Top Stories

November 28, 2022


COP27 delegates secured oil and gas deals with energy executives

Alongside formal negotiations taking place at COP27, a group of officials from Uganda met fossil fuel company executives to discuss potential oil exploration. The Ugandan delegation also had meetings with solar, wind and nuclear energy companies. The summit saw record numbers of fossil fuel industry lobbyists. Among the prominent COP27 industry attendees was BP chief executive Bernard Looney, listed as a delegate for Mauritania. The summit also saw the EU’s energy commissioner and the US counterpart discussing the bloc’s plan to start purchasing gas as a group. Quid-pro-quo deals on EU “imports of natural gas from Africa” were under discussion, said one European diplomat. Climate change experts have raised concerns that energy industry delegates were promoting new oil and gas ventures as false solutions to energy security and national economic challenges. (Financial Times)*


Amazon workers protest across European sites on Black Friday

Some workers at retailer Amazon sites in Germany and France downed tools on ‘Black Friday’, as part of a global movement to target the online retailer with calls for better pay. The ‘Make Amazon Pay’ initiative, which made the call for strikes, said industrial action was planned in more than 30 countries, including the US. In Germany, there were demonstrations at nine out of Amazon’s 20 warehouses in the country. France’s SUD and CGT unions called for strike action in the country’s eight warehouses. The German Verdi union demanded the company recognise collective bargaining agreements for the retail and mail order trade sector. French unions called for a higher cash bonus for the period preceding Christmas during which employees are asked to do a lot of overtime work. (Reuters)


BT asks ministers to help pay for low-cost broadband for poorest

Telecommunications company BT has claimed that the industry cannot afford the potential estimated annual loss in providing low-cost broadband to vulnerable households. BT estimates it would cost the industry up to £2 billion if the potentially 6 million recipients eligible to be on social tariffs took them up. The chief executive of BT’s consumer division, which includes the mobile company EE, said the industry needed government support to cover the cost of providing cheap tariffs, the same way households were helped with energy bills. However, critics believe that companies such as BT – which made a £1.9 billion profit in 2021 – have an obligation to pay. Regulator Ofcom says only 136,000 households have taken up a social tariff from providers including BT, Vodafone, Sky and Virgin Media. BT has provided over 85% of social tariffs in the market. (The Guardian)


EU to introduce bloc-wide vaping levy, increase cigarette levy

The EU is set to introduce a new vaping levy as it revamps the tobacco industry’s tax structures and adapts to the boom in vape users. According to the draft European Commission document, stronger vaping products would have an excise duty of at least 40% applied, while lower-strength vapes will face a 20% duty. Heated tobacco products will face a 55% duty or a tax rate of €91 per 1,000 items sold. The changes also look to boost the bloc’s minimum excise duty on cigarettes from €1.80 to €3.60 per pack of 20, ending ultra-cheap prices across European nations. Data from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) suggests that there are now five times as many vapers in the UK than there were in 2013, with over four million Brits actively vaping. (City AM)


DHL develops 400,000 sqm carbon-neutral logistics warehouse

DHL Supply Chain, a division of Logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL, has announced the development of a 400,000 square metre carbon-neutral warehouse portfolio. It is designed to support customer growth needs and sustainability demands in key European markets. The portfolio consists of 14 units, constructed across 10 development sites in major logistics markets in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Italy and Poland. DHL also announced it has entered into a purchase agreement for the sale of the first half of the portfolio with real estate investment manager Allianz Real Estate, including five facilities covering over 200,000 square metres. The warehouses will represent one of Allianz Real Estate’s largest single logistics sector acquisitions, and DHL Supply Chain will occupy at least 85% of the facilities. (ESG Today)

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