Top Stories

August 18, 2022


Oil majors’ global climate scenarios to breach Paris Agreement

Scenarios offered by oil and energy giants to decarbonise and reach the 1.5°C warming limit of the Paris Agreement have been branded “incompatible” by new research. In a peer-reviewed paper, researchers analysed six institutional scenarios published between 2020 and 2021, including four from oil majors, and two developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA). It found that only the IEA ‘Net Zero 2050’ scenario is consistent with the 1.5°C ambition of the Paris Agreement. Basing comparisons against the ‘Integrated Assessment Model’ scenarios assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the study found that scenarios offered by the likes of BP, Shell and Equinor sat between 2°C and 1.5°C. Equinor’s scenario peaks at a median warming of 1.73°C, while BP’s two scenarios sit at 1.73°C and 1.65°C. (edie)


TikTok to teach influencers about US mid-term election rules

Social media platform TikTok is taking measures to limit misinformation and violations of its policies ahead of the US mid-term elections. The platform has announced new steps to ensure influencers understand that paid political ads are prohibited. Following the 2020 US election, the company admitted it needed to do more to ensure influencers followed its rules. November’s mid-term elections will see many governor, Senate and congressional contests. TikTok said it would publish educational content and host briefings with influencers and advertising agencies to emphasise the clarity of its rules when it comes to paid content around elections. It warned that if it discovered that political content was paid for and not disclosed, it would be removed from the platform. Beyond paid content, TikTok also prohibits election misinformation, harassment, and violent extremism. (BBC News)


Battery-farmed eggs to be phased-out by 2036 in Australia

Australia will phase out battery eggs by 2036, after lengthy conflict between the egg industry and animal welfare groups to bring the country in line with Europe and New Zealand standards. The reform is part of the newly published Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry, a framework that has been in negotiations between governments and industry for seven years. The guidelines state that egg producers will phase-out the use of conventional layer hen cages over the next 10-15 years, and by 2036 at the latest. After this, all caged laying hens must have 750cm2 of usable space for each bird. New Zealand ended the use of battery cages in 2022 after announcing a 10-year phase-out process in 2012. Most of Europe, including the UK, banned the use of battery cages in 2012. (The Guardian)


Eighteen US states join Missouri probe into Morningstar ESG

Attorney generals in 18 US states have joined Missouri's probe into whether financial services firm Morningstar violated consumer-protection law with its evaluations of companies' performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Attorney General Eric Schmitt began the probe in July to investigate the news sources used by Morningstar for ESG analysis. The probe underscores a trend of Republican politicians pushing back against ESG investing even as shareholders continue putting money into funds that consider factors like climate change or workforce diversity in their investment decisions. The probe is also looking at whether Morningstar and its Sustainalytics ESG ratings unit violated a Missouri law aimed at protecting Israel from a campaign to isolate the Jewish state over its treatment of Palestinians. Morningstar says it “does not support the anti-Israel BDS campaign”. (Reuters)


Ofgem board director Christine Farnish quits over price cap

A director at UK energy regulator Ofgem has resigned, accusing it of favouring businesses over consumers with a rule change that will add up to £400 to average UK household energy bills. Christine Farnish, a non-executive member of Ofgem’s board, tendered her resignation to the government business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng. Farnish said the regulator “gave too much benefit to companies at the expense of consumers”. Farnish objected to a change in the methodology used to calculate the price cap which would allow energy suppliers to charge customers for extra “backwardation” costs they incur when securing supplies in advance. Ofgem is under pressure after being blamed for failing to prevent the collapse of 29 energy suppliers and updating the energy price cap from twice to four times a year. (The Guardian)







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