Top Stories

November 26, 2020


General Motors supports California’s tough emissions rules in U-turn 

General Motors (GM) has announced that it has reversed course and no longer supports President Donald Trump’s plan to prevent California from setting its own automotive emissions standards. In September 2019, the White House moved to revoke the authority given to California to set tough CO2 guidelines. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) followed with significantly tougher standards than those enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency, effectively leading to a huge boost in electric vehicle sales this decade. This change in position comes in line with GM’s own plan to increase its battery-car investments and in response to the upcoming change in administration which looks set to be more attuned to clean energy and tougher auto emissions standards. (NBC News) 


Mining industry making headway on zero emissions truck fleet

The mining industry is making progress on the introduction of a zero-carbon truck fleet by 2040, bringing in new partners as it strives to drive down emissions, according to the head of the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM). The initiative, announced two years ago, aims to minimise diesel exhaust and introduce vehicle collision avoidance technology by 2025 and hopes to see greenhouse gas emission-free surface mining vehicles used widely by 2040. Mining truck fleets are typically diesel powered and represent about a third of miners’ greenhouse gas emissions. ICMM members have now reviewed more than 650 individual mines to assess what’s needed to reach the programme’s goals. Next year, they will look at integrating the initiative into corporate planning processes, allocating resources, and collaboration among members. (Reuters) 


Amazon and Apple ‘not playing their part’ in tackling electronic waste

Global tech giants such as Amazon and Apple should be made responsible for helping to collect, recycle and repair their products to cut the 155,000 tonnes of electronic waste being thrown away each year in the UK, UK Members of Parliament (MPs) have said. An investigation by the environmental audit committee found the UK is lagging behind other countries and failing to create a circular economy in electronic waste. The UK creates the second highest levels of electronic waste in the world, after Norway. MPs said the UK was not collecting and treating much of this waste properly with about 40 percent sent abroad, often illegally. MPs have called for the right to repair to be enshrined in law, as well as the need for ambitious waste targets and requirements for producers to collect products and pay for recycling. (The Guardian) 

Sustainable Investment 

Canada pension funds ask companies to standardise ESG reporting

Canada’s eight biggest pension funds have put their weight behind global efforts to improve corporate sustainability reporting, urging companies and their investment partners to report environmental, social and governance (ESG) data in a standardised way. In the first joint statement of its kind, CEOs of the top pension funds, which manage C$1.6 trillion in assets, demanded increased transparency from companies. The pension funds have asked the companies to use the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework to further standardise ESG-related reporting. This follows calls from BlackRock as well as the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation to harmonise sustainability accounting rules and standards globally to improve the comparability of reporting. (Reuters) 


City group seeks to loosen public school grip on top jobs

Ministers have launched a drive to try to increase the number of people from poorer backgrounds reaching senior positions in financial and professional services firms in the City of London. The move by a UK government-backed task force to boost diversity in the Square Mile came as a study found that a quarter of senior managers went to private school and almost nine in 10 came from a higher socio-economic background. The independent group will aim to establish how government, regulators and industry bodies can encourage employers to address the lack of social diversity at the top. A membership body will also be created for the financial services sector to allow companies to benchmark their progress and share best practice. (Financial Times*) 

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