Top Stories

February 28, 2022


Facebook limits Russian media from running adverts

Social media network Facebook says it has restricted Russian state media’s ability to earn money on its platform, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The platform is now prohibiting Russia state media from running ads and monetising on the platform. Facebook has also released a feature in Ukraine that allows people to lock their profiles for increased security. The company has also set up a special operations centre to monitor the situation in Ukraine. Facebook’s parent company Meta said Russia would hit its services with restrictions after it refused Russian authorities’ orders to stop using fact checkers and content warning labels on Meta platforms. Russia’s media regulator has limited access to Facebook, accusing the social media platform of censorship and violating the rights of its citizens. (Al Jazeera)


BP to offload stake in Rosneft amid Ukraine conflict

Multinational oil and gas company BP is expected to offload its 19.75% stake in Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft following pressure from the UK government after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. BP owned the stake since 2013, but its offload means it will sever its financial ties with Rosneft, stop taking a dividend and terminate its board membership. Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin is said to be a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin with the company providing fuel to the Russian army. The UK’s Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that Russia’s invasion must be “a wake-up call for British businesses with commercial interests in Putin’s Russia”. Similarly, Norwegian energy giant Equinor announced it will start the process of divesting from its own joint ventures in Russia. (BBC News)


UK women subject to 15.4% pay gap compared to men

A study by a UK federation of trade unions the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has found that the average woman works free for almost two months a year in comparison to the average man. The research has discovered a gender pay gap of 15.4% for all workers. Researchers warn this disparity is equivalent to women being forced to wait 56 days before they begin to earn money, with an even larger 69 day gap in the southeast. The study found the gender gap was as high as 25.4% in the education sector, 18.3% in health and social work, and highest in finance and insurance at 32.3%. A spokesperson from the TUC called on companies to go beyond publishing gender pay gap figures and publish steps to close pay gaps. (The Independent)


Chevron in talks for $3bn Renewable Energy purchase

Multinational energy company Chevron is in advanced talks to buy US biorefinery company Renewable Energy Group for an estimated $3 billion. Chevron is discussing paying $61.50 per share for Renewable Energy Group, although no final decision has been concluded and the terms of the trade may change. The deal would give a significant boost to Chevron’s push into renewable fuels, where significant demand is expected to grow in coming years as businesses and governments move away from oil and gas. Chevron said in 2021 it expects to invest $10 billion through to 2028 on low-carbon technologies. Renewable Energy Group describes itself as North America’s largest producer of advanced biofuels, with a market value of $2.2 billion. (Bloomberg)*


Governments underreporting on methane emissions

A report by energy intergovernmental organisation the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found substantial underreporting of government methane emissions. Using satellites and new technologies, the IEA found methane emissions were about 70% higher than what has been reported by national inventories. The IEA stated the findings show the need for better accountability from governments and more efforts to plug leaks. According to the IEA, many countries’ official greenhouse gas emissions figures have not been updated for years, with others reporting inaccurate figures. The latest data shows that the global energy sector was responsible for 135 million tonnes of methane emitted into the atmosphere last year, an annual increase of just under 5%, largely due to higher fossil fuel demand and production and economies aimed to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. (Eco-Business)

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