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September 09, 2022


Women’s US boardroom gains slow as diversity focus shifts

A push to get more women on US boards has slowed in 2022, raising concern among recruiters that some firms are focused on other diversity issues. Figures from researcher Equilar reveal women made up a smaller share of new directors who joined company boards in the first two quarters of 2022, accounting for around 40% of new directors in both timeframes. The figures undo a rising trend seen in 2021 when women accounted for 41% of new directors in the first quarter and 47% of new directors in the second quarter. Before rising to 48% for the last two quarters of 2021. Recruiters claim the slowing pace in part reflects boards turning their attention away from gender equality to racial equality, instead of focusing on both. (Reuters)


Cost to hit UN Sustainable Development Goals rises to $176 trn

The cost of meeting global targets to fight issues such as hunger, poverty and climate change has risen by 25% to $176 trillion over the last year, with performance on several measures reversing. The funding shortfall for the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a series of 17 goals to be reached by 2030 , rose even further over the period, up 35% to $135 trillion, the report by the Force for Good Initiative (FFGI) said. Driven in part by historic under-funding and the ever-shorter timeframe, the higher costs are also fuelled by surging inflation and the rising costs associated with reaching net-zero carbon emissions. Rising economic pressures over the last year saw progress on several SDGs worsen, with 100 million more people in extreme poverty and 210 million more facing food insecurity. (Reuters)


Australia passes landmark legislation to cut carbon emissions

Australia has passed a landmark climate bill, bringing the resource-rich country in line with the global push to cut carbon emissions after years of pushing back against such efforts. The climate change bill mandates that the country reduce carbon emissions by 43% from 2005 levels by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050. The policy was a crucial element of the Labor party’s election campaign and brings Australia broadly in line with countries such as Canada and Japan. However, the target still lags behind goals set by the US, UK and EU. Australia is one of the world’s largest miners and one of the biggest coal exporters. Industry groups responded positively to the news with the Business Council of Australia praising the policy. (Financial Times)*


Royal Mail and rail workers cancel strikes after Queen’s death

Strikes by postal and rail workers have been cancelled following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Royal Mail workers were due to stage the second day of a 48-hour strike on 9th September in a dispute over pay and conditions. Strike action in Great Britain by about 40,000 workers at Network Rail and 14 train operating companies planned for 15th September and 17th September has also been suspended by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers. The train driver’s union Aslef has also postponed a strike planned for 15th September. The TSSA rail union has also cancelled planned industrial action for 26th September, and said it would be “respecting the period of public mourning”. (The Guardian)


France clamps down on delivery depot ‘dark stores’ in capital

France has taken steps to outlaw so-called ‘dark stores’ – city-centre food depots used for instant home deliveries ordered online, following growing protests from local people and authorities. President Emmanuel Macron’s government has decreed that the stores be classified as warehouses, rather than shops, meaning that in Paris, and other cities, most will be forced to close. Run by instant delivery food companies such as Gorillas, Cajoo, Getir, Flink and Gopuff, dark stores have proliferated in France following the popularisation of online food shopping during the pandemic. Residents of buildings where dark stores exist have complained of noise from early morning lorries and disruption caused by drivers. The separate phenomenon of "dark kitchens" – diner-less restaurants where meals are prepared for delivery – will also be affected by the new government policy, though it remains unclear exactly how. (BBC News)

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