Top Stories

September 08, 2022


Oil & gas firms’ publicity claims exaggerate green investments

Big oil and gas companies are spending tens of millions publicising their environmental work, while only about a tenth of their investments go towards low-carbon development, according to a report by climate finance think tank InfluenceMap. Researchers looked at 3,421 public communications materials published by BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and TotalEnergies in 2021. The study of public communications of the five oil and gas firms found that 60% of the publicity made at least one claim highlighting the companies’ positive climate actions. However, on average, the five scoped companies devoted only 12% of capital expenditure to low-carbon activities, including some gas projects. Less than a quarter of the publicity material highlighted fossil fuel activities. Shell made the most green claims, with 70% of public communications stressing pro-environmental activities. (The Guardian)


US prohibits ‘advanced tech’ firms from building China factories

US tech companies that receive federal funding will be barred from building “advanced technology” facilities in China for 10 years, the Biden administration has said. The guidelines were unveiled as part of a $50 billion plan aimed at building up the local semiconductor industry. It comes as businesses push for more support to reduce reliance on China. In August 2022, the Biden administration signed a law committing $280 billion to high tech manufacturing and scientific research, amid fears that the US is losing its technological edge. The investments include tax breaks for companies that build computer chip manufacturing plants in the US. Some US chipmakers have already experienced the impact of Washington’s policies with technology companies Nvidia and AMD being told to stop the sale of artificial intelligence chips to China. (BBC News)


J.P. Morgan launches new digital ESG platform for investors

Investment bank J.P. Morgan has announced the launch of ‘ESG Discovery’ its new digital platform aimed at providing investors with a central source of ESG views from the firm’s analysts. The platform will enable assessments of current and forward-looking company and sector material ESG risks, opportunities and impacts. The platform aims to provide data from ESG integration to impact investors. The platform also incorporates a double materiality framework, allowing investors and analysts to investigate current ESG-related financial risks and opportunities, as well as informing forward-looking materiality by providing insight into the negative and positive impacts of companies on stakeholders across the value chain. The platform will include materiality scores of J.P. Morgan’s 35 ESG themes for specific companies and assess, compare and screen companies’ management of the most material themes. (ESG Today)


Toyota ranks last in race to transition to EVs: Greenpeace

Car manufacturer Toyota has ranked last among the world’s top carmakers in the race to transition to zero-emission vehicles, according to a Greenpeace report. The world’s largest carmaker placed last for the second year running, followed by fellow Japanese brands Honda and Nissan, both of which dropped three spots from the previous year. General Motors ranked first for its decarbonisation efforts, with electric vehicles (EVs) making up just under 8.2% of total sales. Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen ranked second and third, respectively, for transitioning to EVs, followed by Ford, Hyundai-Kia, Renault and Stellantis. Greenpeace stressed that progress in the industry was uneven despite sales of EVs more than doubling in 2021, highlighting that Toyota’s total EV sales were just 0.18%. A Toyota spokesperson said the company was committed to the goal of carbon neutrality. (Al Jazeera)


1 million more face poverty in UK this winter, analysis shows

More than 1 million more people in the UK will be forced into poverty in the winter of 2022, pushing UK deprivation levels to their highest for two decades due to rising energy costs. The conservative think-tank the Legatum Institute estimated that even if the energy price cap was held at its summer rate of £1,971, another 1.3 million people would slide below the relative poverty line compared with pre-pandemic rates. At the same time, the Dutch government has unveiled plans to invest €16 billion in funding to alleviate the burden of high energy prices and runaway inflation on its citizens. The plan will include a 10% increase to the minimum wage, a reduction in energy taxes and targeted subsidies to lower income households. The package will be funded through a windfall tax on fossil fuels among other taxes. (The Guardian; Bloomberg)*

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