12 AM CET- UNHCR: Over 110 million people are forcibly displaced globally
According to the UNHCR’s new Global Trends in Forced Displacement 2022 report, the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide has reached an all-time high. At the end of 2022, 108.4 million people were forced to leave their homes because of war, persecution, violence, or human rights abuses. The UN says this figure stands at around 110 million today.
Refugees. Asylum seekers. Internally displaced.
These are the people behind the staggering 110 million+ forcibly displaced globally.
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) June 14, 2023
The acceleration and rapid growth of this figure is a clear sign of a real problem of the current time. In just one year, 5.7 million refugees have been forced to flee Ukraine, a number that in the past would have taken years to reach. However, the origin of these frightening figures is not attributed to the “full-scale” war in Ukraine only; other conflicts around the globe and climate upheavals have also led to dramatic increases in the number of forcibly displaced people globally.
Alongside these data, the UNHCR’s report also draws attention to the countries that have taken most responsibility for refugees. The majority of refugees, 76%, are in fact hosted by low- and middle-income countries, which do not dispose of adequate funding for displacement and to support them.
3 PM CET – Google Breached EU Antitrust Laws, the Commission Says
Google had been accused by the EU Commission of violating EU antitrust regulations by distorting competition in the advertising technology sector.
“Our preliminary concern is that Google may have used its market position to favour its own intermediation services. Not only did this possibly harm Google’s competitors but also publishers’ interests, while also increasing advertisers’ costs,” said Margrethe Vestager, the Commission’s Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy. “If confirmed, Google’s practices would be illegal under our competition rules.”
.@Google controls both sides of the #adtech market: sell & buy. We are concerned that it may have abused its dominance to favour its own #AdX platform. If confirmed, this is illegal. @EU_Commission might require Google to divest part of its services.https://t.co/6SwdoLlN8a pic.twitter.com/2rZok2BWYs
— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) June 14, 2023
These preliminary findings highlight Google’s alleged anti-competitive behavior, as the company seems to have abused its dominant positions by favoring its own AdX ad exchange platform. Google now has the opportunity to respond to the charges and present its defense. The European Commission will carefully consider all arguments before reaching a final decision.
This is not the first time Google has been accused of breaching European antitrust laws; the company has fought such accusations four times already. This time, if Google is found guilty, it could face substantial fines and be required to make changes to its advertising technology practices.
1 PM CET – Toyota shareholders reject proposal to accelerate the green transition
In a general meeting held today, Toyota shareholders voted against a proposal demanding better performance on climate change. The rejected proposal aimed to push Toyota to set more ambitious targets for reducing emissions and accelerating the shift towards EVs. It was brought by a Danish investment fund with the support of the Norwegian financial services company and a Dutch pension investment company.
However, the majority of shareholders supported the company’s current strategy, which includes a gradual approach to carbon neutrality and a focus on developing hydrogen fuel cell technology alongside EVs. After the voting was completed and the rejection approved, the shareholders even applauded the decision and Toyota’s President, Akio Toyoda, expressed his gratitude for the support.
BREAKING: Outside of #Toyota 's shareholder meeting, Greenpeace activists call on the automaker to speed up its shift to zero-emission vehicles. @ToyotaMotorCorp #ToyotaAGM #DriveChangehttps://t.co/KLYZaUlUS4
— Greenpeace East Asia (@GreenpeaceEAsia) June 14, 2023
The decisions taken by the automotive company have come under much criticism from environmentalists in recent years, but the shareholders under Toyoda’s leadership seem to be succeeding in pursuing their own approach of reducing carbon emissions without sacrificing profits.
1 PM CET – EU Parliament approves landmark AI Act
The EU AI Act, a landmark legislation to regulate artificial intelligence, has just been approved by the European Parliament. As EP President Roberta Metsola proudly stated at a press conference following the vote, the legislation to manage risks and develop lawful use of AI “will with no doubt be setting the global standards for years to come.”
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This vote, one of the co-leads of the AI Act Dragoș Tudorache says, holds immense significance, potentially making it one of the most crucial files of this parliamentary term. “It’s the first piece of legislation of this kind worldwide, which means that the EU can lead the way in making AI human-centric, trustworthy and safe,” he said.
What’s next? The European Parliament, the European Commission, and EU member states will now commence negotiations. The goal is to swiftly finalize the law after the vote. However, three-way trialogue talks will be necessary to reconcile differences and reach a mutually agreeable text.
11 AM CET – Improving ESG ratings: The EU’s new plan
In its draft legislation released on Tuesday, the EU proposes new regulations that could profoundly change how firms selling ESG ratings run their businesses. According to the EU, the ESG rating markets lack transparency and would require a higher level of reliability and transparency in market operations.
We will also ensure better clarity on ESG-related risks, impacts, and opportunities, and prevent misinformation – from greenwashing to social washing, with:
– More transparency on ESG ratings
– More integrity, and supervision of rating providers
– Better clarity on data sources pic.twitter.com/IsneY65BQD
— European Commission (@EU_Commission) June 13, 2023
If implemented, the legislation would require businesses to ensure greater clarity on the operations of ESG rating providers and the protection against possible conflict of interest risks at the level of ESG rating providers. Moreover the EU also proposes that ESG rating providers are monitored by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), with possible consequent fines levied on their annual net turnover.
The proposal, however, quickly attracted criticism for the potentially restrictive consequences it will have on the ESG ratings market, running the risk, as German Conservative European parliamentarian Markus Ferber remarked, that “the end result will simply be fewer ESG ratings in Europe.”.
10 AM CET – Renewable energies have to increase 5 times faster to avoid a “death sentence”
According to a recent study by the climate science and policy center Climate Analytics, the 30% increase in renewable energies in recent years will not be enough to limit the global warming threshold to 1.5°C. The growth must be much greater and renewable energies will have to reach 70% of the world’s energy mix.
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg spoke out about these new figures at the Bonn Climate Conference, stressing the importance of not only increasing renewable energy production before 2030 but also of the pressing need to decrease global fossil fuel use by about 40%over the next decade.
Discussions at UN climate talks in #Bonn have intensified over the issue of getting fossil phaseout on the agenda of COP28.
"As we ramp up renewables, we can't forget the elephant in the negotiating room – fossil fuels," Claire Fyson says.https://t.co/k6JVHlqDGk
— Climate Analytics (@CA_Latest) June 13, 2023
“Everyone from the EU to the COP Presidency is calling for a global renewables target, but this must be based on the safest route to net zero,” said Head of Policy at Climate Analytics, Claire Fyson. “We’ve shown that if the world accelerates new wind and solar fivefold to at least 1.5 TW a year by 2030 while cutting fossil use by 40%, we won’t have to rely on potentially unsustainable amounts of carbon dioxide removal in the future.”
Read our Sustainability Tracker for June 13, 2023:
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Google search. Featured Photo Credit: Bastian Riccardi.