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September 12, 2022


Major study warns of multiple climate tipping points beyond 1.5°C

A new study has warned that multiple world-altering tipping points will be breached if global temperatures exceed 1.5°C. The research reviewed hundreds of studies across academia to provide a global picture of how the climate crisis will alter key environmental tipping points. On a 1.5°C trajectory, around 10 tipping points could be breached, including huge sea level rises because of the Greenland ice caps collapsing, current disruptions in the north Atlantic and the melting of permafrost which currently store large volumes of carbon dioxide and methane. Other tipping points identified within a 1.5°C trajectory included the collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and Amazon dieback. The remaining tipping points would likely occur within a 2°C trajectory, potentially including extinction of corals, monsoon season changes and loss of ocean oxygen. The world is currently on course for around 2.6°C based on existing net-zero pledges from nations. (edie)


Insurance brokers walk away from Carmichael coal mine in Australia

Two insurance brokers have walked away from a big Australian coal mining operation as pressure grows on the industry to avoid fossil fuels. Marsh McLennan, the world’s biggest broker, has stopped arranging insurance for Adani Enterprises’ Carmichael coal mine following the conclusion of the mine’s construction phase. Lockton, another top-10 global broker, entered talks with Adani before deciding not to proceed after pressure from campaign groups and staff. As pressure mounts on financial companies to move away from environmentally damaging projects, elsewhere, BDO Unibank, the largest bank in the Philippines, has committed to reducing its coal exposure by half, ensuring it does not exceed 2% of its total loan portfolio by 2033. The bank said it will continue to provide short-term working capital to companies that need to transition out of the coal business. (Financial Times; Eco-Business)*


EU plans ‘revenue cap’ on power firms, mandatory electricity savings

A draft EU law has introduced obligatory demand reduction targets for electricity consumption and placed a “revenue limit” on power companies making windfall profits for the first time. The draft will be discussed an at extraordinary meeting of EU energy ministers to address the EU’s response to the energy crisis. The proposal suggests a limit of €200/MWh on so-called “inframarginal” electricity generators. EU officials said the intention is to favour renewable energy technologies over fossil-based power generators like coal or gas, which have higher fuel costs. Alongside this policy, the EU aims to provide an indicative target that requires EU member states to lower overall electricity consumption and a mandatory target of at least 5% reduction in net electricity consumption during peak price hours. (edie)


OECD calls for revival of collective bargaining to fight wage erosion

The OECD has recommended raising minimum wages and building support for collective bargaining in order to help rein in the erosion of pay in the face of the current rising inflation and living costs. In its annual ‘Employment Outlook’ report the OECD said protecting living standards requires rebalancing bargaining power between employers and workers. The OECD highlights the importance of giving a new impetus to collective bargaining and encouraging unions and employer organisations to boost membership so more workers would be covered by collective agreements. While temporary energy bonuses could help ease short term pain, the OECD argues the current inflation crisis justifies regularly raising statutory minimum wages. The OECD said antitrust authorities also need to pay attention to the risk of labour market concentration and that governments should reconsider no-compete clauses in contracts. (Reuters)


Five big EU states to implement minimum corporate tax if no EU deal

The governments of the European Union's five biggest economies have said they would implement a global minimum corporate tax by 2023 if Hungary does not lift its opposition at the EU level. Hungary blocked the EU’s adoption of a 15% minimum corporate tax in June 2022, preventing a deal that would have reformed tax across the bloc. Finance ministers from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands have stressed that they were determined to follow through with the commitment regardless of Hungary’s move. The countries did not elaborate on the legal approach they may take, but French officials raised the possibility of resorting to an EU legal procedure known as enhanced cooperation that requires at least 10 member states. Countries can also adopt the legislation at the national level. (Reuters)

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