Top Stories

April 05, 2022


IPCC: emissions must peak by 2025 to avoid worst of climate change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its landmark report on mitigation, stating it is “now or never” to limit global warming highlighting the need to ensure an emissions peak by 2025. The IPCC reiterates its previous assertations that global net emissions will need to be reduced by 48% by 2030, against a 2019 baseline, and brought to zero by 2050 to achieve the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C trajectory. The researchers state that the next few years are critical, because without curbing emissions by 2030, it will make it nigh on impossible to limit warming later this century. The report warns that low-carbon investments need to scale as much as sixfold and, on the energy transition, cautions that if all new fossil fuel infrastructure currently in the pipeline is completed, global temperature increases will still breach 1.5°C with a pathway between 2.8°C and 4°C likely. The report points towards nature-based solutions of soil restoration, tree planting and direct air capture but warns that these alone will not bring emissions in line with net-zero, emphasising the need to rapidly phase out fossil fuels. (edie; BBC News)


US executives reap record pay as historic income gap between staff widens

US chief executives are on track to reap record rewards in 2022, raising the prospect of clashes with investors and employees as an earnings gap widens. For the 280 S&P 500 companies that have published figures this year, the median chief executive’s pay has jumped to a record $14.2 million for 2021, up from $13.5 million in 2020, according to data provider ISS Corporate Solutions. Among the largest pay packages was Andy Jassy’s $212.7 million at Amazon, who earned a package 6,474 times that of Amazon’s median employee. The median ratio has shot up to 245 for 2021 from 192 for 2020, according to corporate data aggregator Equilar. Part of the jump in executive pay stemmed from bonuses paused or slashed in 2020 during the pandemic. (Financial Times)*


Investors warn European companies on climate accounting practices

Thirty-four investors managing more than $7 trillion in assets have warned 17 of Europe’s largest companies that they could face AGM challenges over their accounting of climate risks. In a series of letters, investors told the companies – including oil and gas giant BP, vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen and mining firm Anglo American – their accounts did not reflect the fallout from climate change on their assets and liabilities. For example, some assets may depreciate faster in value while demand for certain products may fall. The investors warned that from “next voting season [companies] should increasingly expect to see investors vote against Audit Committee directors’ reappointment, where high-risk companies fail to meet the expectations”. The letters were sent to company lead audit partners and the largest accountants in the UK, US and France. (Reuters)


UK Treasury outlines plans to build cryptoasset hub and exploit blockchain

The UK government has set out a detailed plan to exploit the potential of cryptoassets and their underlying blockchain technology to streamline consumer payments. As part of creating a global ‘cryptoasset hub’, financial services minister John Glen said Britain will legislate to bring some ‘stablecoins’ under the regulatory net such as complying with existing payment rules. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to have a stable value relative to traditional currencies, or commodities such as gold, to prevent market volatility which makes other digital tokens impractical for most commerce. The government will later consult on creating regulations for additional cryptoassets like bitcoin, taking the sector’s energy consumption into consideration. Britain’s plan will also develop the potential of blockchain, including whether it can be used for issuing British government bonds or gilts. (Reuters)


Thousands of UK workers participate in the biggest four-day work week trial

More than 3,000 workers at 60 companies across Britain will trial a four-day working week, in what is thought to be the biggest pilot scheme to take place globally. Employees from a range of businesses and charities are expected to participate, which will run from June to December 2022. The trial is being run by academics at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, as well as Boston College in the US, in partnership with campaign group 4 Day Week Global. It will examine how employment patterns might work at a broad range of companies across the economy. It comes after the Covid pandemic led many people and companies to re-examine working patterns, with a marked rise in hybrid and flexible working practices. (The Guardian)

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