Day: September 3, 2020

business groups want urgent climate action, after resisting it for 30 years

Australia has seen the latest extraordinary twist in its climate soap opera. An alliance of business and environment groups declared the nation is “woefully unprepared” for climate change and urgent action is needed.

And yesterday, Australian Industry Group – one of the alliance members – called on the federal government to spend at least A$3.3 billion on renewable energy over the next decade.




Read more:
The too hard basket: a short history of Australia’s aborted climate policies


The alliance, known as the Australian Climate Roundtable, formed in 2015. It comprises ten business and environmental bodies, including the Business Council of Australia, National Farmers Federation and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

Last week, the group stated:

There is no systemic government response (federal, state and local) to build resilience to climate risks. Action is piecemeal; uncoordinated; does not engage business, private sector investment, unions, workers in affected industries, community

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Salesforce CEO calls coming job cuts ‘part of running business in a successful way’

Salesforce (CRM), coming off a massive second quarter and poised to be added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, is like all other businesses operating in a pandemic — having to make “difficult decisions” like cutting headcount, CEO Mark Benioff told Yahoo Finance.

The billionaire explained that job cuts, especially during a pandemic, is part of running a successful business. According to The Wall Street Journal, Salesforce is eliminating around 1,000 jobs, with the impacted workers given 60 days to find new positions within the company.

The move comes at a time when joblessness is at its highest levels in years. Yet with 54,000 employees, the job cuts account for less than 2% of the total headcount. Typically, Salesforce looks at “rebalancing five to 10%” of its employees each year, Benioff explained on Wednesday. 

“It’s part of running our business in a successful way. And that does impact employees at

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Verily, Google’s health-focused sister company, is getting into insurance

Verily Life Sciences, the health care company owned by Alphabet, is getting into insurance, the company announced today. Verily is launching a new subsidiary for the effort called Coefficient Insurance Company, which will be backed by the commercial insurance unit of Swiss Re Group.

Coefficient plans to offer stop-loss insurance. The explanation for stop-loss is a little technical, but it boils down to this: Employers that pay for employee health claims out of pocket buy stop-loss insurance. Once they hit the predetermined point of money they pay for their employees’ health, the stop-loss insurance company pays the rest.

Insurance is something of a departure for Verily. A previous project from the company is Project Baseline, a massive medical study to better understand the human body. Project Baseline is also the banner Verily has used for its COVID-19 screening website, which President Donald Trump

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Key mortgage stress test rate eases, gives borrowers a little more room

House-hunting Canadians saw their buying power increase this week as the benchmark five-year mortgage rate reported by the Bank of Canada fell for the third time this year, easing a key stress test faced by borrowers.

The central bank said the rate fell to 4.79 per cent, after decreasing to 4.94 per cent in May and to 5.04 per cent in March.

James Laird, the co-founder of Ratehub.ca and president of CanWise, said Thursday the lower rates will be a win for some.

“If you just barely couldn’t qualify (for a mortgage), you might now qualify for what you were looking for,” he said.

“It is a move that will allow you to qualify just a little more than you could before.”

Mortgage rates have been falling in recent weeks.

While most borrowers do not pay anything close to the benchmark posted rate for a mortgage, the rate is used

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