Raising the bar

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Germany to gauge corporate sustainability with EU taxonomy

first_imgThe launch of the survey initiative comes as the German government prepares to assume presidency of the EU Council in July and as it seems to make Germany a prime location for sustainable finance. Svenja Schulze, Germany’s federal environment ministerAnnouncing the survey earlier this month, the environment ministry said Germany wanted to use its presidency to “diligently advance European climate action – green recovery and the Green Deal”.Federal environment minister Svenja Schulze said: “The EU taxonomy on sustainable finance provides the first guidance on what sustainability in business actually means.“Companies that invest in renewable energy, green mobility and climate-friendly industrial processes are supporting climate action, innovation and jobs that are viable for the future,” she added.”We plan to promote these investments. That is why we now need to gauge where we stand in terms of sustainability.”According to Adelphi’s García, the three main goals of the survey are to quantify sustainable activities of companies and banks using the EU taxonomy, identify challenges and solutions for applying the taxonomy, and sensitise companies and banks to it. The German federal environment ministry has launched a survey to assess how major European companies stack up against the EU system for classifying sustainable economic activities, the so-called taxonomy.The ministry has commissioned Adelphi, a think tank and public policy consultancy on climate, environment and development, and ISS ESG, the investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services, to carry out the project.“We conduct in-depth interviews with companies and banks, and this process is coupled with an analysis of comprehensive ESG rating data by ISS ESG,” Bibiana García, project manager at Adelphi Consult, told IPE.“The results will feed into discussions at EU level and will help maximise the relevance of the taxonomy for its users,” García said.center_img Bibiana Garcia, project manager at Adelphi ConsultTargeted interviews with listed companies will be conducted between May and July to identify “challenges and potential solutions” relating to “the disclosure and measurement of taxonomy alignment,” according to a description of the project.It indicates that an initial analysis of publicly available information is currently taking place to assess the credit books of five major European banks, which will participate in in-depth interviews between May and June, against the taxonomy.Adelphi has contacted around 430 listed non-financial and financial companies from across Europe, including the UK. “The survey has already been well received in Germany and other European countries,” said García. “We can already see a lot of interest at this point, especially under the current circumstances.”The taxonomy is a system for determining whether economic activities are sustainable, with the focus currently on environmental sustainability. Political agreement on the regulation for the taxonomy was reached late last year, with the first set of technical screening criteria, covering climate change mitigation and adaptation, due to be issued last this year. The technical expert group advising the European Commission on sustainable finance published its final recommendations on the EU taxonomy in March, including “substantial new user guidance” to help investors and companies meet obligations for reporting against the framework.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

The Latest: NASCAR’s Pocono races might be run without fans

first_imgThe SPFL says it has accepted their decision and is now able to pay out $8.5 million in fees “to help clubs stay afloat.”There have been no games in the Scottish Premiership since March 13 because of the pandemic. Final season placings have been determined by points per game up to that point.Celtic had 80 points from 30 games so has 2.66 points per game. Rangers finished second with 2.31 points per game.Hearts has been relegated.___ May 18, 2020 The protocols for socially distanced training in small groups were signed off by the clubs during a conference call following a government decision to ease lockdown restrictions in England.Contact training and matches have yet to be allowed by the government.The Premier League season was suspended in March with Liverpool leading by 25 points with nine games remaining.Coronavirus testing is due to take place twice each week at clubs on up to 40 players, coaches and support staff.___ Manchester City leads the Women’s Super League by one point. Chelsea is second and has played one game fewer.No league games have been played since February.___UEFA says it has postponed an executive committee meeting by three weeks because of issues regarding the venues for the rescheduled European Championship in 2021.The 24-team tournament was pushed back a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is scheduled to use 12 stadiums in 12 nations. All events are subject to cancellation or postponement based on the coronavirus pandemic. USA Baseball is following recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. If the tournaments run as scheduled, teams and fans will be required to follow a series of return-to-play guidelines developed by USA Baseball. Those guidelines will be shared within an appropriate timeframe.___World TeamTennis CEO Carlos Silva says the league is “still on track for July 12” to open its three-week season and is hoping to select a site this week.Silva said in a telephone interview Monday with the AP that four cities are “in the mix.” He mentioned Texas and Florida as possible host states.The International Tennis Federation and the ATP and WTA tours said Friday they were extending their suspensions of play into late July because of the coronavirus pandemic. ___The Spanish soccer player who threatened to quit his team rather than risk being infected by the coronavirus has returned to training.Cádiz defender Fali Giménez rejoined his teammates at the second-division club about a month after saying he wouldn’t play again unless there was a vaccine for COVID-19 or if he was assured 100% that he wouldn’t get infected after being back on the field.Giménez did not practice last week as the rest of the squad returned to training nearly two months after soccer was halted.The 26-year-old Spaniard had said it didn’t make sense to play soccer while people were dying because of the virus. He said he would not forgive himself if he got infected and passed the virus to a family member. Associated Press Belgian soccer clubs have been allowed the possibility to designate three teams they don’t want to host in empty stadiums next season.The league says it will try to accommodate the club’s wishes amid the coronavirus pandemic.The measure could be used by clubs to avoid playing famous clubs or bitter rivals in front of empty stands for matches that usually draw many fans and generate big ticketing revenue.All sporting competitions in Belgium will remain suspended until July 31 because of the health situation and all mass events have been banned until Aug. 31. The first round of soccer matches for next season will likely be played without fans when the league resumes on Aug. 7.Club Brugge was awarded its 16th Belgian title last week after the league announced the end of the season with the current standings declared final. More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 A soccer player in Germany for third-division club Chemnitz has tested positive for the coronavirus.Chemnitz did not name the player but the club says he is “completely symptom-free.” That player and two other players who had contact with him will spend 14 days in isolation.Chemnitz says the player tested positive in a sample taken Saturday but had tested negative in a sample from two days before that. The club says it can still return to full team training on Tuesday.The first and second divisions in Germany returned to play Saturday but the third-division restart was postponed last week from its planned date of May 26. Some clubs have still not received clearance from local authorities to play or hold full training sessions.___ Pocono Raceway is in Monroe County, which currently is under Wolf’s strictest pandemic orders, or a red designation. But Wolf said Monday that if the county moves to yellow, then NASCAR may hold the two races as long as there are no spectators present and guidelines are followed to keep competitors safe.Wolf on Friday said he had told NASCAR officials that his state wasn’t ready to make a decision on the reopening of Pocono Raceway, which is scheduled to host races June 27 and 28. Parts of Pennsylvania have moved to the yellow designation.NASCAR resumed its Cup Series schedule Sunday at Darlington, South Carolina, without fans.___New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider says players are asking about a deadline more often as the pause due to the coronavirus pandemic has passed the two-month mark. Cádiz lauded Giménez’s return and published photos and videos of him training with his teammates. He underwent alternative drills because he missed last week’s sessions.___Celtic has been declared Scottish champion after the country’s top soccer league was cut short because of the coronavirus outbreak.It is Celtic’s ninth straight title.The Scottish Professional Football League says clubs expressed a unanimous view that there is no prospect of completing the season.center_img The Latest: NASCAR’s Pocono races might be run without fans But World TeamTennis is not sanctioned by those three groups and doesn’t need to follow their guidelines.The WTT already had announced that it would be picking one city to host all nine of its teams for the 2020 season, instead of playing matches around the United States, as it usually does.Silva said he has been monitoring other events taking place recently to see how they handled health protocols, including UFC fights over the past week-plus and a NASCAR race Sunday in Darlington, South Carolina.Neither of those sports allowed spectators and while WTT’s plan at the moment is to do the same, Silva said it is possible a small number of fans might be allowed, depending on where the matches are.___ Most Spanish clubs used government furloughs to reduce their labor costs after the soccer season was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic. Most players had their salaries and working hours reduced by 70%.Rayo Vallecano was in 11th place when the second division was halted in mid-March. The Spanish league hopes the season will restart on the second weekend of June.___The English Football Association says it is in discussion with clubs in the top women’s league about the possibility of cutting short the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.The FA says there are “significant challenges” in completing the season and the governing body is seeking views on the “most appropriate sporting outcome.” The school said Monday the cuts would save about $5 million going forward. There are no plans to reinstate the teams should financial conditions improve, the Southern Conference school said. Other cost-cutting measures include 10 percent salary cuts for the athletic director and football and men’s basketball coaches. Furman also announced it would honor scholarship agreements for the affected athletes, including those signees not yet on campus, should they remain at school.___USA Baseball has tentatively scheduled July 24 as the start date for its 2020 schedule of summer events.The nation’s sport governing body says the first event would be the 14U Cup from July 24-26 at the national training complex in Cary, North Carolina. Eight other age-group competitions will be held from late July through August. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says NASCAR can hold its races at Pocono Raceway in late June if the coronavirus situation improves in the area, though the races might have to go off without fans. Schneider said Monday in a telephone conference call that some of his teammates are apprehensive because the NHL has said it would take three weeks of training before allowing games. That would take the restart into June. The league paused its season on March 12.Schneider says as the Devils players representative the question he has fielded the most lately is teammates asking about a drop-dead date. They want to know when it becomes too late to get a semblance of a season or playoffs.Schneider says there’s also concern about players being asked to play meaningless games if all 31 teams are told to restart the season. New Jersey is in last place in the Metropolitan Division and unlikely to make the playoffs. By returning, they would risk injury and possible infection.___Furman is eliminating baseball and men’s lacrosse as part of a university-wide plan to offset losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bundesliga soccer players will be reminded not to celebrate goals together after Hertha Berlin’s team shared hugs and high fives over the weekend.Most teams have stuck to restrained arm bumps when they score but Hertha’s more exuberant celebrations in the 3-0 win over Hoffenheim on Saturday prompted criticism they were undermining the league’s social distancing guidelines.Bundesliga International CEO Robert Klein says clubs “are speaking with (players) day in, day out to tell them and remind them of what needs to be done to ensure that we can earn the right to go to a second match day and a third match day and then to finish the season.”Klein says overall the guidelines were “well respected” as the top two divisions in German soccer returned to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.Players can’t be fined or banned for celebrating together. ___Players from Spanish soccer club Rayo Vallecano have refused to practice in protest against reduced salaries.The players from the second-division club want to be taken off furlough before they return to training. They want to resume earning full salaries now that soccer is starting to come back.Spanish media say the players practiced at home instead of going to the team’s training center for the start of group sessions.Players from second-division club Elche also refused to practice at the team’s training center last week and the club eventually complied with their demands. Soccer players in Italy will have to wait at least another 24 hours before restarting full team training.Italian clubs resumed training on an individual basis on May 4 when lockdown measures in the country started to ease. They were slated to return to training together on Monday but they have not yet been given the green light to do so by the Italian government’s scientific panel.The medical protocol for the resumption of Serie A has proved contentious but a revised document was delivered to Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora on Sunday and is expected to be given to the scientific panel on Monday.Serie A plans to resume on June 13.___ UEFA wanted the host cities to confirm they could still stage games.The governing body of European soccer says its executive committee will meet on June 17 instead of May 27 “due to the existence of some remaining open points regarding a small number of proposed venues” for Euro 2020.UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said Euro 2020 can be staged without all 12 stadiums.___Premier League clubs have agreed on the measures that will allow non-contact training sessions to resume this week amid the coronavirus pandemic.last_img read more

States should control education standards

first_imgA new California law requiring students to be up-to-date on vaccinations before enrolling in public schools was put into place July 1, and this school year is the first to witness its implementation. This need for children who attend public school to be vaccinated is an example of the state interceding in local authority for the sake of the greater good of the public. In the delegation of authority within a state with regard to education, local school districts continuously adapt to reflect current issues within the district, while the state acts as a constitutional authority on education through the creation of laws and regulations.  Legislation like the No Child Left Behind Act, and more recently, Common Core, has given the federal government increasing power over education. Thus, what is the relationship between the state and federal government in the authority over educational issues?In the 1973 Supreme Court case San Antonio Independent School District v Rodriguez, the Court held that there was no fundamental right to education in the Constitution; thus, as demonstrated in cases like Brown v Board of Education and others, states cannot have discriminatory schooling practices, but plaintiffs are limited in their ability to appeal to the federal government for how those systems of education within the states are arranged otherwise. The constitutionally delegated authority for states to have power over education resides in each state’s constitution. California, for example, explicitly states that  a common system of school must exist, and has specific constitutional requirements pertaining to the funding of schools, religious instruction and establishment of higher education. Given that the constitutional authority over education resides in each individual state, and the negative consequences over accountability measures utilized by the federal government in order for schools to receive federal funding, education is best left to be handled and decided on by the states. Federal policies often link accountability measures to funding sources to ensure that schools are held responsible and that the funding they are given is used for a particular goal. For example, No Child Left Behind, a piece of federal legislation enacted into law in 2002, links standardized test performance to sanctions for public schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress by each subgroup of students based on special needs, minority status, English language proficiency and socioeconomic status. NCLB helped spurn the movement in education toward high stakes accountability testing as a means to make sure schools, and furthermore states, were teaching students what they needed to learn. The belief was that if the federal government tested students and held educators accountable for improving test scores, students’ scores would increase. However, students have barely shown any increase in scores when comparing test scores pre and post NCLB implementation. Yet, both the Bush and Obama administrations have offered federal grants through Race to the Top, Flexibility Waivers under NCLB, School Improvement Grants and various other programs to push states, districts and schools to line up behind policies that use these same test scores in high-stakes evaluations of teachers and principals. These tests are larger indicators of educational opportunity gaps that exist between races and social classes, which can only effectively be remediated at the state level as well. These accountability measures have been unable to effectively demonstrate how they have successfully raised student academic achievement, which was the goal of their implementation in the first place. Proponents of federal control education point out examples from international countries that have exemplary systems of education thanks to federal control. Countries like Finland, which is consistently ranked as the top nation in the world for education, do boast a heavy federal government presence in schools. However, it is important to note that the success of these other countries are much more heavily related to their distribution of funding, wealth equity, social programs and teacher education programs than the role of the state or federal government in education.Ultimately, states have the right to set their own learning goals and standards for what they want their students to learn in schools. Furthermore, when the state and local school districts have more authority over education, constituents are better able to vote elected officials out of office if they feel like the official is not appropriately solving educational issues within the state or district. By maintaining local control over education, communities have more of a chance to have a larger impact on schooling, and address their individual students’ unique needs better than the federal government would be able to.Julia Lawler is a senior majoring  in history and social science education. Her column, “Get Schooled,” runs Fridays.last_img read more

EMMA GETS HER FREE NEW WHEELS THANKS TO LETTERKENNY CREDIT UNION

first_imgMembers of Letterkenny Credit Union committee with Emma and her new car.There’s not much more Letterkenny woman Emma Mills could hope for this Christmas.Emma, from Oldtown, was the lucky winner of her local credit union’s car draw recently.The members of the credit union couldn’t afford a Christmas stocking large enough to put Emma’s new Christmas present in. But judging by the wonderful smile she had, she didn’t really mind.Safe driving!Emma is raring to go in her new motor.EMMA GETS HER FREE NEW WHEELS THANKS TO LETTERKENNY CREDIT UNION was last modified: December 11th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cardonegaldrawEmma MillsLetterkenny Credit Unionlast_img read more