BERLIN — Feeling the heat from a vocal climate protest movement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government plans on Friday to unveil a multi-billion-euro grand plan for tackling global warming. Days before a UN climate summit in New York, Merkel's team was due to announce details as the top EU economy, once a green energy pioneer, is bound to miss its 2020 carbon reduction targets. Political parties were still haggling over the details early in the week, but Berlin was likely to pledge some 40 billion euros ($44 billion) over four years, newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported. Measures proposed by Merkel's CDU party include boosting public transport services, making train travel cheaper and flying more expensive, and raising subsidies for cleaner cars and home heating systems. A bone of contention remained how to price the emission of climate-killer CO2 into economic activity - either through a carbon tax or the trading of emissions permits, the option favoured by Merkel. "Climate … [Read more...] about Merkel Government to unveil climate strategy
How to tackle climate change
Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief, The Straits Times Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief, The Straits Times These days, Harvard Professor Graham Allison is hailed as something of a prophet. Officials he met in China recently referred to him as the man who “predicted” a clash between the United States and China, he says. “It was not a prophesy,” he adds. “I simply pointed out the recurring patterns of history.” “Today, the conversation has moved to the more urgent question, which is, what’s to be done, and how to escape Thucydides’ Trap?” He is talking about his ground-breaking, best-selling book, published in 2017, with the ominous title, Destined for War: Can America and China escape Thucydides’s Trap? The book, whose title refers to an ancient Greek historian’s chronicle of upstart Athens taking on Sparta, caught global attention for its study of 16 periods of power rivalry over the past five … [Read more...] about US, China: Frenemies?
A group of 48 developing economies, known as the V20, together with development banks this week announced plans for new financial instruments aimed at lowering the cost of capital and unlocking large capital flows for green development. The effort could help safeguard the prosperity gains of at least 1 billion people as the planet warms, V20 finance ministers said in a statement. "The moment calls for a robust response to protect economic growth from the risks of climate change and secure continued progress," said V20 chair Benson Wase, finance minister of the Marshall Islands, in a statement issued during the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The V20 economies include Barbados, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Honduras, Lebanon, Morocco, Nepal, the Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Tuvalu and Vietnam. A 2018 report commissioned by U.N. Environment calculated that the V20 countries had coughed up an additional $62 billion in … [Read more...] about Shunned by investors, poorer nations seek to climate-proof growth
Guterres himself called for the summit scheduled for September 23, a day before the start of the annual high-level week of the UN General Assembly, to crank up political will on climate change. "It is important that we tackle climate change with much greater ambition. I am telling leaders: Don't come with a speech, come with a plan," Guterres told a news conference for the launch of an annual report of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). "I am calling on them to come to the summit with concrete, realistic plans to put us on a sustainable path, once and for all." That means enhancing national contributions under the Paris Agreement by 2020 and showing how the world can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent over the next decade and get to net zero emissions globally by 2050, said Guterres. Without doing so, global warming will be irreversible, he said. "We are very close to the moment in which it will no longer be possible to come to the end of the century with only 1.5 … [Read more...] about UN chief calls for concrete action plans at UN Climate Summit
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim is stepping down in February after six years at the helm of the global development lender (Photo: AFP/Nicolas ASFOURI) Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, has announced that he will retire. This is far earlier than expected. Kim was first appointed in 2011 and was re-elected in 2016 for a five-year term, due to end in 2022. It was widely assumed that Kim would serve out his full term. Instead, he has abruptly declared that he will retire on Feb 1 and take up a job with a private investment infrastructure firm. What’s going on? The president of the World Bank is, in effect, the Pope of the official international development community. He is the ambassador-at-large of “The Bank”. As such, he (the president has always been a “he”) constantly travels the world, giving keynote speeches at major conferences, meeting heads of governments, and holding hundreds of meetings with ministers and officials to discuss … [Read more...] about Did World Bank President Jim Yong Kim leave on his own accord?