Top Stories

September 07, 2022


UK manufacturers warn energy crisis ‘threatening’ business

UK manufacturers are calling for immediate policy support from the government to tackle rising electricity bills, with 60% stating that expected cost increases are “business threatening”. A survey from manufacturer association Make UK found that 42% of manufacturers have seen their electricity bills increase by 100% over the next 12 months. As such, 60% claim that forecasted costs are threatening the existence of their business. Already, 12% of manufacturers have made job cuts as a direct result of energy bills with others expecting to make more redundancies. The survey found that 58% of respondents have sought to reduce energy consumption through insulation and better heating systems. Make UK is urging the government to act by providing business rate relief and reforming the wholesale markets to decouple electricity prices from the gas price. (edie)


Climate litigation against governments gathers rapid global momentum

A new report by the London School of Economics has found that legal pressure on global governments to deliver more ambitious climate policies is mounting, with 56 framework litigation cases filed against national governments since 2005 and a further 24 cases launched against subnational governments. The report also found that the number of cases has been rising steadily since 2017, with a record number of 30 new cases submitted in 2021. The report confirmed that while climate litigation against governments concentrated in industrialised economies, a “small but significant minority” of cases are being filed in emerging economies. The report follows a string of recent cases, with rulings in the Netherlands, France, the UK all resulting in governments being ordered to strengthen decarbonisation strategies in compliance with climate law. (Business Green)*


Deliveroo faces fresh UK Supreme Court challenge over riders’ rights

Food delivery platform Deliveroo is being challenged in the UK Supreme Court over the rights of its riders, months after it signed an agreement with the GMB union that granted self-employed members collective bargaining on pay. Deliveroo pledged to pay its 90,000 riders at least the minimum wage after costs, but only while riders actively delivered orders, as part of its voluntary “partnership deal”. The IWGB union, which has the largest membership of app-based couriers in the UK, has been seeking to get formal collective bargaining rights since 2016, a campaign that has escalated to the Supreme Court. The IWGB argues the company’s arrangement with the GMB does not change Deliveroo’s working practices as riders are still classified as independent contractors and therefore do not have sick or holiday pay. (Financial Times)*


Solar-powered invention creates hydrogen fuel from the atmosphere

Researchers have created a solar-powered device that produces hydrogen fuel directly from moisture in the air. The prototype produces hydrogen with greater than 99% purity and can work in air that is as dry as 4% relative humidity. The device would allow hydrogen to be produced without carbon emissions even in regions where water on land is scarce, researchers say. Hydrogen is a zero-carbon fuel that yields only water as a by-product when combusted. However, pure hydrogen is not abundant in nature and producing it requires energy input. The device is estimated to produce up to 93 litres of hydrogen a square metre an hour. Researchers envisage the device could be a useful tool in regions where liquid water is not readily available for producing hydrogen. (The Guardian)


UK ministers ignored evidence Rwanda violated human rights

The UK’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda has been challenged in the high court, with claims that ministers deliberately ignored evidence that Rwanda had violated human rights, including the right to live free from torture. Rwanda was added to a list of potential destinations for a “migration partnership” after previously being ruled out by civil servants, the court was told. An extra payment of £20 million was made to the Rwandan government on top of the £120 million in economic development funding. The legal challenge stipulated that the government, including the Foreign Office and the Prime Minister were aware of Rwanda’s present and historic human rights record. A Home Office spokesperson argued Rwanda is a “fundamentally safe and secure country, with a track record of supporting asylum seekers”. (The Guardian)

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