Top Stories

April 29, 2022


HSBC faces greenwashing accusations from UK advertising watchdog

The UK advertising watchdog is preparing to warn multinational bank HSBC about using adverts to greenwash its reputation and order it to be more transparent about its contribution to climate change. The ruling comes in a draft recommendation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which deemed that HSBC misled customers in two adverts by selectively promoting its green initiatives, while omitting information about its continued financing of companies with substantial greenhouse gas emissions. The ASA judged that the effect of the adverts was to lead customers to believe that HSBC was making “a positive overall environmental contribution” which could influence consumer decision-making. The ASA cited information from HSBC’s annual report which disclosed that its current financed emissions equated to 35.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. (Financial Times)*


Credit Suisse joins growing list of banks shunning deep-sea mining financing

French investment bank Credit Suisse has published new lending guidelines with a pledge that it will not provide financing for the exploration or extraction of seabed minerals. It is the latest global bank to step away from the pursuit of deep-sea minerals, following previous announcements of Lloyds, NatWest, Standard Chartered, ABN Amro and BBVA. Supporters of extraction say that seabed metals – including copper nickel and cobalt – could be used to meet the surging demand for materials needed to make electric car batteries, wind turbines and solar panels. However, environmentalist groups argue there is not enough known about the environmental impacts of mining the ocean depths. Deepsea mining is a highly experimental and emerging industry estimated to be worth $150 trillion in gold deposits alone. (Eco-Business)


Global warming risks most cataclysmic extinction of marine life in 250m years

New research has revealed that accelerating climate change is causing a “profound” impact upon ocean ecosystems that is “driving extinction risk higher and marine biological richness lower than has been seen in Earth’s history for the past tens of millions of years”. The study warns that the pressures of rising heat and loss of oxygen are reminiscent of the mass extinction event that occurred at the end of the Permian period about 250 million years ago, which exterminated up to 96% of marine animals. The world’s seawater is steadily climbing in temperature, while oxygen levels in the ocean are plunging and the water is acidifying from the soaking up of carbon dioxide. Since the 1960s, the volume of ocean waters completely depleted of oxygen has quadrupled. (The Guardian)


Canadian government removes its ban on blood donations from gay men

Canadian health officials have removed a ban on blood donations from gay men, one that has long been condemned as homophobic. The old rule prevented donations from men who have had sex with other men within three months of giving blood. Countries globally have been lifting similar bans in recent years. As of 30 September 2022, prospective donors will not be asked about their sexual orientation during the screening process. Canada's ban was first put in place in 1992 as a measure to prevent HIV from entering the blood supply. It came in the wake of a 1980s public health scandal where some 2,000 people were infected with HIV and up to 60,000 with Hepatitis C from tainted blood donations amid testing failures. (BBC News)


Inequality: England’s life expectancy gap grows to almost a decade

Latest UK Government statistics have shown that men living in the most deprived areas of England are dying almost a decade earlier on average compared to those in the richest areas. The 9.7-year gap, based on data from 2018 to 2020, is an increase of roughly 110 days on results from 2015 to 2017. Covid-19, which has disproportionately impacted the most deprived communities, is thought to be a major factor in the increase. For women, the average gap in life expectancy was 7.9 years between those in the most and least deprived areas, an increase of around 6 months. The data also reveals that men and women in the most deprived areas of England spent far more years in poor health than those in richer parts of the country. (Forbes)

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