This week, we look at which countries are using coronavirus stimulus plans to push green agendas and how the pandemic has erased decades of progress on some goals of global sustainability.
GREEN deals with mud across the globe Momentum is gathering around the world for investment packages and green-labeled policy agendas, a movement driven in part by growing new consumers, progressive voters around the world, and coronavirus closures, which give governments a reason to perfect for acting. Democratic leaders in the US have embraced the contours of Green New Deal legislation co-authorized by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (DN.Y.) and Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), If not his exact words.
Green-minded politicians in Europe have no such concerns about labels. The European Union adopted a Green Agreement program in December, supported by a $ 650 billion in funding over seven years and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will use her speech on the state of the union on Wednesday to announce a more aggressive target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030. The current target requires a 40 percent reduction (measured compared to 1990 levels).
The Germans are putting their money where their votes are. The Green Party is sitting a the second comfortable in national polls, and the German Treasurys $ 7 billion in relation to the green offer this month were topped by $ 26 billion. (A total of $ 33 billion followed the offer.)
Canada will be next to join the party. In a speech scheduled for Sept. 23 outlining his legislative agenda, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised “bold new solutions” with the build Canada Back Back theme better reflecting a Biden campaign slogan with an eye on reducing inequality and carbon emissions.
Trudeau has suggested that Canada will pursue Europe in investing economic stimulus in long-term, green projects, in contrast to the US, which was low-cost during the Covid-19 pandemic but focused on short-term welfare payments.
The Green Defenders seem to have learned from the case study of French President Emmanuel Macron, who is suffering a prolonged low approval rating after he tried to introduce one gas tax in 2018 to help pay for the green transition of his countries that hit the poorest French the hardest. Low- and middle-income groups need to be accustomed to the idea of a greener economy: They cannot simply be forced into higher gas bills or greener cars.
Green promises have also been a popular theme during national elections around the world this year. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this month made 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 and zero-zero emissions by 2050 the central part of her re-election campaign. The South Korean government was re-elected in April with the promise of fulfillment East Asia First Green Deal. Even the Polish government, for a long time refusing climate, this month announced new nuclear and wind energy investments to help it meet a tougher emissions target.
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CLIMATE WEEK CLICK SEPT. 21 The United Nations recently said that current global climate policies are not enough to keep temperatures from rising above catastrophic levels this century. We want to know: Do you think we can reverse that trajectory and how? Let us know and we can present your answers in next week’s edition.
THERE IS A BIG BUT More than 100 countries are delaying the commitment to the new climate targets they are required to announce by the end of 2020 under the Paris Climate Agreement, and the outcome of the Novembers presidential election in the US could have a major impact. China and other nations are waiting to see if President Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins before embarking on new national goals and international cooperation. Biden has promised a zero-zero emission economy by 2050 in line with the EU, the UK and New Zealand and says a clean energy economy is a must.
And while European governments want to pursue their green trusts, the continent is still heavily packed with fossil fuels. The Nordstream 2 pipeline will carry Russian gas to Germany. Dirty diesel cars are still popular and Europe is home to major oil industries such as Shell, BP and Total.
A report by the United Nations found that greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise despite scientific warnings and Paris commitments. Current climate policies simply reduce emissions by 2100, which could raise temperatures beyond 3 degrees Celsius. To avoid the worst effects of climate change, man-made emissions will need to be eliminated by 2050.
Europe Hypothesis Green Hydrogen to Stimulate the Economy High school chemistry teaches us that hydrogen is everywhere: Its element is the most abundant in the universe. The same can be said for industry. Hydrogen is used in fuel cells that empower the transport sector. It is the basic substance for ammonia, a chemical widely used by farmers to fertilize their crops and in the production of plastics and steel.
But the vast majority of hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels, such as natural gas or oil, and has recently become a key target for green-minded politicians seeking solutions for sectors of the economy that cannot be decarbonized. In France and Germany, the scaling of so-called green hydrogen derived from renewable energy and water electrolysis is also a major part of coronavirus regeneration packages.
Last week, France’s top finance official unveiled a plan to find an edge in the race to develop green hydrogen, promising to invest $ 7 billion by 2030. Reports POLITICOs America Hernandez from Paris. The aim is to ensure that hydrogen is produced in France to avoid its importation from other countries and is part of its broader economic recovery strategy.
We are helping to have jobs. We are helping to have factories. We are helping so there will be industrial relocation, Minister of Finance and Economy Bruno Le Maire i tha an assembly of hydrogen drivers. We are helping at the 7 billion level to be the best, not the second or third. The best.
Germany is also in contention, with its $ 9 billion plan as part of its largest economic stimulus package. Germany plans to import less low-carbon hydrogen because it has no domestic production of renewable energy like wind and solar to meet a new target, including sunny African countries like Morocco.
France, on the other hand, plans to rely on its nuclear power to generate pure hydrogen. This puts it a bit far from the step with the wider European Union, which will not decide until the end of 2021 whether nuclear power is counted as sustainable energy.
US utilities are exploring the use of green hydrogen to reduce emissions, for The Wall Street Journal. For now, it does not compete with natural gas in price, but utilities see it as a long-term investment that can appease state lawmakers and regulators by increasingly imposing climate laws.
COVID RISKS GLOBAL GLOBAL GOALS Decades of progress in fighting poverty and disease have stalled in the aftermath of Covid-19. And in some cases, that progress has disappeared, according to a new report from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that pursues world performance in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Get vaccine coverage, which the report notes is a good representative of how health systems around the world work. This year, coverage is falling to first levels for the last time in the 1990s, or a lag of about 25 years to 25 weeks, reports Carmen Paun of POLITICO.
Nearly 37 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty, or less than $ 1.90 a day in just a few months, after two decades of the annual decline in the number of people living in that reality. This represents an increase of 7 percent in extreme poverty, after falling by more than 1 percent during each of the previous two years.
These newly impoverished people are more likely to be women than men, in part because women in low- and middle-income countries work mostly in the informal sector that is now inaccessible, such as people’s homes and public markets. Women also do most of the unpaid housework and childcare. The report recommended that social security payments and immediate business loans be directed at women, as they direct more of their income to their families, leading to sustainable prosperity.
The index ranks 163 countries based on dozens of criteria, including basic needs such as food and water, environmental quality, access to information and inclusiveness. While the world was already on track last year, the IPS estimates that the pandemic has delayed progress by at least a decade, into 2092.
Covid is perfect proof that there are things that seem uneconomic, such as global health infrastructure, that have major economic impacts and are essential to building sustainable growth in the long run, Michael Green, CEO and SPI, told Ryan recently.
The IPS found that the world is still making social progress, in general, despite the pandemic, but that it is slow and unequal. There is almost zero progress in environmental quality and a pull on personal rights in most of the world, Green said. Costa Rica is the very big steady overperformer, Green said, while Saudi Arabia is the biggest weakest performer, in terms of revenue.
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