Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 312

Posts Tagged ‘action’

Parliament requests further action to save EU tourism

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 20 giugno 2020

MEPs call for additional measures to save the EU’s tourism and travel sector and make it future-proof after COVID-19 crisis. The resolution on transport and tourism in 2020 and beyond was adopted on Friday by 587 votes in favour, 32 against and 46 abstentions. It identifies areas where actions taken so far remain insufficient to support a sector that employs 22.6 million people (11.2% of the total EU employment) and that contributed 9.5% to EU GDP in 2019.Giving tourism businesses a chance of survival
• Short-term financing to avoid businesses going bankrupt and to support workers, including self-employed workers, in the transport, culture and tourism sector.
• Support long-term recovery and modernise the sector: Parliament asks the Commission to issue guidance to ensure available funding can be accessed swiftly. MEPs call for a dedicated budget line for sustainable tourism in the 2021-2027 long-term EU budget.Guarantee safety and fairness by
• establishing common standards and detailed protocols for hygiene and health screening measures;
• developing an early alert system that warns tourists about any potential health threat at their destination;
• creating an EU safety certificate for establishments and operators that meet the highest hygiene and safety standards;
• launching a dedicated information campaign on travel and tourism, aiming at promoting intra-EU travel, re-establishing confidence in travel and tourism during COVID-19, and educating tourists on the health and safety measures in place;
• ensuring safe transit and country-to-country movement is not hampered by unilateral measures and agreements between individual member states.
The Parliament encourages the Commission to explore the idea of a crisis-management mechanism for EU tourism, in order to respond adequately and swiftly to any future challenge of similar magnitude. MEPs see the crisis also as an historic opportunity to modernise tourism in the EU and make it more sustainable, e.g. local and rural tourism initiatives, or out-of-season travel. The EU should promote and certify environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically sound travel and tourism. The Parliament wants EU support to serve as a tool to guide infrastructure and transport development and tourism towards more sustainable, innovative, resilient and high-quality products and services. The Parliament supports the concept of ‘safe and smart destinations’ to ensure the development of sustainable, responsible and accessible tourism.

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Tourism in COVID-19 crisis: MEPs demand clear action plan to help the sector

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 aprile 2020

Bruxelles. Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee urges the Commission to come up with a European action plan to help the tourism sector to overcome the crisis.MEPs reiterated, in a debate with Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, that the tourism sector needs more support in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis through specific measures, funding, increased EU-level coordination and a targeted roadmap. The demand for a sector-specific recovery plan and strategy was echoed across the political spectrum.Commissioner Breton acknowledged that tourism was the first sector hit by the coronavirus and it is likely to be the slowest to recover from the crisis. “We have to come up with a strong response,” explained Breton. “Tourism is our priority and we are trying to do as much as we can with the existing funds.”Beyond providing safety via short-term financing, the Commissioner said that tourism should benefit extensively also from the long-term crisis recovery plans, which will be funded through the next long-term EU budget (2021-2027). He is supporting the idea of a dedicated budget line “with the depth and firepower we need for the sector to get over this crisis”.The Commissioner also added that the ultimate goal is to reform and reinvent the tourism sector and proposed to hold a European Tourism Summit for sustainable tourism this autumn.Certainty on travel restrictions needed before summer holidays
Several MEPs also asked for more certainty regarding travel and movement restrictions that could continue in the coming months, including possible bans on visiting beaches because of social distancing rules. The Commissioner explained that sufficient guarantees for safety and security are needed before such restrictions are lifted. He added that the work on facilitating travel is ongoing and there will be more clarity ahead of the summer.On the questions regarding passenger rights and vouchers being offered by companies following cancelled bookings, the Commissioner assured MEPs that passenger rights remain protected and member states can already support their tourism businesses by providing liquidity for companies, including to cope with travellers’ demands for reimbursement.

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COVID-19: MEPs call for a strong EU action to help developing countries

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 22 aprile 2020

Development Committee discussed EU measures to combat COVID-19 in developing countries, with International Partnerships Commissioner Urpilainen and Crisis Management Commissioner Lenarčič. On Tuesday, MEPs highlighted the global nature of the pandemic, and therefore the need to work in solidarity both within the EU, and outside in support of partners. COVID-19 cases continue to evolve in Africa, where it is now present in 52 countries. Numbers are growing every day and experts believe that the pandemic in Africa could be more deadly than elsewhere in the world. The coronavirus is also spreading rapidly in other developing countries such as Yemen and Afghanistan.Committee members highlighted the need to build pandemic defence not only within the EU, but also outside in partner countries. The effects of the pandemic could be devastating given the poor quality of the healthcare systems in some developing countries, which makes it essential for the EU to provide external support to its partners, they stress.MEPs fully support all the efforts of the EU institutions to coordinate and strengthen its work within the European Union. Nevertheless, they underlined that the EU needs to marshal its global leadership and enhance international solidarity toward developing countries and more specifically to cooperate with partners in Africa on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner Lenarčič stated that on 8 April, the European Commission adopted the communication on the global EU response to COVID-19 under which it will coordinate its actions with the EU member states, United Nations agencies and NGOs to support emergency humanitarian needs, strengthen health systems and mitigate economic and social consequences. The European Commission has so far provided EUR 30 million to the World Health Organization (WHO). This is not fresh money and options for mobilizing the reserve for humanitarian aid are being explored.Commissioner Urpilainen promised that her team would follow up on the EU supported COVID-19 global initiatives to ensure the speedy operationalisation on the ground on three priorities: reallocate EUR 500 million to short-term emergency response; provide EUR 2.8 billion to bolster research as well as enhancing social protection, and provide EUR 12.3 billion to address social-economic impact of the pandemic. This is retargeted and not fresh money. She also said that the Commission would coordinate well with the EU member states and partners such as the W.H.O., multilateral lending institution and other partners in a global partnership to ensure maximum impact. Urpilainen added that the European Commission is co-organising an online pledging event on 4 May 2020, to team up with partners to boost funding for diagnostics, medicines and vaccines to up to 7.5 billion euros. By taking this lead, the EU aim to align efforts with other donors and initiatives such as Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
Commissioners Urpilainen and Lenarčič promised to work closely with MEPs on humanitarian response and development policy.
“Even if the external relations angle was somewhat absent in the weeks when the COVID-19 pandemic first affected EU countries, there is now an acute awareness that the situation in developing and crisis-affected countries makes it essential to provide an ambitious and action-oriented EU external response,” said Tomas Tobé (EPP, SE), Chair of the Committee on Development.

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3rd EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 19 gennaio 2020

Bruxelles. Subcommittee on Security and Defence Wednesday, 22 January 2020, 09.00-18.30 in meeting room Altiero Spinelli 3G-3 (Brussels)
Debates 9.00 – 11.30 Exchange of views on the military challenges in Sahel
14.30 – 18.30
• Exchange of views on the security and defence challenges of 5G
• Exchange of views on the security situation in Iraq and EUAM Iraq
Thursday, 23 January 2020, 09.00-12:00 in meeting room Altiero Spinelli 3E-2 (Brussels)Debate
Exchange of views on the 3rd EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy with Lotte Knudsen, Managing Director Global – Human Rights, Global and Multilateral Issues, EEAS (tbc), Chiara Adamo, Head of Unit, Directorate General for International Development and Cooperation, European Commission, and Gaelle Dusepulchre on behalf of Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN)
Thursday, 23 January 2020, 09.00-18.30 in meeting room Altiero Spinelli 3G-3 (Brussels) Debates. Consideration of draft report: Recommendation to the High Representative and to the Council under Rule 118 in preparation of the 2020 Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) review process, nuclear arms control and nuclear disarmament options. Rapporteur: Sven MIKSER (S&D, ET). Exchange of views with Narcisa VLADULESCU, Chair of CONOP, Division for Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Export Control, EEAS NATO’s 70th anniversary: future challenges for the Alliance.

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Governments still showing little sign of acting on climate crisis – Climate Action Tracker

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 12 dicembre 2019

Madrid In the face of the growing climate emergency, governments seem determined to continue embracing fossil fuels, and even meeting their Paris Agreement pledges would see warming of 2.8˚C by the end of this century, according to the Climate Action Tracker’s 2019 annual update, released at COP25 in Madrid today.Under government real-world action (current policies), global temperature is set to rise by 3˚C and the most optimistic policy scenario would be 2.8˚C. “We are not seeing the kind of action you’d expect from governments facing a climate emergency,” said Prof Niklas Höhne, of CAT partner organisation NewClimate Institute. “Since last year’s update, our temperature estimate has not improved from climate action, and many governments are still failing to meet their often insufficient targets.”While all governments agreed to update their climate targets with more ambition by 2020, the CAT’s new Climate Target Update Tracker has only one country on its list of those that has done so, and only one full draft proposal – from Chile.Coal is still playing a major role in government energy planning, despite the fact it’s now way more expensive than renewables. Governments continue to plan and build new coal plants, especially in Asia, where China, Japan and South Korea, who are also funding coal offshore.An example of such offshore coal-funding is the proposed Lamu coal-fired power station in Kenya, that would be both Chinese-funded and built. Kenya it is set to meet its Paris pledge with renewables, and gets a CAT rating of “2˚C Compatible” but if both the Lamu plant and another proposed coal plant were to go ahead, its emissions would rocket up. “Gas is a major concern. Governments are acting as if this fossil fuel is somehow clean – yet gas was responsible for half the increase in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption in 2017-18,” said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics.“But let’s be clear: for a 1.5˚C pathway, emissions from gas need to peak before 2030, halve by 2040, and be only a tiny part of global electricity demand by 2050.”On a positive note, the growth of renewables is expected to soar: almost 2,400 GW was installed in 2018, a doubling of capacity in ten years, and is expected to increase by another 50% (1,200GW) in the next five years. This acceleration needs to increase if CO2 emissions are to peak soon and reduce rapidly to at least 45% below 2010 levels by 2030, and to do this governments need to stop supporting fossil fuels in the market.

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EU notifies Ecuador to step up action vs illegal fishing

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 25 novembre 2019

The European Commission continues its action to fight illegal fishing worldwide by notifying the Republic of Ecuador that it needs to step up its actions (yellow card) in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “Ecuador is a major trade partner for fishery products. We have a huge responsibility towards the EU consumers to make sure that the imports from this country only stem from legal fishing activities. The European Commission has detected shortcomings that hinder the capacity of Ecuador to provide this assurance. We invite the Ecuadorian authorities to step up their efforts and implement the necessary reforms to fight against IUU fishing. We stand ready to work closely with Ecuador to tackle the identified issues and raise the standards of fisheries management. Fighting illegal fishing has been an integral part of the EU’s action to improve ocean governance over the last ten years, and it will remain high on the political agenda also under the incoming Commission”.
Today’s decision is based on identified shortcomings about the country’s ability to comply with agreed standards under international law of the sea as flag, port and market state. Ecuador is encouraged to step up its actions to ensure that fish entering its market do not stem from IUU fishing. In particular, it should develop an enforcement and sanctioning system to address IUU fishing activities. Moreover, an adequate control of the activity of processing plants – especially those exporting to the EU – is paramount. The Commission has also identified limitations in the fisheries legal framework. At this stage, the decision does not entail any measures affecting trade. The yellow card is a warning and offers Ecuador the chance to react and take measures to rectify the situation within a reasonable time. The mechanism to address IUU provides that in cases of continued non-compliance countries can ultimately face exclusion of their fish exports from the EU market (red card). The EU stands ready to continue working side by side with Ecuador, including through technical assistance where needed, to implement the necessary reforms.

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Splunk Customers and Partners Turn IoT Data into Action

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 9 agosto 2019

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK), delivering actions and outcomes from the world of data, today announced that customers and partners across industries are improving customer satisfaction, reducing costs and achieving greater business efficiencies from Splunk’s enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Through the creation of the Industrial IoT specialization within the Splunk Partner+ Program, Splunk has attracted industrial domain channel partners to accelerate real-time contextual insights and solutions to these new buyers.The Industrial IoT specialization enables partners with industrial data expertise to quickly develop Splunk-based solutions for industrial users, and it is the first vertical specialization within the Splunk Partner+ Program. Splunk and its partners are deeply engaged in helping their shared customers accelerate their digital transformation and successfully manage their enterprise and industrial IoT solutions. Initial partners with industrial specialization include Computacenter AG & Co oHG, ESE Engineering und Software-Entwicklung GmbH, GrayMatter, Malisko Engineering, Inc., Robotron Datenbank-Software GmbH, and Strategic Maintenance Solutions, Inc., and have expertise working with shared customers to manage industrial processes, assets and data. As a result, these partners develop and deliver high-value Splunk-based services and solutions to customers.

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The energy of the new technological cycle requires large-scale investments and decisive political action

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 18 aprile 2019

Currently existing technologies for clean power requiring carbon capture and storage increase the cost of electricity by about 60%. New low-cost power systems based on oxy-fuel supercritical CO₂ will be commercially available in the mid-2020s. The so-called “Allam cycle” provides an opportunity not only to produce energy without harmful atmospheric emissions, but also has the additional advantage of low cost for electricity generation (6 cents per kilowatt).Sergey Alekseenko, the 2018 Global Energy Prize laureate, Head of the heat and mass transfer laboratory of the Institute for Thermophysics of the RAS Siberian Branch, underlined the importance of the development of environmentally friendly and efficient technologies to process fossil fuels. In particular, combined-cycle plants and advanced coal processing are the most important steps towards the decarbonization of energy. Although fossil fuels will remain a priority energy source for resource-rich countries Alekseenko stated the world energy mix will radically change due to the development of renewable energy sources (RES), which will start to dominate the global energy balance after 2050. Geothermal energy, and more specifically –petrothermal systems– ( based on hot dry rocks found from 3 to 10 km beneath the surface with temperatures up to 350°C) are the most promising procedures of generating alternative energy, Alekseenko highlighted. In contrast to the variability of sun and wind energy, “Petrothermal energy is on-demand and does not require any energy storage solutions. However, solar and wind energy will likely remain the predominant part of the global energy mix in the future. Therefore the development of renewable energy sources must be accompanied by the creation of efficient energy storage systems,” the scientist mentioned. Further elaborating on the imperative transition to renewable energy sources, Xiansheng Sun, Member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee and Secretary General of the International Energy Forum, stated that countries are trying to find an even balance between economic development and the solution of a variety of environmental issues. However, natural disasters caused by climate change are drivers that redirect counties’ development strategies. In pursuit of viable, sustainable energy markets, both corporations and developed countries are turning to new technologies, such as carbon capture, storage and utilization systems, big data analytics, automation, robotics, electric cars and smart grids.
Participants of the Summit concluded that the main challenge for the development of energy in the new technological cycle lies in the hands of political decision makers. While the leading scientists in the field are confident that efficient, environmentally friendly and economically viable technologies are available to provide holistic solutions that were previously impossible, politicians are called upon to take the necessary hard decisions today.

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Barrett-Jackson will usher in a new year of high-octane auction action during

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 18 novembre 2018

Its 48th Annual Scottsdale Auction, featuring some of the world’s most coveted collector vehicles and authentic automobilia collectibles, January 12-20, 2019, at WestWorld of Scottsdale. As in decades past, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions® will be the epicenter of Collector Car Auction Week and entertain thousands of automotive enthusiasts with interactive exhibits, entertainment and activities.
“Our Scottsdale Auction has become a tradition unlike any other in the collector car industry,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “Every year we are honored to host enthusiasts from around the world, who come to experience the magic that comes from bidding on the collector car of their dreams. While the auction is the heartbeat of our Scottsdale event, in addition to the thousands of enviable collector cars ‒ like the exclusive Lexus LFA or rare automobilia pieces ‒ we’ve built the ultimate automotive lifestyle event with fun activities, exhibits and dining the whole family will enjoy.”
Barrett-Jackson’s 2019 Scottsdale Auction will be home to some of the most coveted collector cars on the market, including a ʼ12 Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition (preview). The ultimate in exclusivity, this supercar is one of only 50 built globally that is equipped with the Nürburgring package. Other supercars taking center stage in Scottsdale will include an ʼ01 Ferrari 550 Barchetta (preview). One of 448 produced to commemorate Pininfarina’s 70th anniversary, it is finished in Grigio Alloy and has only 28,000 actual miles.Domestic supercars, like an ʼ06 Ford GT Heritage Edition (preview), will also be among the most anticipated vehicles of the auction. Built to honor the 40th anniversary of the GT40’s 1-2-3 finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966, this GT is one of 343 produced with the Limited Edition Heritage Livery. “As we look at 2018 in the rearview mirror, it’s clear that we’ve enjoyed an incredible year,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “We’ve made incredible memories, supported wonderful charitable organizations ‒ including our own Driven Hearts campaign benefiting the American Heart Association ‒ and set numerous auction records. We’re looking forward to our Scottsdale Auction being an extension of this incredible momentum.” Rare and authentic domestic vehicles will also be a big mix of the Scottsdale Auction docket. Among the most anticipated is the very first Ford Pilot Plant/Pre-production 1965 Mustang hardtop (preview) to receive a VIN. Credited with igniting the pony car revolution, this Mustang is a genuine piece of automotive Americana.
Chevrolet will also be well-represented by some star cars on the docket, including a ’54 Corvette Custom Convertible (preview). This Ridler Great 8 award-winner known as “Transitions” was a six-year build by Larry Griffey’s Hot Rods & Restorations that combines the stylish looks of the ʼ54 Motorama Prototype with modern-day technology, handling and performance. Another high-quality Chevrolet custom build is Art Morrison’s custom ’60 “3G” Corvette (preview). Designed to produce 1G on the skid-pad, 1G of acceleration and 1G of braking, this custom integrates modern luxury performance with classic styling and design.

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Rule of law in Hungary: MEPs demand swift action from EU ministers

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 14 novembre 2018

MEPs urge EU ministers to determine if Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU values and to invite the European Parliament to a formal Council meeting. Ahead of the EU ministers meeting today, Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) and MEP Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL) discussed the Parliament’s position on the rule of law in Hungary in a preliminary meeting with Member States representatives. In September, the Parliament asked EU member states to initiate the procedure laid down in EU Treaty Article 7 to determine whether Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU´s founding values. Mr. Moraes said: “Today together with the Rapporteur, Judith Sargentini, we were present for a first exchange of views in a preparatory briefing with Members States representatives – which however can in no way be considered a formal Council meeting.” “We thank the Austrian Presidency for organising today’s meeting, and especially the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Sweden that were represented at ministerial level for their interest and cooperation. However, we have to emphasize that we await a more appropriate and formal Council meeting for handling a matter of the highest significance for the rule of law within the EU”, Mr. Moraes stressed.Ms. Sargentini, who authored the Parliament’s report on Hungary, said: “An overwhelming majority of the Parliament supported my report in September. It is a clear signal that we must draw a line when it comes to breaches in a Member State of our shared European values of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights. It is now to the Member States to act in a swift, open and effective manner.” “The time taken by the Council to figure out the process does not improve the situation. To the contrary, new worrying developments have taken place in Hungary since the adoption of my report, such as a new law that would undermine the independence of the Hungarian judiciary even further”, Ms. Sargentini noted.“At todays’ meeting, I appreciated the critical questions from the ministers on the situation of civil society in Hungary and on the way the Parliament and myself as rapporteur have been treated by the Hungarian authorities. We count on the support of the Member States present at this morning’s informal meeting to push for Parliament to present its report in a formal Council meeting”, Ms. Sargentini concluded.
Rule of law in Poland and Hungary are the first items on the agenda of the General Affairs Council meeting. Ministers will also hold the annual rule of law dialogue today.

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Climate action so far in 2018

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 4 maggio 2018

The Climate Action Tracker has updated our assessments of 23 of the 32 countries whose development on climate action we track. While some progress has been made since November, most governments’ policies are still not on track towards meeting their Paris Agreement commitments, many of which are in themselves far from sufficient to keep warming to the agreed 1.5˚C warming limit. Our assessments point to an urgent need for governments to scale up both their policies and targets to bring them more in line with a pathway to limiting warming to 1.5˚C.
Renewable energy from wind and solar is still developing so fast that the CAT had to revise its projections for emissions in 2030 downwards for the USA (despite the Administration’s efforts in the opposite direction) and for Chile (where record low costs for RE paved the way to the adoption of a plan to phase out coal). Argentina presented new energy scenarios that, if implemented, would result in significantly lower emissions.There are also some standout new policies that have been announced, but not yet implemented (nor quantified by CAT). An example is New Zealand’s new government, which has announced it will be at net zero carbon by 2050 and will introduce a Zero Carbon Act. An increasing number of countries are turning away from coal, with a new “Powering Past Coal Alliance” of more than 20 countries aiming at phasing out its use. One of its members, the UK, has decreased the share of coal in electricity generation from around 40% to 7% in 3 years. Germany, Europe’s leading coal user, has just initiated a process to work out a phase out deadline. Outside the realm of national policies, international shipping acknowledged for the first time the need to phase out GHG emissions completely and has set the target to reduce its emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 (see page 7 of briefing)
In contrast, there is still a disappointing theme of some governments not yet willing – or unable – to give up coal.
Japan, Indonesia, Philippines and Turkey, for example, are still proceeding with coal plant construction plans that will continue to drive up emissions and risk significant stranded assets. Although China is stopping coal plant construction in some provinces due to overcapacities, coal continues to account for about two-thirds of electricity generation, and additional plants have been permitted. Total coal use in China rose again last year after a decline since 2013. Within the EU, Poland, this year’s host of the climate conference, continues to rely heavily on coal and is alone in the EU planning expansion.
Governments that have decided to phase-out coal, but need further steps for implementation:
South Korea has announced its intention to shut down several old coal plants earlier than scheduled and to reconsider the new plants seeking permits or under construction, but has not yet been able to fully implement these aspirations. Other countries, for example Chile and Germany have taken a first step and decided to start a process to determine phase-out schedules. In both countries almost half of the electricity today is generated by coal.
Governments still focussed on a coal-fired future, while the reality on the ground is renewables: continued coal use appears to be still firmly in the sights of the USA and Australian governments, despite clear signs from on the ground that renewable energy is taking over due to cost-competitiveness—and is highly likely to continue doing so.
Under the Paris Agreement, governments have agreed to improve their commitments over time, with preparations for the first round ongoing in 2018. There is a need for most governments to scale up their targets by 2020 to bring them in line with the Paris Agreement 1.5 limit.
Some, for example Mexico and individual EU Member States (Germany, UK, France, Czech Republic) have already developed long term strategies and some are working on strengthening them.
Others, like New Zealand, are working on developing strategies to implement their long-term targets. The EU is working on updating their existing long-term strategy as a basis to revise the 2030 target to speed up action.At the other end of the spectrum countries like Australia have failed to put forward long-term targets and any process to ratchet up their—inadequate—2030 target.

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Make 2018 Your Year of Action: ‘Start Something Priceless’

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 21 gennaio 2018

FINAl-_BillboardThere is no better time than the New Year to remind ourselves that we each have the power to do something meaningful, make something special happen in our lives and our world. With the global launch of Start Something Priceless, Mastercard is inspiring everyone to take a first step in pursuit of their chosen passion or purpose, and turn small moments into amazing memories.“Start Something Priceless is a call to action at a time when people expect actions, not just ads, from brands,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard. “This is a time when people truly believe in their power to fuel change, and whether big or small, an action has the ability to make the world a better place. That movement is what we aim to unleash this year.
“Every day at Mastercard we work to make a difference in communities across the world, whether that’s reversing the cycle of poverty with the World Food Programme, donating to Stand Up To Cancer to give more people support in their fight, or bringing young girls into our family to inspire and prepare for a career in STEM.”The #StartSomethingPriceless movement launched today and we are encouraging people to share their pledges to pursue a passion or purpose, effect change, and lift one another up. Commitments can be anything that enriches your life, from reading a book every night with your child to adopting a dog from a shelter just use the hashtag to start something today.The iconic Priceless campaign has been at the forefront of purpose-driven branding for 20 years, with a story that has evolved with the way people think and feel. Priceless has always been about celebrating connections and experiences, but we are now inspiring and empowering consumers to pursue something that is meaningful to them; our journey has taken us from story-telling to story-making. We are now taking Priceless to the next level, to story-inspiring.For Mastercard, the new brand mantra will come to life across a variety of experiences and interests like travel, music, sports and philanthropy. The brand will uncover stories, create opportunities, and provoke people to think differently, all in partnership with Mastercard’s world-class sponsorship properties – GRAMMY Awards®, BRIT Awards, UEFA Champions League, Rugby World Cup, Australian Open, Cannes Film Festival, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational – as well as through its signature Priceless Causes programs with The World Food Programme and Stand Up To Cancer. (photo: FINAl-_Billboard)

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Commission warns Vietnam over insufficient action to fight illegal fishing

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 25 ottobre 2017

european commissionBrussels.The European Commission is continuing its fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing worldwide by warning Vietnam, with a “yellow card”, about the risk of it being identified as a non-cooperating country.Today’s decision highlights that Vietnam is not doing enough to fight illegal fishing. It identifies shortcomings, such as the lack of an effective sanctioning system to deter IUU fishing activities and a lack of action to address illegal fishing activities conducted by Vietnamese vessels in waters of neighbouring countries, including Pacific Small Island Developing States. Furthermore, Vietnam has a poor system to control landings of fish that is processed locally before being exported to international markets, including the EU.
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “With this action today we demonstrate our firm commitment to fight illegal fishing globally. We cannot ignore the impact that illegal activities conducted by Vietnamese vessels are having on marine ecosystems in the Pacific. We invite the Vietnamese authorities to step up their fight so we can reverse this decision quickly. We are offering them our technical support.”
The decision does not, at this stage, entail any measures affecting trade. The “yellow card” is considered as a warning and offers the possibility for Vietnam to take measures to rectify the situation within a reasonable timeframe. To this end the Commission has proposed an action plan to support the country in addressing the identified shortcomings.
The Commission decision is a result of a thorough analysis and takes into due account the level of development of the country. It follows a long period of informal discussions with Vietnamese authorities since 2012. Vietnamese authorities are now invited to engage in a formal procedure of dialogue to resolve the identified issues and implement the Action plan.
Between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish, i.e. at least 15% of world catches, are caught illegally a year. This is worth between 8 and 19 billion euros. As the world’s biggest fish importer, the EU does not wish to be complicit and accept such products into its market. The so-called ‘IUU Regulation’, which entered into force in 2010, is the key instrument in the fight against illegal fishing ensuring that only those fishery products that have been certified as legal can access the EU market. With this objective, the Commission maintains bilateral dialogues with more than 50 third countries. When third States are unable to comply with their international obligations as flag, coastal, port and market States, the Commission formalises this process of cooperation and assistance with them to help improve their legal and administrative frameworks to fight against IUU fishing. The steps in this process are first a warning (“yellow card”), a “green card” if issues are solved or a “red card” if they aren’t. The latter leads to a listing by the Council, followed by a series of measures for the third country, including a trade ban on fishery products.

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Forced migration calls for faith in action

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 4 luglio 2017

religious communitiesMADRID — In a stirring display of solidarity and good will, some 300 representatives of religious communities and civil society organizations gathered for a conference in Madrid on an issue of acute concern—forced migration. The event was held at the Iglesia de Jesus Church in Madrid on 20 June 2017, the International Day for Refugees.
A poignant presentation by Reuters photographer Juan Medina captured the urgency of the refugee issue in Europe through a collection of his photographs and a video documenting the journey of refugees into Europe.“It’s important to show these images, however shocking, time and again—as many times as necessary,” said Mr. Medina. “Some say you can become desensitized by so many pictures of suffering, and they will have less of an effect. I think it’s important to tell their story, and remember the sufferings of those who had to leave their country.”“These photos show the harsh reality of what it means to be an immigrant. There is a sharp contrast between the exhausted refugees that are swept in by the shore, struggling to remain alive and locals strolling along the beach.”In 2015, the Spanish government pledged to the European Union to receive over 17,000 refugees. To date, 1,200 have arrived, prompting a growing discussion in the country.
In recent years, the Baha’i community in Spain has recognized the necessity for a more substantial and profound dialogue on migration and the implications of having greater awareness of the issue. Its efforts have rested on the conviction that religion has a critical role to play in cultivating a common sense of humanity as well as in mobilizing communities to contribute to social harmony and peace.The gathering was enriched with artistic presentations, including a performance of indigenous music from Latin America.
Together with a group of other civil society and faith-based organizations, the Baha’i community of Spain convened the recent conference, where diverse participants shared their experiences and renewed their commitment to take action in welcoming and supporting refugees. The event was also a forum through which participants sought to speak to the conscience of their people and kindle the light music from latin americanof compassion in Spanish society.“The purpose of this event is to underline the important role religious communities are playing in the reception and integration of refugees into their own communities and to give voice to the varied experiences and knowledge acquired through their contributions to society,” said Leila Sant Massarat, who chaired the gathering and represented the Baha’i community of Spain.“Regardless of the language we speak, our skin tone or place of birth, we are all human beings and share the same primary identity.”The conference highlighted the efforts of various faith-based groups in Spain to play a constructive role with the rising number of refugees arriving into the country. The representative from the Sant’Egidio community, a Christian organization, described an initiative taken by his community to encourage kindness and understanding by reading the names of all the newly arrived refugees. “We can sometimes forget that refugees have an identity and a name,” he said.Director of Public Affairs for the Baha’i community of Spain, Sergio Garcia, noted other contributions of the various faith groups in support of refugees, citing, for example, an initiative of the Muslim community to ensure that food was prepared and available for families in need and the experience of a Jewish group assisting youth in a refugee camp. (photos: music from latin american,religious communities)

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Rise in anti-Semitism demands stronger action, urge MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 3 giugno 2017

olocaustoBruxelles. Call for more effective prosecution and cross-border cooperation EU countries asked to appoint national coordinators to combat anti-Semitism Holocaust history should be taught in schoolsLeading politicians urged to denounce any anti-Semitic statement Hate speech and violence against Europe’s Jewish citizens are incompatible with EU values, so all EU member states must take measures to ensure the security of their Jewish citizens, say MEPs. They call on leading national politicians to oppose anti-Semitic statements systematically and publicly, and urge every member state to appoint a national coordinator to combat anti-Semitism.Racist motives should be deemed an aggravating factor in criminal offences. And anti-Semitic acts committed on the internet should also be prosecuted, says the resolution.
MEPs also call for good cross-border cooperation in prosecution especially in the case of terrorist acts. Police forces should set up special anti-hate crime units, and to make prosecution more efficient and effective, all member states should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism.Online intermediaries, such as search engines, social media, and app platforms, should take stronger action to combat anti-Semitic hate speech, say MEPs. The history of the Holocaust (or Shoah) should be taught in schools and history books should give an accurate description of Jewish history and life and avoid all forms of anti-Semitism, they add.
In a separate vote, MEPs gave their consent to the working priorities for 2018-2022 of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, including asylum for and integration of refugees and migrants, fighting racism and xenophobia, protecting personal data and Roma inclusion.In talks, Parliament’s negotiators have pressed the EU Commission and Council to make police work and counter-terrorism legislation fully open to scrutiny by the agency – an idea that they have promised to look into.

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IPPF supports Call to Action for protection from Gender- Based violence in crisis

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 25 maggio 2016

turchiaIPPF is supporting the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Emergencies, which aims to fundamentally transform the way GBV is addressed in humanitarian operations via the collective action of numerous partners, each bringing various strengths and capacities to the table. The commitments were presented during a High Level Panel at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul today. On the Call to Action, Tewodros Melesse, IPPF Director General said” We cannot allow gender based violence to go ignored. We are seeing the impact when people reach our humanitarian services. We call for others to follow our lead and deliver a prioritised approach that ensures there is a tailored service for those who affected by gender-based violence. This will ensure that those in crisis will get the support and protection they need so no one is left behind”.Women and girls are disproportionately influenced by humanitarian crises exposed to early marriage, trafficking, rape, forced pregnancies, unattended service delivery during complicated pregnancies and delivery. Women and girls are 14 times more likely to die in disaster settings than men.IPPF tailors its programmes to focus on GBV and women and girls. The Call to Action will strengthen a global standard and prioritization for GBV in crisis settings.IPPF has committed to a range of areas for GBV in crisis settings:IPPF Secretariat-wide standard to drive action and accountability on GBV and gender equality in humanitarian service delivery. Develop a tailored minimal sexuality education programme that is responsive to the needs of people living in crisis settings, recognizing the additional risks of early marriage, and sexual violenceAll IPPF local Member Associations implement GBV and/or gender equality interventions that are based on assessment and planning processes. IPPF targets to deploy its regional and local GBV experts within 72 hours of a major crisis.
A new initiative that looks at the contributions locally-based organisations make in a crisis response was signed by International Planned Parenthood Federation at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.The Charter for Change Localization of Humanitarian Aid, led by both national and international NGOs, aims to practically implement changes to the way the Humanitarian System operates and enable more locally-led response. The Charter for Change includes eight Commitments that International Non-Governmental Organizations agree to implement by May 2018.“Our local community-based organizations spread over 170 countries, and who are often the closest to crisis, from Syria to Macedonia to Fiji to Uganda to Ecuador to Nepal and dozens of other countries, tell us shocking accounts of what happens during humanitarian crisis.“We have found that through our globally owned and locally connected approach we build community resilience as our Members are there before, during and after a crisis. This contribution is what enables people to have their dignity respected, rights protected and supported regardless of location or needs”, said Tewodros Melesse, IPPF Director General. IPPF closes the gap between humanitarian and development action, preventing an interruption to SRH services when humanitarian assistance leaves.

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Obesity needs urgent action warns research organisation

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 20 maggio 2016

bruxelles (1). The leading organisation responsible for research into obesity in Europe has warned that unless something is quickly done to tackle the region’s rising obesity epidemic, it is going to have a devastating effect on healthcare costs and productivity.The warning, from the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), comes in the wake of several reports showing that obesity and overweightness continue to increase at an alarming rate and will affect more than half of all European citizens by 2030. In some countries it may be as high as 90%.EASO, and its member associations in 32 countries in Europe, will be staging various events to draw attention to the situation and to create greater awareness and understanding of obesity as part of the activities for European Obesity Day this Saturday (21 May).According to World Health Organisation, obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Its prevalence has tripled in many countries in Europe since the 1980s.It is now costing European countries more than €70 billion in healthcare and lost productivity.
Two reports in the medical journal, the Lancet[i], have also highlighted the sheer magnitude of the global obesity epidemic and have highlighted a huge rise in type 2 diabetes as a result.
Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancer, are among a number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that are all a greater risk to people with excess weight.
European Obesity Day is organised annually by the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) to bring people together and to increase knowledge about obesity and the many other diseases on which it impacts.Other major disease organisations, including those related to Cancer, Diabetes, cardiovascular, hypertension, diet and liver disease are also taking part to highlight the dangers that overweight and obesity causes to those diseases too.As well as events on the day itself, many of the EASO National Associations have also been organising various initiatives over recent weeks.These have included public awareness campaigns throughout France and Spain; lectures on the importance of fresh food and vegetables for school children and symposia in medical universities in Bulgaria; public events to measure key health indicators in Bratislava, Trnava and Kosice in Slovakia; Presentations and discussions in the Parliament and at regional level in Italy; and numerous obesity advice initiatives with the media around Europe.In line with the theme for European Obesity Day 2016, Action for a Healthier Future, people across all EU member states are being encouraged to participate.
At a European level, EASO has expressed its support for a Written Declaration that has been initiated in the European Parliament. It calls for greater recognition of obesity as a disease by EU Member States.“Obesity is a complex and chronic disease with numerous causes, many of which are beyond an individual’s control,” says EASO President, Professor Hermann Toplak. “The causes can range from genetic and endocrine conditions to environmental factors, such as stress, diet and increasingly sedentary working patterns.
“A healthier lifestyle, including a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help maintain a normal weight. However, obesity is a chronic disease and should be recognised and treated as such. Accepting and supporting people with obesity will help them seek the help and treatment they need,” he said.

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Governor Wolf Joins Vice President Biden to Launch “It’s On Us” National Spring Week of Action

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 6 aprile 2016

Pittsburgh, PA — Governor Tom Wolf joined Vice President Joe Biden today to launch the “It’s On Us” National Spring Week of Action. This spring, the Week of Action is being held from April 3-9, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Thousands of young people across the country will host and participate in events designed to not only raise awareness about the campaign but also continue to work to foster a culture of consent. Vice President Biden and Governor Wolf joined US Department of Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, actor/activist Matt McGorry, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Dr. Patrick Gallagher, and university faculty, staff, and students at the event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Petersen Events Center.“For too many of our young people, classrooms and campuses are not the safe havens that they should be,” said Governor Wolf. “Sexual violence goes against the core of who we are and our collective responsibility to safeguard our children from harm. We can — and must — do more.”Current sexual assault statistics are startling: 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college. Forty percent of survivors fear reprisal by their attacker. Only two percent of incapacitated rape survivors report assault, and only 13 percent of rape survivors report assault.In response to this nationwide crisis, President Obama and Vice President Biden launched the “It’s On Us” campaign in September 2014. Since then, over 275,000 individuals have taken the “It’s On Us” pledge: to create an environment where sexual assault in unacceptable.At the end of January, Governor Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf joined dozens of schools at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster to announce the launch of “It’s On Us PA” – the first statewide campaign to address the crisis of sexual assault in schools and on college campuses. Building on the national “It’s On Us” movement, “It’s On Us PA” engages education leaders from school superintendents to college presidents as well as students, teachers, families, and communities to make a personal and public pledge to play a role in preventing, addressing, and responding effectively to sexual violence.Since the January launch of “It’s On Us PA,” over 400 individuals – including representation from nearly 200 schools across Pennsylvania — have taken the pledge and signed on to the campaign.
“I am thrilled to join Vice President Biden today to continue our work to spread awareness of and action on this issue,” said Governor Wolf. “Sexual assault should not be part of any student’s school or college experience. Ensuring our students’ safety and well-being is paramount not only for their success, but the success of Pennsylvania as a whole.” (by Jeff Sheridan)

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Large South American governments could take more climate action: analysis

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 2 novembre 2015

america latinaWhile Brazil and Peru have better climate plans than Chile or Argentina, none of them have been rated as “sufficient” by the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), which released analyses of the four South American country climate targets today.The CAT – an analysis by four European research organisations – has rated Brazil and Peru’s submissions to the UN as “medium” and has given an “inadequate” rating to both Argentina and Chile. Together, these four countries make up 72% of South America’s greenhouse gas emissions, excluding LULUCF.
The CAT’s “medium” rating indicates that both Brazil and Peru’s climate plans are at the least ambitious end of what would be a fair contribution, and are inconsistent with limiting warming to below 2°C unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort.For Argentina and Chile, an “inadequate” rating is inconsistent with limiting warming to below 2°C: if all countries were to adopt this lower level of ambition, global warming would likely exceed 3-4°C this century.“None of these countries will be immune to the effects of climate change. An increase in warming of 2˚C would have severe impacts on all four of them, and on the rest of the continent,” said Dr. Marcia Rocha, Head of the Climate Policy team at Climate Analytics. “Yet instead of taking action commensurate with the size of the threat, these governments are largely sticking with their current policies, which are heading in the wrong direction.”
“These four South American climate targets are collectively disappointing, with this region extremely vulnerable to climate impacts and many already being observed, now would be the time to really ramp up policies and ambition,” said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics.
“Now is not the time to simply put forward no more than what is already being done or planned, the world needs real ambition for Paris, and it would be a very important symbol if these countries were able to increase their climate action by the time we get to Paris.”
“Brazil has a large share of hydro power, yet its energy market is projected to increase by more than 50% between 2012 and 2030. While it is good that renewable energy share is set to grow, Brazil needs to be careful it doesn’t recarbonise its electricity sector,” said Dr Rocha.
“With its current deforestation rates, it is difficult to see how Peru is going to meet its climate target, especially its 2021 zero deforestation goal.The country is also likely to face water shortages from glacier melt that will impact on cities and agriculture,” said Juan Pablo Osornio, of Ecofys.
“Chile is a good example of how, if the Paris agreement were to set targets only for 2025, inadequate efforts such as Chile’s could be improved for a 2030 dateline,” said Juan Pablo Osornio.
“Argentina has the potential to step up and at least meet its more ambitious conditional pledge. For a country with such large emissions, and facing quite extreme impacts from global warming, it is disappointing to see such an inadequate effort,” said Dr Rocha.

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“Simulation and Pharmaceutical Technologies for Advanced Patient-Tailored Inhaled Medicines”

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 11 ottobre 2015

parma universitàParma lunedì 12 e martedì 13 ottobre, allo Starhotel du Park di Parma, si terrà il Meeting dell’European Framework Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST Action MP1404 SimInhale) “Simulation and Pharmaceutical Technologies for Advanced Patient-Tailored Inhaled Medicines”, organizzato dalle proff.sse Alessandra Rossi e Francesca Buttini del Dipartimento di Farmacia dell’Università di Parma.
COST Action MP1404 ha una durata di quattro anni. L’obiettivo principale è di sviluppare la ricerca nel settore dei medicinali per via inalatoria al fine di accelerare lo sviluppo di una nuova generazione di prodotti più efficaci e sicuri. Si è costituita una rete europea di esperti che, operando per migliorare la deposizione della polvere inalatoria e l’interazione con l’epitelio polmonare, promuoveranno medicinali inalatori a misura di paziente mediante una valutazione critica della tossicità e dei rischi connessi.
24 paesi, tra cui 4 Paesi non COST (Australia, Stati Uniti, Egitto, Singapore), sono coinvolti in questa azione. Inoltre, importanti aziende come Chiesi, Astra Zeneca, PlumeStars, Medspray, Fluidda, Merck Singapore, hanno manifestato il loro interesse a Siminhale COST Action.

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