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It marks the first time in the company’s 44-year history it has published such a thing, and comes seven months after nearly half its board said the company should be compelled to uphold freedom of expression around the world. (The Logic, Financial Times)

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Talking point: While it contains well-meaning platitudes and pledges about “respecting the human rights of everyone whose lives we touch,” there is one word you won’t read in the four-page document: China. Apple’s supply chain is largely China-based—the word appears 381 times in the company’s 2019 supplier responsibility report—and it has bowed to the country’s whims in the past. In 2017, Apple acknowledged it had deleted VPN services from its China App Store at the country’s behest. The company and its manufacturing partner Foxconn have been further dogged by alleged human rights violations at China’s biggest iPhone plant in Zhengzhou.

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Under the rules, those enrolled at institutions delivering courses fully remotely would have been required to leave the U.S. The White House and Department of Homeland Security are reportedly considering maintaining the restrictions for new students. (The Wall Street Journal)

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Talking point: The policy would have forced hundreds of thousands of people out of the country, as many universities opted to stay online only for the fall semester to maintain social distancing amid the still-ongoing pandemic. The Trump administration’s partial reversal came after Harvard and MIT sued; a group of 17 states launched a separate lawsuit on Monday. In Canada, the federal government has exempted international students with pre-pandemic study permits from the incoming travel ban, and will continue to issue them post-graduation work permits if they complete at least half their program in the country in person.

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Amazon Employees for Climate Justice published quotes from 357 colleagues criticizing the company for its carbon footprint and its business with the oil and gas industry. The Medium post was in protest against the company’s warning that employees could be fired for speaking on the subject. “While all employees are welcome to engage constructively with any of the many teams inside Amazon that work on sustainability and other topics, we do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. (Washington Post)

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Talking point: Employee pushback on climate change has had some small influence on Amazon: in September 2019, CEO Jeff Bezos pledged to, among other things, regularly disclose the company’s emissions and meet the Paris climate agreement targets 10 years early. Soon after, Amazon updated its communications policy, according to employees, to prohibit workers from speaking publicly about the company’s climate practice without a business justification and executive sign-off. Amazon follows Google in clashing with workers over their ability to speak openly about their employer. In September 2019, dozens of Google employees alleged they faced retaliation after speaking out about workplace harassment; several claimed they were pushed out of the company because of their activism. The company eventually pared back its weekly town halls, once viewed as a symbol of corporate transparency.

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Frans Timmermans, the European Commission executive vice-president in charge of green policy, said politicians haven’t done enough to prepare people for the “tectonic” economic shift ahead, a disruption he compared to the industrial revolution. The EU’s plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 will require massive investments beyond the capacities of the EU’s institutions alone. (Financial Times)

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Talking point: The remarks follow an announcement on Tuesday that the EU will commit a quarter of its budget towards the €1-trillion climate-change strategy in pursuit of becoming the first carbon-neutral continent in the world. Timmermans noted that the transition will be particularly trying for coal-reliant countries like Poland. While some of the funding will go toward reducing emissions in high-carbon industries, a large part of the budget will help deal with the social and economic impacts in those regions that will see the most dramatic transformations.

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Mike McNair, executive director for policy in the Office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, told staff Thursday morning he’d be leaving at year’s end, according to an email obtained by The Logic. His replacement will reportedly be Marci Surkes, who was in charge of policy announcements for the Liberal Party during the fall election campaign and was formerly chief of staff to defeated cabinet minister Ralph Goodale. (The Logic)

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Talking point: McNair’s email said he had discussed his departure with Trudeau’s chief of staff before the election, in which the Liberals were reduced to minority status. He had been with Trudeau since 2012, and is credited with being one of the architects of the Liberals’ efforts to bolster the middle class, particularly the Canada Child Benefit. He leaves a PMO in the midst of a post-election reset after the spring resignation of principal secretary Gerald Butts and retirement of Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick, both of whom departed in the wake of the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

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The European Central Bank (ECB) president plans to use the bank’s upcoming monetary policy review, announced last week, to address climate change issues, according to sources who spoke to the Financial Times. This will be the first time the institution has factored climate change into a comprehensive review. (Financial Times)

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Talking point: The move would challenge the convention that national governments, not central banks, legislate climate change policy. Germany’s central bank president Jens Weidmann, for instance, has said he would be critical of the ECB’s use of monetary policy to tackle climate change. U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell recently told Congress that climate change is the mandate of “elected officials, not us.” And while Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor who’s championed climate change factors in financial decision-making, plans to stress-test banks with “catastrophic” climate scenarios, even he isn’t going as far as as Lagarde might.