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The US and UK banned Russian oil

Non-Russian oil companies are filling the void as gas prices skyrocket.

Pump jacks are seen against a blue sky on a Russian oil field.
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The US and UK will ban Russian oil. While the EU won’t join in the sanctions, it does have a plan to wean itself off the stuff. US producers say it will be difficult to increase their oil output, but most Americans say they don’t mind paying more for gas.

Chinese companies could find themselves on the US’ trade blacklist. Those violating sanctions to provide Russia chips and advanced tech risk being cut off from American equipment and software.

The IMF is poised to give Ukraine $1.4 billion. While the monetary authority helps fight the economic crisis, western nations are in a race to deliver arms and equipment to fend off the Russian invasion.

Russia shelled an evacuation route from Mariupol. Thousands of others, including Indian students, were able to leave Sumy. US intelligence officials told Congress Russian president Vladimir Putin is likely to escalate his country’s attacks, as the EU prepares for more refugees.

McDonald’s is closing its Russian restaurants. The fast food chain said 850 locations would temporarily go dark. Meanwhile, Starbucks, Unilever, and Coca-Cola are pausing business with Russia.

An EU court upheld a multibillion-euro fine for the UK. The European Commission alleges its erstwhile member failed to collect enough customs duties on under-valued imports.

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What to watch for

These are unprecedented days for the oil industry. The US banned imports of Russian oil yesterday in response to the invasion of Ukraine, and Europe is also scrambling for energy alternatives. Prices are through the roof. Non-Russian oil and gas companies are poised for windfall profits as they make up the difference, and European policymakers are pushing for a much faster transition to renewables.

Meanwhile, oil and gas companies continue to battle numerous lawsuits alleging that they knew about the harms of carbon emissions but still lobbied against climate policy. The latest to meet a judge is ExxonMobil, which will make oral arguments in Massachusetts Supreme Court today in a lawsuit brought by the state’s attorney general. The suit alleges that Exxon engaged in a misinformation campaign about climate change; the company says its statements are protected as free speech. An outcome may not be known for months; Exxon beat a similar case in New York in 2019, but is still fighting others.

Sustainability is no longer optional

A banner sits on a fence, set up by Extinction Rebellion protesters, at Banks Group's open-cast coal mine in Bradley, County Durham, Britain February 26, 2020. It reads - When you're in a hole, stop digging!
Image copyright: Reuters/Scott Heppell
A banner set up by protesters at Banks Group’s open-cast coal mine in the UK.

It’s not just energy companies that are being held to higher standards—companies that fail at their sustainability goals (or don’t set them at all) run a risk of failing at their business.

A new index released yesterday by the World Economic Forum focused on diversity and inclusion as one aspect of sustainability. Its findings suggest that investing in innovations that improve how a company treats people and mitigate what damage it does to the environment is simply good business.

Our Next 10 Years series has been examining the near future of business, which will almost certainly involve autonomous robots using artificial intelligence as key tools for changing the world for the better. In fact, robots that automate recycling, run indoor farms, and help nurses on the front lines of healthcare are already out there, doing their thing. Read more about how industries marked by rapid change are preparing for tomorrow.

Sometimes you just have to dance

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Image copyright: Eric Helgas, styling by Alex Citrin-Safadi

They tried to kill disco, but it will never die. The stubbornly upbeat genre came out of an economically turbulent moment, and in this current turbulent moment, we could use some stubborn upbeatness.

What is it about a crisis that just makes us want to dance?

🎧 Learn why disco deserves a second look with the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.

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Sponsor content by Deloitte
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Competition is at the heart of transformation, which requires continuous innovation. Digital transformation helps organizations innovate faster and better. Organizations can leverage industry clouds to enable strategic transformation and stay on the cutting edge. These cloud-enabled business solutions are designed to help you standardize foundational components common to your competitors, so you can focus more on the capabilities that differentiate your business. Digital transformation requires a balance of business, technology, and organizational strategies. Learn more about accelerating that strategic collaboration.
Act now, adopt and grow

Surprising discoveries

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King Tut’s meteorite dagger wasn’t made in Egypt. It may have come from Anatolia.

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