Top Stories

September 06, 2022


Fashion firms found to continue sourcing Xinjiang cotton

Major apparel brands which have not cut ties with cotton produced in Xinjiang, China, appear to have maintained their stances despite a recent United Nations report stating the Uyghur ethnic community may be facing crimes against humanity in the region.  Authorities in China’s western Xinjiang autonomous region, which produces a fifth of the world’s cotton, have been accused of rounding up the native Uyghur population for torture and political education. Clothing retailer Muji remains one of the biggest brands outside China that has not distanced itself from Xinjiang cotton, with some of its clothes tags clearly labelling its material as originating from the region.  Some researchers suggest there is a concerted effort to obfuscate records by laundering cotton in neighbouring countries. German scientists have also found traces of Xinjiang cotton in apparel made by Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss. (Eco-Business)


G7 company emissions falling short of Paris Agreement target

Based on current emissions pledges, companies in the G7 are failing to meet Paris Agreement objectives, according to environmental disclosure platform CDP and consultancy Oliver Wyman. Analysis shows that corporate emissions targets across the G7 are overall on a 2.7°C warming trajectory. Collective emissions of US and Canadian firms are seen matching the pace of decarbonisation required to restrict global warming to 2.8°C and 3.1°C, respectively. Companies in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have the most ambitious targets to lower emissions in the G7, aligning with 2.2°C warming trajectory on average. Meanwhile, corporates’ targets in France and the United Kingdom map to 2.3°C and 2.6°C warming scenarios, respectively. The Paris Agreement target aims to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C as scientists say this will avert some of the worst effects of climate change. (Reuters)



More than 120,000 UK workers quit job because of racism

More than 120,000 UK workers from minority ethnic backgrounds have quit their jobs because of racism, suggests a landmark study by the Trades Union Congress. More than one in four workers from black and other minority ethnic backgrounds have faced racist jokes at work in the last five years and 35% said it left them feeling less confident at work, according to the 1,750-person survey. A reported 8% of those surveyed left their job because of the racism they experienced. The survey found only 19% of those who had experienced harassment reported the most recent incident to their employer, with almost half fearing it would not be taken seriously. The survey found workers aged 18 to 24 were significantly more likely to say they had experienced racism than older workers. (The Guardian)


Instagram fined €405 million over children's data privacy

Irish regulators have fined social media platform Instagram €405 million for violating children's data privacy. The long-running complaint concerned the phone numbers and email addresses of children. Some users reportedly upgraded to business accounts to access analytics tools such as profile visits, without realising this made more of their data public. Instagram’s owner, Meta, said it planned to appeal against the decision. A spokesperson for Meta argued: “this inquiry focused on old settings that we updated over a year ago and we’ve since released many new features to help keep teens safe and their information private”. However, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said Instagram conducted a major breach which carried significant safeguarding implications and the potential to cause harm to children using Instagram. (BBC News)


Firm offers first insurance against voluntary carbon credits

Insurance company Howden Broking Group has said it has helped to create the world’s first insurance against fraud and negligence in voluntary carbon-market credits. Carbon credits, which stem from practices such as planting trees and preserving biodiversity to offset carbon emissions, are seen as a crucial tool in tackling climate change. Carbon credits trading turnover was around $2 billion in 2021, but estimates forecast the industry at $50 billion annually by 2030. Howden – which manages premiums of more than $10 billion – said it partnered with carbon finance firm Respira International and reinsurance investor Nephila Capital to provide cover for third-party negligence and fraud, reducing the potential reputational risk of buying credits. (Reuters)

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