Top Stories

April 06, 2022


UK gender pay gap: women paid 90p for every £1 earned by men

Women in the UK were paid just 90p for every £1 earned by a man, according to the government’s gender pay gap reporting database. Airline easyJet was among the high-profile companies reporting large gender pay gaps. According to data filed by the company’s parent arm, Easyjet Airline Company, women’s median wage stood at just 36p for every £1 that men earned in 2021. Financial services company HSBC also recorded median male earnings which were at least double that of its female employees. Analysis by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that the construction industry held the largest median gender pay gap, where female employees received 76p for every £1 earned by a man. The smallest gaps are found in human health and social work, entertainment and transportation. (The Guardian)


Climate change to cost budget $2 trillion a year says White House

Flood, fire and drought fuelled by climate change could cost the US an estimated $2 trillion annually by the end of the century, according to the White House. An assessment conducted by the Office of Management and Budget (OMD) found the upper range of the climate change effect on the budget by the end of the century could total 7.1% in annual revenue loss, equal to $2 trillion in today’s dollars. Major costs include between $25 – 128 billion for coastal disaster relief, flooding, crop and healthcare insurance and wildfire suppression at federal facilities. Additionally, the OMD added that increased wildfires concluded that fire suppression costs could surge between $1.55 – 9.6 billion, with flooding accumulating nearly $44 billion in annual budget expenses. (Reuters)


Trans people can be excluded from single-sex services, says UK’s EHRC

Transgender people can be excluded from single-sex services if the reasons are “justifiable and proportionate” according to the UK government’s watchdog. Guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) says that the justification could be for reasons of privacy, decency, to prevent trauma or to ensure health and safety. The body advises that people who hold gender recognition certificates can be excluded from separate or single-sex spaces assuming it is a “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. The guidance is intended to be a practical guide to help organisations implement policies that are legal and balance the needs of different groups. The LGBTQ+ rights organisation Stonewall said the guidance undermines the Equality Act 2010 in justifying the exclusion of trans people and specifically targeting trans women. (The Guardian)


Almost all the world’s population breathes harmful air, says WHO

Almost every person on the planet is exposed to air pollution that exceeds safe limits, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Its air quality database has found that 99% of people breathed in air that sometimes or always exceeded harmful levels. The WHO tightened its guidelines for healthy levels of the most hazardous pollutants in response to growing evidence of the damage they cause to human health. Fewer than 1% of cities in low and middle-income countries comply with WHO guidelines for particles, which can penetrate the lungs and potentially cause heart and brain disease. People living in low and middle-income countries suffered the most exposure to particle pollutants, but air pollution shortened lives even in wealthier regions, adding that it caused an estimated 400,000 deaths annually in Europe alone. (Financial Times)*


BofA doubles sustainable finance activity, mobilising $250 billion

Financial Services company Bank of America (BofA) has announced that it has more than doubled its sustainable finance activity in 2021. The bank reached an all-time high of $250 billion in capital mobilised for financing UN SDG-aligned green and social projects, compared to an estimated $105 billion in 2020. The jump in financing activity follows the launch of a commitment made by BofA to achieve $1.5 trillion in sustainable finance mobilisation and deployment by 2030, including $1 trillion for its Environmental Business Initiative. According to BofA’s latest annual report, the bank is one of the largest underwriters of green bonds. In 2021, BofA’s sustainable finance activities included mobilising capital for solutions such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, water & sanitation, sustainable agriculture, and carbon capture and sequestration. (ESG Today)

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