Top Stories

October 21, 2022


Lloyds Bank vows to stop financing new oil and gas projects

UK bank Lloyds Banking Group has announced that it will no longer directly finance the development of new oil and gas projects, in a move hailed by campaigners as standard setting for the UK banking sector. Lloyds said it would no longer be providing finance to new clients in the oil and gas sector, unless it was for “viable projects into renewable energies and transition technologies” by companies with “credible” transition plans in place. The bank confirmed it will longer directly finance new greenfield oil and gas developments, either through project finance, or reserve-based lending. Lloyds added it would not support ‘self-finance’ involving upstream oil or gas exploration, development and production in the Artic region and Antarctic territories and ‘reserve-based lending’ or ‘borrowing based financing for oil and gas companies in the Artic’. (Business Green)*


TikTok to ban children livestreaming following investigation

Social media platform TikTok is raising its minimum age for live-streaming from 16 to 18. A BBC News investigation found hundreds of accounts going live from Syrian refugee camps, with children begging for donations. Some were receiving up to $1,000 an hour, with TikTok taking up to 70% of the donations. In future, only adults would be able to “send virtual gifts or access monetisation features” TikTok confirmed. It is unclear how TikTok will enforce its age restrictions, however. TikTok’s rules say users must not directly solicit for gifts and must “prevent the harm, endangerment or exploitation” of minors on the platform. When BBC used the in-app system to report 30 accounts featuring children begging, TikTok said there had been no violation of its policies. (BBC News)


Texas sues Google for allegedly collecting biometric data

Texas is suing tech giant Google for allegedly collecting biometric data of millions of Texans without obtaining proper consent, the attorney general’s office said in a statement. In its complaint, Texas says that companies operating in the state have been barred for more than a decade from collecting people’s faces, voices or other biometric data without advanced, informed consent. The complaint states: “in blatant defiance of that law, Google has, since at least 2015, collected biometric data from innumerable Texans and used their faces and their voices to serve Google’s commercial ends.” The collection occurred through products like ‘Google Photos’, ‘Google Assistant’ and ‘Nest Hub Max’, according to the statement. The lawsuit is one of several filed by US states against Google alleging unfair practices with regard to privacy. (The Guardian)


Consumers confused over net-zero claims in ads, ASA warns

There is “little consensus” on the meaning of ‘carbon-neutral’ or ‘net-zero’ when these terms are used in advertisements, according to research from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The advertising watchdog y looked at how consumers understand some of the most commonly used climate-related terms. According to the ASA, the most frequently used environmental claims in advertising in the UK are ‘carbon neutral’ and ‘net-zero’. The body found that the general public typically did not understand what these terms meant. Most people interviewed believed that, in making these claims, businesses were reducing their absolute emissions in-house, while companies could technically claim carbon neutrality by offsetting emissions. The ASA warns that a lack of standardised, legal definition of the terminology acts as a barrier to strong consensus on the meaning of these terms in advertising. (edie)


Zara customers offered in-house swap, mend & donate service

Clothing chain Zara has announced that it is to launch an in-house service for UK customers to sell pre-owned clothes, repair or donate them. The platform will be available through Zara stores, its website and a mobile app. It is the first time Zara has offered a service to resell its products. The company said that it aims for the initiative to contribute to the reduction of waste and the consumption of raw materials. The resale space will be organised by product categories, with detailed information for each item including current images provided by the seller and original product information provided by Zara. The company added that it already offers customers the option to donate its clothing to charity in several markets. (Reuters)

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