Ghosn delays suit seeking retirement pay from Renault

In this file photo taken on January 08, 2020 shows former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn gesturing as he addresses a large crowd of journalists on his reasons for dodging trial in Japan, where he is accused of financial misconduct, at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut. (AFP / JOSEPH EID)
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Updated 22 February 2020

Ghosn delays suit seeking retirement pay from Renault

  • Renault refuses to pay, saying the former CEO was forced to quit after his shock November 2018 arrest in Japan on charges of financial misconduct
  • Facing multiple charges of corruption in Japan as chairman of Nissan, Ghosn fled to his native Lebanon last year

PARIS: Lawyers for Carlos Ghosn on Friday delayed a lawsuit seeking a hefty retirement payout from his former employer Renault, saying the French carmaker had not given them enough time to prepare arguments.

The court in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Renault’s headquarters outside Paris, granted the request for more time, setting a new hearing date for April 17.

“We received Renault’s arguments only on Monday, and having just four days to respond to 20 pages of arguments is clearly not enough,” Ghosn’s lawyer Laetitia Ternisien told reporters.

Ghosn is seeking a $270,000 retirement payout, which Renault refuses to pay because it says the former CEO was forced to quit after his shock November 2018 arrest in Japan on charges of financial misconduct.

The former industry titan claims he retired in due form on his own accord.

He also seeks a much bigger prize — a supplementary pension of €774,774 per year for the rest of his life, as well as 380,000 shares granted for reaching performance targets. At current prices, that stock grant would be worth over €12 million.

Meanwhile, Ghosn also faces a French inquiry over two parties he threw at the Palace of Versailles, including his opulent 2016 wedding, allegedly financed in part by Renault funds.

He is also being investigated by France’s tax fraud office over suspicious financial transactions between Renault and its distributor in the Gulf state of Oman, and over contracts signed by Renault and Nissan’s Dutch subsidiary RNBV.

In Japan, he still faces multiple charges claiming he under-reported millions of dollars in salary as chairman of Nissan.

He has denied all the charges, but fled to his native Lebanon late last year before he could face trial.

 


Investors, scientists urge IEA to take bolder climate stance

Updated 30 May 2020

Investors, scientists urge IEA to take bolder climate stance

  • The energy agency’s head is under pressure to align its policies with the 2015 Paris accord goals

LONDON: Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), faced renewed calls to take a bolder stance on climate change on Friday from investors concerned the organization’s reports enable damaging levels of investment in fossil fuels.

In an open letter, investor groups said an IEA report on options for green economic recoveries from the coronavirus pandemic, due out in June, should be aligned with the 2015 Paris accord goal of capping the rise in global temperatures at 1.5C.

The more than 60 signatories included the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, whose members have €30 trillion ($33.42 trillion) of assets under management, scientists and advocacy group Oil Change International.

“Bold, not incremental, action is required,” the letter said.

The Paris-based IEA said it appreciated feedback and would bear the letter’s suggestions in mind. It also said it had been recognized for leading calls on governments to put clean energy at the heart of their economic stimulus packages.

“We have backed up that call with a wide range of analysis, policy recommendations and high-level events with government ministers, CEOs, leading investors and thought leaders,” the IEA said.

Birol has faced mounting pressure in the past year from critics who say oil, gas and coal companies use the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook (WEO) annual report to justify further investment — undermining the Paris goals.

Birol has dismissed the criticism, saying the WEO helps governments understand the potential climate implications of their energy policies, and downplaying its influence on investment decisions.

FASTFACT

1.5°C

The 2015 Paris accord aims to cap the rise in global temperatures at 1.5C.

But campaigners want Birol to overhaul the WEO to chart a more reliable 1.5C path. The world is on track for more than double that level of heating, which would render the planet increasingly uninhabitable, scientists say.

The joint letter followed similar demands last year, and was published by Mission 2020, an initiative backed by former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres.