Top Stories

May 10, 2021


Monzo bank to offer employees paid leave after pregnancy loss

Online bank Monzo has become one of the first UK companies to offer paid leave for employees affected by the loss of a pregnancy. Monzo’s policy will give either partner up to 10 extra days of paid leave if they lose a baby due to abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth, regardless of when in the pregnancy it happens. Under UK employment law, businesses only have to allow parents to use planned maternity or paternity leave if they lose their baby after 24 weeks, when it is considered a stillbirth. Any loss before that is counted as a miscarriage and does not qualify for maternity leave or pay. The announcement comes after Channel 4 said it believed it set a world-first when it launched a pregnancy loss policy including two weeks’ paid leave. (The Guardian)


Standard Chartered accused of hypocrisy over climate change

Standard Chartered has been accused of hypocrisy on climate change by influential pressure group Market Forces, which warned the bank will be the target of shareholder action unless it tightens its fossil-fuel lending policies. Market Forces, an activist environmental group that has led shareholder resolutions at Barclays and Rio Tinto, raised doubts about Standard Chartered’s public commitments to the Paris climate agreement in light of its continued financing of big carbon emitters. The group said Standard Chartered recently participated in a $400 million, five-year syndicated loan to Indonesian coal miner Adaro Energy. This was despite the bank’s own internal calculations showing Adaro’s contribution to global warming was plainly incompatible with the Paris accord. (Financial Times*)


Dangerous eBay listings can now be removed by regulators

E-commerce company eBay says it is handing regulators the power to take down dangerous listings without consulting the company. Officials will be able to remove items where they have evidence of a risk to consumer safety, thus eliminating the need for a second level of approval, to streamline the process, making product removal more efficient and reducing the risk of harmful products being purchased. Over the years, investigators have found unsafe electrical appliances, toys, and batteries for sale on a wide range of online marketplaces, but online retailers, such as eBay, have struggled to rid their sites of such items. Over 50 authorities globally are already involved in the early stages of the project, including the UK’s, the Office for Product Safety and Standards and internet regulator Ofcom. (BBC News)


Electric cars cheaper to produce than fossil fuel vehicles by 2027

Electric cars and vans will be cheaper to produce than conventional, fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2027, and tighter emissions regulations could put them in pole position to dominate all new car sales by the middle of the next decade, according to forecasts from BloombergNEF. By 2026, larger vehicles such as electric sedans and SUVs will be as cheap to produce as petrol and diesel models, with small cars reaching the threshold the following year. The falling cost of producing batteries for electric vehicles, combined with dedicated production lines in carmarkers’ plants, will make them cheaper to buy, on average, within the next six years than conventional cars, even before any government subsidies. (The Guardian)


Calpers and CA100+ criticised for opposing BP climate vote

Investment group Calpers and influential investor group Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) face criticism for their decision to vote against a climate resolution at oil supermajor BP. The resolution calls for BP to rework its net-zero plan and make drastic emissions cuts to align with the Paris accord. BP seeks to cut production by 40% by 2030 as part of its net-zero goal, and increase renewable power generation capacity 20-fold by the end of the decade, but emissions are still expected to rise over the period. Calpers, which holds the rotating chair position at CA100+, a group that campaigns for companies to cut their carbon emissions, will vote against the resolution. Calpers and CA100+ face criticism for seemingly “failing to support resolutions aligned with the Paris accord” in their voting decision.  (Financial Times*)

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