly across the country. (Business Green) 


Almost half Goldman Sachs’ new partners are women or minorities

Goldman Sachs has invited 60 executives to become partners as of January 1st with nearly half of them from diverse backgrounds. The bank said 47 percent of this year’s class are either women, Black, Asian or Latino. Goldman has set some of the most ambitious goals among the big banks, requiring that more Black, Latino and female professionals be interviewed and hired for jobs at the bank. Chief Executive David Solomon has said he wants to move faster to increase diversity among the bank’s senior ranks, and despite progress he has said that the bank is not increasing diversity fast enough. (Reuters) 

Community Investment 

Charity sector faces £10bn funding shortfall and 60,000 job losses

Lockdown measures this year have meant many volunteers have been unable to support or partake in fundraising events. Over 166,000 charities and voluntary organisations across Britain have seen vital income streams shrink at a time when demand for their services has surged due to the pandemic. According to Pro Bono Economics, the funding gap between income and expenditure across the charity sector could reach £10 billion due to the closure of charity shops and the cancellation of fundraising events. It has also estimated that 60,000 jobs could be lost. Severe financial difficulties mean that one in ten charities and community organisations believe they will be forced to close within a year, according to research by Nottingham Trent University, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Sheffield Hallam University. (Financial Times*)  


EU launches LGBT protection strategy as homophobia rises in east

The European Union’s executive Commission launched its first strategy to protect the rights of LGBT people, a challenge to right-wing governments in Poland and Hungary that have used increasingly homophobic rhetoric in the past year. The Commission has proposed including homophobic hate crimes in a list of so-called “Eurocrimes”, major offences such as terrorism and human trafficking, for which the EU can set minimum rules. That would require unanimity among EU members. The EU strategy would also seek to ensure that the legal status of relationships in families that include LGBT people cannot be revoked when they cross borders. (Reuters) 


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