Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 126

Posts Tagged ‘governments’

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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Governments slow to address road freight transport emissions reductions – analysis

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 26 maggio 2018

Cologne/London/Perth Despite its significant contribution to global warming, the road freight transport sector is often neglected in government policies, according to the Climate Action Tracker’s (CAT) latest memo in its decarbonisation series.The memo was released as Ministers from over 80 countries gather in Leipzig, Germany, for the International Transport Forum where decarbonising the freight transport sector is on the agenda.
The analysis includes a specific EU case study (see below), which shows huge potential for the EU to reduce heavy road vehicle emissions. The EU Commission’s new proposal for reducing CO2 emissions in new trucks is not yet Paris Agreement-compatible, although a step in the right direction. About 40% of well-to-wheel CO2 emissions from the global transport sector were attributed to freight transport in 2014. Heavy road transport activity is expected to increase about threefold from 2010 levels by 2050—unless governments introduce policies to reduce this.“There are a large range of technological options for zero emissions freight including electric and renewable based fuel cell powered trucks, but governments need to move quickly to address challenges to ensure they are introduced fast enough to reduce emissions from heavy road transport to Paris Agreement compatible levels,” said Bill Hare, of Climate Analytics.
The analysis shows that full decarbonisation of global freight emissions should be targeted to around 2050 to meet the Paris Agreement goals. For the EU this means that freight emissions should be reduced by at least 30% below 2015 levels by 2030, with full decarbonisation of overland freight by around 2050.Decarbonising transport will produce large health and energy security benefits including air quality improvements, electricity grid balancing, electricity storage, and economic benefits including reduced fuel import costs.To achieve the Paris Agreement’s long term goal, rapid deployment of technologies that allow full decarbonisation are key, such as electrification, green hydrogen or synthetic fuels.
“It is important to bear in mind that, to be truly zero-carbon, green hydrogen fuel cell or battery powered electric trucks will need to rely on a decarbonised electricity system —this reinforces the need for a carbon-free power sector by 2050,” said Yvonne Deng, of Ecofys, a Navigant company.To achieve a Paris Agreement compatible emissions level for heavy vehicles will also require sustainable biofuel blending, energy efficiency and demand reduction as well as contributions from modal shift from road freight towards railroads and ships. Only four countries—Canada, China, Japan and the United States—have introduced efficiency standards for heavy-duty freight vehicles that would encourage a switch. Others will need to follow.The CAT ‘road freight’ memo warns that while biofuels have a role, they need to be developed in a way that ensures their long-term sustainability and carbon neutrality.“Biofuels can and need to be produced sustainably to avoid a situation where unsustainable biofuel projects threaten food security, and exacerbate other social and environmental impacts,” said Takeshi Kuramochi of NewClimate Institute.Developments around the world are promising and may happen much faster than expected: In the US an innovative renewable-based fuel cell truck technology has been launched. Manufacturer Nikola reports to have 9,000 advance orders and plans to couple deployment with the rollout of renewable hydrogen based refuelling stations. The technology has been picked up by major brewing company. Anheuser-Busch as part of its push towards a renewable energy based brewing and delivery system by 2025.

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The euro is dead. Long live the euro 2.0!

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 luglio 2015

eurozonaAfter the creation of sovereign bail-out programmes (five since 2010), after capital controls in Cyprus and after the launch of QE by the ECB, little was already left of the founding principles of monetary union. The new Greek crisis – which, barring a sudden U-turn, is likely to lead to a monetary divorce – is the last nail in the coffin of the euro version 1.0. And perhaps this is excellent news… Long live the euro version 2.0.Let’s take a look back to the early 1990s when the project to create a monetary union in Europe was thought up. The objective was t o converge very different economies with Germany, the system’s anchoring point, in record time (less than a decade) so that they would then share the same currency and the same monetary policy – all this without a political union, a fiscal union or a financial union. Viewed from this perspective, the idea clearly looks mad, which explains why a large section of the non-European financial community has always been highly sceptical about it. The euro should logically have disappeared an incalculable number of times since 2008.
• Because of the global financial crisis, which led to a sharp divergence between economies comprising the Eurozone.
• Because of the first (2010) Greek crisis, which illustrated an obvious flaw in the qualification criteria for the euro and which, incidentally, revealed the magnitude of the lie perpetuated by Greek governments.
• Because of the Irish and Spanish banking crises, which triggered a massive socialisation of private sector losses, at the risk of putting public debt on an unsustainable trajectory.
• Because of the second (2012) Greek crisis, which destroyed the idea that the government bonds of a developed country are a risk-free asset.
• Because of the widespread (and, in some countries, near-chronic) violation of Maastricht criteria on public deficits.
• Because of the disappearance, initially insidious and then blatant, of the frontier between fiscal and monetary policies, raising doubts about the independence
of the central bank.
• Because of certain actions taken by the ECB, such as the sovereign QE, which contravened the spirit, if not the letter, of its statutes.
Questions can certainly be asked as to whether the Eurozone will still comprise 18 or 19 members in a few weeks or months, a source of uncertainty one could probably do without since there is no legal framework for a Grexit. But it also has to be acknowledged that the European economy has not known such favourable conditions for growth since 2007 (credit recovery, depreciation of the euro and weakness of energy costs).
In these conditions, the third (2015) Greek crisis has very little chance, in our view, of contaminating other European countries, even the most fragile ones. This time, we can say that Greece is truly unique. Furthermore, the Eurozone is incomparably more resilient relative to the Maastricht project, since embryonic transfers between countries exist to absorb asymmetric shocks. The ECB also has unlimited intervention capacity in the debt markets if necessary, creating an unrivalled short-circuit. Lastly, the euro’s existence is an integration factor in other areas (bank supervision, capital market union project). There are no plans today to push fiscal integration further, but one does not have to be an ardent federalist to admit that it would be useful to have a Eurozone-wide macroeconomic stabilisation tool. The Grexit, if there is a Grexit, could perhaps help progress in this direction. (Economy Report del Chief Economist del Gruppo Oddo, Bruno Cavalier)

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Threat of EU split as Angela Merkel gives up on Russia

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 28 novembre 2014

merkel angelaGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel has given up on Russian President Vladimir Putin after months of patient diplomacy has failed to defuse the situation in Ukraine.The Ukraine crisis could now precipitate a massive division within Europe itself, writes GIS Expert Professor Stefan Hedlund, Research Director at the Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden.Communication between the Kremlin and the West has now broken down completely.
Western governments now have to face the fact that Mr Putin’s gloves may be coming off, adds Professor Hedlund.In preparation for a possible resumption of major combat operations in Ukraine, Russia is preparing the ground with a combination of heavy troop reinforcements. The Kremlin is also putting together a propaganda campaign to erode by stealth the resolve of the Europeans. Aimed at hearts and minds, it could divide not only the EU but Germany itself.
Kremlin-funded broadcaster RT launched a German language station in November 2014 to air Moscow’s view of the Ukraine crisis.A Moscow-based bank is loaning nine million euros to France’s National Front.
The first round of EU sanctions are due to expire in March 2015 and German officials are concerned that Italy, Hungary and Slovakia will be difficult to keep on side if the sanctions are to be renewed.Mr Putin is working hard at unravelling the fragile EU consensus.Over the past weeks, European leaders have gloated on how they had demonstrated to the Russians that they could reach consensus on a forceful policy of sanctions. It may now be time to stow that smugness and to start looking at reality, says Professor Hedlund.

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Ministers can and must accelerate action against global warming during UN climate talks

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 8 giugno 2014

global warmingGovernments are taking the unusual step of scheduling two days of ministerial meetings to kick off two weeks of United Nations climate talks in Bonn. The intention is to build momentum towards concluding an effective global agreement against climate change by the end of 2015. Martin Kaiser, Head of international climate politics at Greenpeace, said: “The top priority for ministers is to end the waiting game and reverse the downward spiral of inaction on climate change. They should be spurred on by recent political signals from the two biggest carbon polluters – the United States and China – about their intentions to curb emissions. Ministers must also act on scientific conclusions that their governments have accepted from the UN IPCC about the need for a fundamental transformation of the energy system, and replace dirty fossil fuels with clean energy.” China last September introduced an air pollution control plan containing tough and unprecedent measures that mark a historical change in China’s coal policy. Earlier this week President Obama unveiled measures to cut carbon emissions from US coal-fired power plants by 30% by 2030 from 2005 levels. Given Europe’s energy security concerns, the European Union must adopt ambitious and binding targets for 45% of its energy needs to be provided by renewable energy, and for 40% energy savings by 2030. By this date, Europe’s climate target needs to deliver at least a 55% reduction in carbon emissions. Martin Kaiser emphasised the need for a two-pronged, national and international approach to combating climate change: “National action can ratchet up international ambition. China, the EU and the US can and must do more by prioritising investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Other governments need to get on board with their emissions cuts so that dangerous global warming can be held below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The current absence of an ambitious global agreement does not prevent governments from ending subsidies to coal, oil and gas, and ensuring that development banks no longer finance coal-fired power plants. Urgent, tangible steps such as these would cut emissions and increase the chances of reaching an effective global agreement.”
Future steps on the road to a new global climate agreement include a one-day Summit for Heads of State, being convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in September 2014, and UN climate Convention summits to be held in Lima and Paris in December 2014 and 2015, respectively.

 

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Human Rights Summit

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 23 febbraio 2011

Washington, DC – On the one-year anniversary of the 2010 Washington Human Rights Summit,  Human Rights First, Freedom House, the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy, the Indonesian Human Rights Working Group and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies call for renewed efforts by governments to combat restrictions to the fundamental freedoms of association and expression and to support those calling for human rights and basic freedoms around the world. For the past five years, Human Rights First has closely followed and worked to address serious declines in political rights and civil liberties, especially freedom of expression and association. Recent events in Tunisia and Egypt may signal a turning point in this disturbing trend, marked by the use of violence to suppress peaceful demonstrations for political reform in Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Libya and Yemen; as well as a postelection crackdown in Belarus and efforts by influential authoritarian regimes like Venezuela, China and Russia to further restrict space for civil society.One year ago, the 2010 Washington Human Rights Summit was convened to call attention to growing restrictions on freedom of expression and association and to stimulate a forward-looking vision for U.S. foreign policy, multilateral institutions, and the international community to address these challenges.  Together with more than thirty leading human rights activists and front-line defenders from throughout the world, the participants laid out a Plan of Action for all governments and with particular recommendations for the United States, as the world’s most powerful democracy.  Human rights defenders from 23 countries met with President Obama at the White House on February 19 to directly convey these recommendations.The United States has taken notable steps over the past year in its defense of freedom of expression and association. Speeches by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the importance of civil society and Internet freedom have been matched by funding initiatives to these sectors.  The United States was also instrumental in the creation of a special mandate for freedom of association at the United Nations Human Rights Council and last week Secretary Clinton initiated a strategic dialogue with civil society.  However, the United States was criticized for cutting funding over the past few years to Egyptian civil society organizations.

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Governments must act for the climate

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 10 ottobre 2010

Tianjin, China. As the climate talks in China drew to a close today, Greenpeace urged Governments to look around them at the increasing extreme weather events and act for their citizens and the planet and not their own short-term self-interest.  The week in Tianjin has produced some agreement on issues like the establishment of a Climate Fund, the issue of adaptation to the impacts of climate change and transfer of technologies from north to south. Some of these issues may reach resolution in Cancun.  But, the real hot topics haven’t been addressed – the provision of climate funding, the needed increase in industrialised country greenhouse gas emissions cuts and the legal form of any final agreement.  Trio noted that in order to solve the big issues of climate finance and mitigation, there needed to be a change in the politics – without a change in political will, the process would continue at a snail’s pace.   In the next two days, the members of the BASIC group will meet in Tianjin to discuss their strategy to Cancun – this is an opportunity for these Governments to take initiatives to move the process forward.   In the weeks between now and Cancun there will be opportunities for other governments to do the same, they can – and must.

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European Summit of Local Governments

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 14 febbraio 2010

Barcelona from 22 to 24 February 2010, Barcelona will play host to the European Summit of Local Governments.  Organised by the Spanish Presidency of the EU, this three day event will see debates on the role of local authorities at European and local level in the form of thematic sessions including: “The role of Intermediate Local Governments in the articulation of the territory”; “Sport as an instrument for social cohesion: Towards the European Day of Sport” and; “Local governments and the new energy policies”.  At the core of discussions will be the question of what local governments should do to ensure that cities continue to thrive within a cohesive Europe. With Europe set to recover from the recent global economic and financial crisis, the year ahead is likely to provide many challenges to the newly mandated European Institutions, including the Committee of the Regions who’s Plenary Session on 9 10 February will see the election of a new President and Vice President.  The European Summit of Local Governments provides a space for debate and exchange among local governments from across Europe, the European institutions, member states and the private sector, for the purpose of providing a response and promoting specific proposals in this current context of economic and financial crisis and new European governance. The future perspectives, the models, public financing and the policies of European local governments will be revised, while taking into account their special position of being the government body closest to the citizen.
Dal 22 al 24 febbraio 2010 Barcellona ospiterà il Vertice europeo delle amministrazioni locali . Nel corso delle tre giornate del vertice, organizzato dalla presidenza spagnola dell’UE, si svolgeranno discussioni, strutturate sotto forma di sessioni tematiche, sul ruolo degli enti locali a livello europeo e locale. Fra i temi che vi saranno affrontati figurano Il ruolo delle amministrazioni locali intermedie nell’articolazione del territorio, Lo sport come strumento di coesione sociale: verso una giornata europea dello sport e Le amministrazioni locali e le nuove politiche energetiche. Il tema centrale delle discussioni sarà: cosa devono fare le amministrazioni locali per garantire che le città continuino a prosperare in un’Europa coesa.

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Protecting citizens’ rights on the internet

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 7 marzo 2009

Governments, police, private companies and even criminals all want access to our personal data, and the internet stores endless details of our private lives that can be used – or abused. MEPs and experts debated the need to protect personal data at a Civil Liberties Committee hearing on 5 March.A report by Stavros Lambrinidis (PES, GR), adopted unanimously by the committee on 17 February, is the first recommendation by MEPs for reconciling the fight against cybercrime and the rights of surfers: freedom of association and expression, non-discrimination and other rights that can only be defended by EU legislation, as the internet knows no frontiers.European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx said that “at the beginning it was fashionable to speak of cyberspace, which gave the impression that the internet was different to our world.  But now it has become an integral part of our everyday life, it is part of the real world”.  Therefore “we must apply the same values as we do in our society (…), fundamental rights must apply and that’s that”, he stated.  Nevertheless, the internet does have new features, notably in the area of monitoring responsibility.  “In the old world it was fairly simple.  On the internet there is a system of layers, responsibility is more complex and therefore tends to vanish.  This must be clarified”, he argued, although he did not wish to see “an environment of permanent surveillance”. Jim Killock, of the Open Rights Group, believed it was also important “to ensure that a charter of rights comes into being very soon”. He invited the EU institutions to look into the case of the United Kingdom, where “the Oyster Card (editor’s note: the electronic travel card used for public transport in London) enabled over 400 pieces of information to be transmitted to the police in a few months”.

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