News round-up (2 April)

man looking at online news headlines
1st April 2021 about a 4 minute read
It's been a relatively quiet news week as people wind down for the Easter break. But there does seem to be a bit of a theme around climate change and going carbon-zero. Plus there's an interesting survey from the US suggesting people's trust in technology has fallen. Here's a selection of stories we thought might be of interest…

Third of UK’s biggest companies commit to net zero

The Business Department website notes that 30 of the UK’s FTSE100 companies have signed up to the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign.

Almost 1 in 3 of the largest businesses are committing to align with UK government ambitions on reducing carbon by eliminating their contribution to climate change by 2050.

The United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign is the largest ever global alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Pledges have doubled in the past fives months, with companies including AstraZeneca, BT Group, Sainsbury’s, and Unilever joining in.

COP26 climate change summit may have to be postponed again – or radically changed – due to COVID

Sky News claims an exclusive with a leak from two government sources suggesting the Glasgow summit might have to be delayed for a second time amid signs the pandemic is worsening in some parts of the world. 

The decision on the future of the summit would be made by Downing Street in conjunction with the United Nations and the Scottish government.

Last year, a decision about delaying the summit was taken in May, meaning leaders are likely to have to decide the shape and future of the summit within weeks.

A government source is quoted as saying: “There are too many uncertainties. It will depend on what public health rules are brought in between now and then, and what happens with vaccinations of delegates.”

Powering up the UK net zero supply chain

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) website says UK companies are set to benefit from a £28.5 million investment into cutting edge equipment to help them achieve the UK’s net zero ambitions.

Investment from the ‘driving the electric revolution challenge’ at UKRI is providing a financial boost to nine facilities across the UK.

The investment in new equipment, which will be up and running later this year, aims to fill gaps in the UK’s current capability. The investment will enable a competitive electrification supply chain to be built across sectors.

Technology sector trust decline deepens

Axios reports that trust in tech — including companies specialising in AI, VR, 5G and the internet of things — fell all around the world last year,

The Edelman Trust Barometer collected data in a survey of 31,000 people in 27 countries.

It found all-time lows, going back to comparable Edelman polling in 2012, in 17 of 27 countries, including the US, UK, France, China, Japan, Thailand, Brazil and Mexico.

Legislating on the future of health and care in England

The NHS Confederation has published a report outlining the views of healthcare leaders on the government’s White Paper Integration and Innovation: Working Together to Improve Health and Social Care for All.

The report says they strongly welcome the direction of travel set in the White Paper. It also considers the implications for the forthcoming Health and Care Bill and makes recommendations to government as it develops the detail of the legislation.

NHS Confed members span acute, mental health and community providers, as well as commissioners, primary care networks and integrated care systems.

We can’t end the pandemic without vaccinating kids

The New York Times reports that the US coronavirus vaccine rollout has finally hit its stride, with well over two million doses administered daily. Soon, vaccines will be available to all adults who want them.

It says children are the next vaccination frontier, and when the time comes to vaccinate them, the same urgency and large-scale coordination efforts driving adult vaccination must continue in order to drive down the number of cases. 

But the authors fear that as children are much less likely than adults to be hospitalized with Covid-19, and deaths are rare, parents may wonder, if Covid-19 is relatively harmless for my children, what’s the hurry?

Recover, Reward, Renew: A post-pandemic plan for the healthcare workforce

The IPPR think tank says that a year since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the political narrative has become one of recovery, for the health system as much as for the economy. 

But it asks: what does ‘build back better’ really mean for an exhausted and over-stretched healthcare workforce?

Its research paper argues that the government should develop a plan to support staff who are struggling, retain those considering leaving and attract new people to join the sector.

It proposes developing an effective,immediate-term workforce strategy based around the principles of Recover, Reward and Renew.


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