🌍 Global deals on climate, taxes, and trade


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Here’s what you need to know

G20 leaders announced a climate agreement. On the first day of COP26, the group restated a commitment to the Paris Agreement and pledged to end public investment in coal power plants overseas. (Follow along with our free COP26 newsletter.)

…They also agreed to a minimum tax for corporations. The deal would tax corporate profits at a minimum rate of 15%. It’s a win for multilateralism.

The US and EU reached a tariff truce. The agreement would remove tariffs on $10 billion worth of exports in aluminum and steel.

The FDA delayed a decision on Moderna’s vaccine for use among adolescents. Health officials are reviewing whether the Covid-19 shot causes a higher risk of heart muscle inflammation.

Japan’s ruling coalition is expected to maintain control. Prime minister Fumio Kishida’s party is projected to keep its majority following Sunday’s parliamentary election.

China’s manufacturing output shrank for the second month in a row. National data showed falling production and rising prices, adding to the economy’s recent struggles.

Barclays CEO Jes Staley stepped down. The regulator of the British bank has been investigating Staley’s characterization of his ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. The bank said the probe found no evidence that Staley was aware of Epstein’s alleged crimes and that Staley intends to contest the probe’s findings.

What to watch for

Image: Bárbara Abbês for Quartz / Photo by Reuters

It’s NFT week in NYC as the “The Leading Annual Non‑Fungible Token Event”—yes, that’s the name of the gathering—kicks off in Times Square today. The hype around this “leading” event mirrors the burgeoning industry’s obsession with “ground-breaking” releases. The third edition of the conference is sold out and the very, very long speaker list hints at how the field has gotten both bigger and weirder in recent months. Here’s a sampling of some curious talks from the 20-page agenda:

  • The psychology of collecting
  • Open source pizza
  • Hippie sushi chef: An NFT comic strip
  • How bored apes took over the metaverse
  • NFT forgeries
  • How NFT will disrupt charity world
  • NFTs in the adult industry
  • How I made my yearly salary in 2 weeks selling NFTs on Clubhouse
  • Fintech and NFTs: Risk and regulation
  • NFT 2024: The future of NFTs

FTC vs. dark patterns

The subscription business model is booming—from news to fitness to food delivery—but the US Federal Trade Commission thinks it should be easier for consumers to cancel them. Last week, the agency said it would penalize “dark patterns” when it outlined dubious subscription-business practices that could violate the law. That includes forcing customers to wait on hold for long periods when trying to cancel.

The FTC listed three requirements businesses must follow to avoid running into trouble:

💰Clearly disclose the terms of the product or service: Companies must tell customers how much a product or service costs, how often they will be charged for it, by when they have to act to avoid further charges, and how to cancel, if they want to.

👍 Obtain customers’ informed consent before charging them for a product or service.

Make cancellation easy and simple.

Facebook knows what it’s doing

During Facebook’s earnings call last week, Wall Street analysts made no mention of the recent avalanche of criticism that has plagued the company. That’s because, while Facebook’s reputation has suffered and its name has changed, its long game has essentially stayed the same. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is laser-focused on an entirely different existential threat: platform change.

Our most recent Weekend Brief broke down Facebook’s big week—including what to watch for next. ✦ Speaking of subscriptions, you can read the Weekend Brief by starting a 7-day free trial of Quartz membership. We promise it’s easy to cancel, though we don’t think you’ll want to.

What we’re reading

🔌 COP26 heads to Glasgow even as the UK struggles with energy

💉 We are addressing vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women the wrong way

🥗 Sweetgreen warns that remote work is a threat to its success

🪞  What Facebook could learn from Walmart

💀To save its image, Facebook is killing the metaverse

Surprising discoveries

Christmas creep is here. US retailers are pushing holiday deals extra early this year. Britney Spears has already bought into the idea.

Icelanders are gaga about garlic. A new, locally-grown variant sold out in 24 hours.

Fluffernutter, defined. New England’s lunchtime staple, made with “peanut butter and marshmallow crème between two slices of white sandwich bread,” is among the new batch of words added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka is tired of reading about his own death. Eschewing fake (and premature) obituaries in Nigerian social media, the 87-year old playwright is very much alive.

Font nerds are extra peeved with Facebook’s new name. Many can’t shake the association with Meta, a humanist sans serif typeface designed for the West German post office.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, Meta memes, and fluffernutter recipes to hi@qz.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Walter Frick, Anne Quito, John Detrixhe, and Courtney Vinopal.