Pushing towards socially-just renewable energy industries

Renewable industries aren't yet socially-inclusive or just, but this is crucial for their their social license to operate. Read more

Calls for social media companies to do more to combat extremism

Facebook, Twitter and Google have been called out by a group of British politicians whose inquiry into hate crime has highlighted their failing efforts to prevent extremism on their platforms. Read more

Growing fears of a repeat of 2019 fires as Amazon deforestation continues

Despite the Amazon region being a pandemic hotspot, the reduced reach and resources of environmental enforcement agencies in Brazil is believed to be emboldening illegal wood harvesting operators, who are supported by a gig economy of poorly paid, informal workers ignoring COVID-19 lockdown measures. Read more

Gig economy giants attempt to redefine their relationship with workers

Uber is contesting a demand from New Jersey that it pay $649 million for years of unpaid employment taxes for its drivers, stating that they are independent contractors and not employees. Read more

Contact-tracing reveals government dependence on Apple and Google

Efforts by US-state North Dakota to create a contact tracing app to aid the state’s coronavirus recovery, reveals the true extent of Google and Apple’s influence over national decisions. Read more

Signal of change / Renewables are beating fossil fuel energy generation in the US and UK

During the first quarter of 2020 renewable power generation supplied more than fossil fuel generation in Britain. Read more

Signal of change / Farmers and fishermen go digital during the pandemic

The COVID-19 lockdown restrictions impeded the traditional channels of selling and buying fresh fruit, vegetables and fish. To survive, many fishermen and farmers around the world turned from in-person sales and export strategies to e-commerce partnerships with a local focus. Read more

Signal of change / Amazon revisiting its ‘Made in China, Made for India’ strategy

Amazon, whose net income fell 31% as a result of the extra costs incurred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is forced to revisit its 'Made in China' sourcing strategy. Read more

Signal of change / Interest in Earthships and off-grid living spurred by global pandemic

Amidst economic instability and stay-home quarantines, interest in Earthships and other forms of rural, self-sustaining and off-grid living have seen increased interest. Read more

Signal of change / Russians use satnav application to launch mass virtual protests

Amidst growing limitations on individual’s rights to protest in recent years, protesters in Russia are finding new ways to oppose the government. Read more

Signal of change / Government loan to Air France comes with sustainability strings attached

The French Government has approved a €7 billion loan to Air France for COVID-19 aid – with conditions. Air France must cease operating short-haul domestic air travel where trains offer the same journey in 2h 30min or less. Also conditional for funding, the airline must reduce its CO2 emissions per passenger-km by 50% between 2005 and 2030, cut CO2 emissions on its short-haul flights by 50% by the end 2024 and increase its proportion of fuel derived from sustainable sources to 2% by 2025. Read more

Signal of change / Centralised vs. decentralised contact-tracing apps divide the world

Many countries are using or developing contact-tracing apps to track the COVID 19 virus among their populations. These apps use Bluetooth to identify which phones a user’s phone has come into close contact with and then notifies those phones if the user reports symptoms or is diagnosed. Some apps collect additional data such as home address/area, GPS location or phone number. Read more

Signal of change / Cycling in the UK is set to radically increase after lockdown

As part of the UK’s existing transportation strategy, £5bn was already committed pre-COVID-19 by the UK government towards biking, cycling, and bus infrastructure through 2025.  However, In order to maintain social-distancing on busses and trains during COVID-19, only 13-15% of the average number of passengers will be able to ride public transit. Read more

Signal of change / Cities pledge not to return to business as normal

Planning the Post COVID-19 recovery is causing cities around the world to carefully consider just what they would like to recover to, and how they will rebuild to achieve it. As such, Dutch officials in Amsterdam will be using British economist Raworth’s doughnut economic model to help guide the city’s recovery towards a balance within natural boundaries. Read more

Signal of change / Home office set to become the new normal

As more countries prepare for, or incrementally ease into, a post-lockdown world, a growing number of major employers, including Twitter, Mondelez, Nationwide and Barclays, are hinting at plans to shift to permanent remote working positions. Read more

Signal of change / The demand for sustainable lifestyles booms in the Western hemisphere

A recent YouGov poll carried out in the UK, discovered 91% of respondents do not want life to return to ‘normal’ once the lockdown is over. Appreciating cleaner air, increased wildlife and flourishing communities, linked to the forced reduction of economic activity, 54% of respondents hope to make changes in their own lives, and for the country, in follow up to the crisis. Read more

Signal of change / COVID-19 undermines the status of global supply chains

With China closing down and India partially banning their exports of medical items to western customers, the coronavirus crisis has been quick to undermine the status of the 20th-century-glorified global supply chains, exposing their high cost, inherent dependencies, and vulnerability in light of the pandemic. Read more

Signal of change / Corporations with offshore tax breaks penalised in Denmark and Poland's COVID-19 bailout packages

As governments around the world deliver huge bailout packages to support crumbling economies amid the COVID-19 crisis, PMs from Denmark and Poland announced a withdrawal of further financial aid to companies registered in offshore tax havens. Read more

Signal of change / COVID-19 is shining a new light on how businesses and employers factor people into decision-making

While COVID-19 is creating an advantage for some businesses, most are experiencing significant challenges and disruption. With this sense of ‘everyone being in the same boat’, the gap between businesses and employers that choose to put their workers, suppliers and customers first and those that don’t is becoming starker. Read more

Signal of change / Price of oil at an all-time low

US oil prices fell below $0 per barrel this month, a record low brought about by reduced demand combined with limited ability of producers to store excess. Other oil-producing countries, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, have made a deal agreeing to the deepest production cut ever negotiated, which still isn’t expected to resolve excess supply. Read more

Signal of change / Consumers adapt to online life as millions are confined to homes

Consumer behaviour has shifted online in many areas of the world as social distancing restrictions mean billions of people are confined to their homes for the majority of the day. Read more

Signal of change / Universal Basic Income to become new-normal in Western nations?

Unprecedented citizen bailout measures have been taken by governments, but uncertainty around timeframes leaves room for long-lasting change. Read more

Signal of change / Businesses rapidly repurpose as normal consumption patterns slump and demand for medical supplies spikes

Businesses are switching production from business-as-usual to assist in the Covid-19 response effort. Read more

Signal of change / Deforestation and biodiversity degradation exposed as key public health issue

The links between deforestation and the emergence of novel pandemics are being highlighted by researchers. Read more

Signal of change / French law bans disposal of unsold goods

France has passed a law banning the disposal of unsold goods, a move the French Government claims is a world first. Instead of being burned or scrapped, unsold items must be reused, redistributed or recycled. Read more

Signal of change / WHO calls Coronavirus the first massive ‘infodemic’

The World Health Organization warned on 2 February that the 2019-nCoV outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’, defined as "an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it”. What can we learn from the epidemic to strike a better balance between emergency public health warnings and the need to protect and strengthen social cohesion in times of crisis? Read more