Top Stories

December 09, 2022


Latest Twitter lawsuit says company targeted women for layoffs

Social media company Twitter has been hit with another lawsuit stemming from the recent purging of half its workforce, accusing it of disproportionately targeting female employees for layoff. The proposed class action claims Twitter has laid off 57% of its female workers compared to 47% of men. Twitter fired roughly 3,700 employees in a cost-cutting measure, with hundreds more subsequently resigning. The gender disparity was starker for engineering roles, where 63% of women lost their jobs compared to 47% of men. The lawsuit accuses Twitter of violating federal and California laws banning workplace sex discrimination. Twitter is facing three other pending lawsuits filed in the same court relating to the lay-off of employees and contracts without advance notice required by law and failure to pay promised severance. (Reuters)


Oil majors’ investments would jeopardise Paris Agreement

The oil and gas sector is expanding its extraction capacity to levels that would undermine the Paris Agreement on climate. The expansion plans exceed demand forecasts for fossil fuel consumption in a world 2.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels. New analysis from Carbon Tracker assessed whether oil and gas investments were aligned with the global transition to net-zero by 2050, using the International Energy Agency’s model scenario. It found that during 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, the sector invested $58 billion in oil and gas capacity that will only be needed if global demand grows to a point where it will push the global temperature past the 2.5°C warming mark. A total of $166 billion of investment in new oil and gas fields was approved in the 15-month period scoped. (edie)


WWF plastic initiative participants increased plastic production

Conservation NGO WWF has revealed that the eight corporates signed up to its ReSource: Plastic initiative collectively distributed more plastics in 2021 than in 2020. This is despite required commitments to reduce single-use plastic packaging. At present, the initiative’s members are The Coca-Cola Company, Starbucks, Keurig Dr Pepper, McDonald’s, Proctor & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive, Kimberly-Clark, CVS Health and Amcor. The initiative’s progress report reveals the businesses collectively reported 7.2 million metric tonnes of plastic use in 2021, representing a 5.3% increase in total plastic tonnage year-on-year. WWF claims that this increase can be partly attributed to a rebound in product sales as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions lifted. However, the report reveals progress in the decreasing amount of PVC, polystyrene and components too small to recycle being produced by participants. (edie)


Trafigura hands out $1.7bn in dividend profits from Ukraine war

Commodities trading firm Trafigura is to hand over $1.7 billion to its top traders and shareholders after the energy crisis, fuelled by the war in Ukraine, led to a surge in profits. Trafigura, one of the world’s largest specialist commodity traders, posted a record $7 billion net profit in its last financial year, more than the previous four years combined after making gains from the market volatility caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The $1.7 billion payout to its 1,100 shareholders, including top employees, equates to about $1.56 million a head if shared equally. It represents an increase of approximately 35% compared with 2021’s dividend. Oil and gas companies, and some electricity generators, have faced windfall taxes over the gains made following the war. However, politicians have not moved to curb the profits of commodity traders. (The Guardian)


New report says toxic air pollution down 44% in London

London has emerged as a “world leader” in tackling toxic air pollution according to a new report by chief medical officer Sir Chris Whitty. His latest findings reveal the dangers of pollution in the UK’s capital, but show Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) concentrations by roads are down a fifth in inner London and 44% in central London. The implementation and expansion of the ‘Ultra Low Emissions Zone’ was heralded as a key contributor to the decline by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. The report also said the improvement had narrowed the “inequality gap in exposure” to pollution, with socio-economically deprived groups less exposed. The report notes there is still significant work to be done in tackling toxic air, with 15 recommendations including making air quality central to urban planning. (City AM)

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