12th August 2022
Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning Here we are in the middle of our second heatwave in the space of a few weeks with temperatures set to reach 37C over the weekend. The good news is there will be some much-needed showers next week, and temperatures will start to drop closer to average for the time of year, but could rise again towards the end of the month.
- HSBC break up pressures grow
- Europe's rivers are running dry
HSBC break up pressures grow
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- Energy bosses meet with government but no specifics agreed on cost of living crisis
- Heathrow insists airport chaos easing thanks to new passenger limits
- McDonald's plans to reopen in Kyiv and western Ukraine
- One in 20 big businesses have offered workers a cost-of-living bonus
- Sainsbury's to stop sale of disposable barbecues
- How Disney overtook Netflix in streaming wars
Europe's rivers are running dry
Extreme heat and low rainfall threaten to dry up a key part of the Rhine river, blocking passage through one of Europe’s most important shipping routes.
Why it matters: A shutdown of the Rhine, Germany’s most important river route and a passage for coal and fuel throughout the continent, could not come at a worse time given Europe’s current energy crisis.
- Every year around 300m tonnes of goods are shipped along the Rhine between Basel, where Switzerland, Germany and France meet and the North Sea.
- The looming shutdown has already contributed to rising gas prices and stresses on German coal plants, which rely on supplies delivered via the river.
In the UK water levels in several major river systems are very low, adding to concerns that much of England could slide into drought following the driest July since 1935.
Zoom out: Italy’s Po, France’s Rhone and Garrone, and the Danube (the EU’s longest river and another major trade route), are also at precariously low levels. Trade along rivers adds $80bn to the EU’s economy, so disruptions can cause serious economic damage.
And it’s not just energy that would be affected. The transport of everything from grain to chemicals to car parts would be disrupted—not to mention tourism in the region, which depends on river cruise ships.
Bottom line: As heatwaves and droughts become more frequent and severe due to climate change, rivers are becoming a less reliable way to move goods and people.
Stat of the day
Disney now has 221.1m subscribers across its streaming platforms globally, overtaking Netflix, which has 220.7m, to become the biggest streamer
Interesting links from around the web
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