Top Stories

April 21, 2021


EU agrees to landmark climate law with tougher 2030 emissions goal

The European Union has agreed a landmark climate change law that puts new, tougher greenhouse gas emissions targets at the heart of all EU policymaking in the coming decades. The European climate law includes a target to reduce net emissions by at least 55% by the end of the decade from 1990 – replacing a previous goal of a cut of at least 40% – to steer it towards reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The EU is now the biggest emitter to enshrine net-zero emissions goals into law. The 2030 target sets the stage for a suite of EU regulations due in June to cut emissions, including proposals to revamp the EU carbon market, tougher CO2 standards for cars, and a border tariff to impose CO2 costs on imports of polluting goods. (Reuters)


Mastercard announces an investment and a partnership in Black-owned businesses

As part of its commitment to financial inclusion, credit card giant Mastercard has announced a multimillion-dollar investment in Fearless Fund, a venture capital firm founded by Black women with the mission of investing in minority female entrepreneurs. Mastercard has also unveiled a partnership with Greenwood, a fintech firm aimed at Black and Latino consumers and business owners, to issue the platform’s first debit cards. Greenwood and Mastercard will also produce a financial podcast and educational content on banking, financial planning, home ownership and wealth creation designed to engage Black and Latino communities. Black and Latino female entrepreneurs have historically received limited funding from big institutions, with a 2020 report from Digital Undivided estimating less than 1% of venture capital funding is given to Black and Latino female founders. (CNBC)


IKEA owner sets aside 4 billion euros for green power projects

Ingka Group, the world’s biggest furniture retailer and owner of most IKEA stores, has earmarked 4 billion euros to invest in wind and solar projects, electric vehicle charging points and other green energy projects by 2030. The investments will focus on adding wind and solar projects in countries including China, India and Australia. The company will also install more electric vehicle charging points in IKEA store carparks, and consider new types of investments in areas such as energy storage, hydrogen fuel development and charging infrastructure. Companies from all sectors are increasing their investment in a lower carbon future in response to investor pressure and as momentum builds ahead of the next round of UN climate talks later this year. (Reuters)


Citi, UBS among 40 global banks in Carney’s Climate Action Pledge

Over 40 global banks including Morgan Stanley, Lloyd’s Banking Group, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, HSBC and UBS have pledged to cut pollution from their portfolios and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, led by former Bank of England governor Mark Carney, brings together several new and existing climate finance pacts involving a total of 160 companies responsible for $70 trillion in assets. The initiative stresses the role of private funding for the transition to clean energy and to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. All signatories will have to align emissions from their lending and investment portfolios with pathways to net-zero by 2050 or sooner, and set 2030 targets within 18 months, with intermediate targets to be set every 5 years from 2030 onwards. (Bloomberg*)


TikTok sued for billions over "excessive" use of children's data

Video-sharing app TikTok is facing a legal challenge from former children's commissioner for England over how it collects and uses children's data. Lawyers will allege that TikTok takes children's personal information, including phone numbers, videos, exact location and biometric data, without sufficient warning, transparency or the necessary consent required by law, and without children or parents knowing what is being done with that information. The former commissioner argues parents have a right to know what private information is being collected via TikTok's “excessive” data collection policies. The claim is being filed on behalf of millions of children in the UK and EU who have used the app since 25 May 2018, regardless of whether they have an account or their privacy settings. (BBC News)

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Thursday, 6th May 2021

Worker Health & Wellbeing: A Material Sustainability Issue for Business