Top Stories

January 07, 2021


Trump blocked by Twitter and Facebook  

Donald Trump has been suspended from numerous tech-platforms after tweeting to supporters who attacked the US Capitol yesterday, causing violent clashes with police. In a social media message to protesters, he said "I love you" before telling them to go home; he also repeated false claims about election fraud. Twitter said it required the removal of three tweets for "severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy" due to the risk of violence and that the president's account would remain locked for good if the tweets were not removed. Facebook and Instagram banned Trump for 24 hours and YouTube removed a video of Trump falsely claiming that the election has been stolen. Picture messaging app Snapchat has blocked Trump from creating new posts, but did not say when the ban would end. (BBC) 


Exxon discloses for the first time emissions from burning its fuels 

Exxon Mobil Corp, under increasing pressure from investors and climate change activists, has reported on its Scope 3 emissions for the first time the emissions that result when customers use its products such as gasoline and jet fuel. The largest US oil producer said the emissions from its product sales in 2019 were equivalent to 730 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, higher than rival oil majors, most of whom already report Scope 3 emissions with some also creating reduction targets. Exxon downplayed its significance in the report, saying, "Scope 3 emissions do not provide meaningful insight into the Company's emission-reduction performance”. This is despite growing pressure from activist investors focused on the company’s climate performance who have demanded reporting on Scope 3. (Reuters) 


Banks 'have provided $1.7 trillion of unconditional support to plastic polluters since 2015'  

Global banks have been accused of collectively providing over $1.7 trillion to businesses across the plastics value chain since 2015, largely without attaching environmental conditions to support packages. The figure, calculated using data from 265 major banks, is reported by Portfolio Earth, an NGO set up to help pressure the finance sector into addressing its historic contribution to biodiversity loss and climate change. Over 60% of this finance was provided by just ten banks, concentrated within the US and Europe: Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley. The NGO is calling for investors and banks to implement environmental best-practice requirements, such as time-bound plans for divesting from plastics and ESG policies specifically relating to the plastics industry. (Edie) 


Lenovo to deliver global rollout of customer offset scheme 

Computer manufacturer Lenovo is planning a global rollout of its offsetting programme for new Think-branded products as part of the ongoing CO2 Offset Services initiative. The programme was first launched as a pilot in the Nordics in February, with customers helping to offset 26,000 tonnes of carbon emissions during the first nine months. The offset scheme covers emissions produced from the manufacture and shipping of products and up to five years of consumer use. Offsets are delivered through projects by the UN and ClimeCo – one of the largest producers of US-based carbon credits. In 2020, the company set targets, approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, to halve emissions from its operations and reduce value chain impacts by 25% by 2030, with a view to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. (Edie) 


Record 500,000 people take part in Veganuary as supermarkets promote plant-based food in mainstream media  

A record 500,000 people have signed up to the Veganuary challenge to eat only plant-based foods for a month. The milestone is double the number who pledged to go vegan for January in 2019. A quarter of those taking up the challenge are in the UK, along with 150,000 people in Latin America, 80,000 in the US and 50,000 in Germany. This year supermarkets in Britain, including Tesco, Aldi, and Iceland, have published material promoting vegan food, with Tesco running television and radio adverts promoting Veganuary for the first time. ASDA has introduced its first ever vegan butcher counter, selling an expanded range of meat-free alternatives. The 'Veelicious' counter opened earlier this week in the supermarket's Watford store for a six-month trial. (Independent; The Guardian) 

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