Top Stories

January 03, 2023


World Bank proposal plans to increase financing for the climate

The World Bank is seeking to expand its lending capacity to address climate change and other global crises. The Bank will negotiate with shareholders on proposals that include a capital increase and new lending tools, according to its "evolution roadmap". A World Bank spokesperson said the roadmap aims to provide details on the scope, approach, and timetable for its evolution, with regular updates for shareholders and decisions later in the year. The lender will explore changes to its capital structure to unlock more lending and new financing tools such as guarantees for private sector loans and other ways to mobilise more private capital. The proposal will also include extensions of numerous limitations which will allow it to greatly increase its amount of lending, compared to the current capital structure. (Reuters)


Twitter faces probe after 400 million user details up for sale

A watchdog is to investigate social media platform Twitter after a hacker claimed to have private details linked to more than 400 million accounts. The hacker is demanding $200,000 to hand over the data – reported to include that of some celebrities – and delete it. Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) says it "will examine Twitter's compliance with data protection law in relation to that security issue". The data is said to include phone numbers and emails, including those belonging to celebrities and politicians, but the purported size of the data haul is not confirmed. It was reported that data belonging to US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was included in the sample of data published by the hacker. Twitter has so far not responded to press inquiries about the claimed breach. (BBC News)


Extinction Rebellion abandons disruptive climate protest in UK

Environmental advocacy group Extinction Rebellion (XR), which has targeted the City of London, has announced it will suspend acts of public disruption in the UK and focus on mass demonstrations. The British arm of the organisation said it wanted to bring more people on board to counter climate change and is hoping that 100,000 will attend a protest at Westminster in April. Established in 2018, the grassroots group has previously closed roads and bridges in central London, blockaded oil refineries, smashed windows at the headquarters of Barclays and sprayed fake blood over the Treasury. In its statement, XR said that in the four years it has been taking direct action, little has changed, with greenhouse gas emissions continuing to rise. The group said it will “prioritise attendance over arrest and relationships over roadblocks”. (Financial Times)*


Exxon & Chevron share $100bn in profit after surge in oil prices

Oil majors ExxonMobil and Chevron are expected to rake in almost $100 billion in combined profits from 2022 as the titans capitalise on surging fossil fuel prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Exxon was expected to record more than $56 billion in profits in 2022 and Chevron is set to top $37 billion, record highs for both companies, according to Wall Street estimates. Exxon has unveiled plans to repurchase $50 billion of its own shares until 2024. Chevron says it will buy back about $15 billion of shares. The focus on share repurchases has drawn political ire at a time when consumers are paying high energy prices, which have fanned decades-high inflation rates across the US and Europe. Critics argue the companies should be doing more to reduce prices. (Financial Times)*


Mexico’s Pemex sees poor ESG record as threat to financing

Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) admitted it has been lagging in its transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. It added that stricter demands from environmentally conscious investors pose a threat. Investors have for years considered Pemex a laggard as rivals globally moved to dramatically decrease emissions from energy production. In its updated business plan for 2023 to 2027, Pemex said its environmental, social and governance record risked hurting its financing. “Limitations from ESG financing” are posing a threat, as is “acceleration in energy transition that is decreasing the market for Pemex’s crude oil and products,” the company said. While the business plan reiterated promises to reduce its emissions, it remains focused on oil and gas production and exploration as well as refining, rather than shifting towards renewables. (Reuters)

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