Top Stories

November 17, 2022


WWF report warns Amazon rainforest nearing point of no return

The world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, could “cease to function” as a carbon-sequestering climate ecosystem within the next decade, according to a report from conservation NGO WWF. The report warns that the rainforest is close to various tipping points and thresholds that could push it into a “permanently degraded state” that it may not recover from. It states that 34% of the Amazon biome area has experienced at least one of three tipping points in relation to rainfall, dry season length and deforestation or conversion of natural habitat. These tipping points would see the forest change permanently, with more frequent drought and fires preventing recovery. Without action, local indigenous communities would also be at severe risk and the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement could well be breached. (edie)


WRAP urges organisations to embed food waste in climate action

Circular economy NGO WRAP has used its platform at COP27 to co-launch a new commitment that governments and businesses can use to pledge to accelerate action to reduce food waste. The new ‘123 Pledge’ is designed to encourage “important actors in the food system” to recognise the emission reduction benefits of reducing food waste and to properly collaborate on action on waste reduction. In coordination with WWF and Rabobank, WRAP is acting as a supporter for the pledge. Participating organisations are required to commit to halving food loss and waste by 2030, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 12.3. They will need to meet requirements on reporting progress annually. Commitments must also “have a climate angle”, integrating food loss prevention into climate strategies. (edie)


Neurodiverse women sought for jobs at GCHQ and BAE Systems

The British spy agency GCHQ and weapons manufacturer BAE Systems have issued an appeal to attract more neurodiverse women to work in cybersecurity jobs. The employers are actively seeking women with autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for cybersecurity roles to address gaps in their workforces. In 2021, the Office for National Statistics reported that 22% of people with autism were in work, the lowest among the disabilities they analysed. However, employers in some industries have said they are actively seeking neurodivergent applicants for cybersecurity roles that require “fast pattern recognition, sharper accuracy and greater attention to detail”. BAE Systems said neurodiverse female workers represented “an industry gap we are keen to contribute to filling”. (The Guardian)


Health and wellbeing benchmarking tool launched by CBI

A tool designed to help private sector organisations benchmark their approach to employee health and wellbeing has been launched. The ‘Work Health Index’ has been developed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Business for Health, with support from the UK government and the NHS. It aims to help employers assess the strength of their health offer – from workplace policies and processes to benefits like cycle-to-work schemes and counselling – and benchmark it against other organisations. The CBI claims that the UK loses 131 million working days a year to ill health, costing around £108bn in GDP. A beta version of the Work Health Index is available and has had input from organisations including Aviva, Hays, Northumbrian Water and Rolls-Royce. (Personnel Today)


EU to propose natural gas price cap after energy ministers meeting

The European Commission plans to propose a cap on natural gas prices after 24th November 2022, as it seeks to contain an energy crisis stemming from Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The European Union has for months debated whether to cap gas prices, as the bloc struggles to contain soaring inflation and energy prices. The EU’s energy commissioner said the Commission are to propose a cap after a meeting with EU energy ministers, where they are expected to instruct the bloc’s executive to move ahead with the proposal. A reinforced majority of at least 15 countries would need to approve the measure. Belgium, Poland, Italy and Greece have demanded an EU-wide price cap. Others including Germany warn capping prices could leave countries struggling to secure cargoes in international gas markets. (Reuters)

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