Group of 20 states ‘must take harder carbon line’

A technician demonstrates a car pollution control in Paris. Fifteen technical control centers will now experience new measures of pollutant emissions from passenger cars. (AFP)
Updated 01 September 2016
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Group of 20 states ‘must take harder carbon line’

PARIS: G20 states must work harder to ensure a swifter transition to a low carbon economy, NGOs urged Wednesday, notably deploring continued EU finance for fossil fuel-powered projects.
Major powers should revise upwards by a factor of six greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2030 to meet their commitments of limiting temperature rises to two Celsius under last year’s Paris Accord on climate change, Climate Transparency said.
“Our report shows that while global emissions growth may be coming to an end, there is not yet the necessary dynamic to transform the ‘brown’ fossil-fuel based economy and into the ‘green’,” said Climate Transparency, a grouping of international research centers, in a report released ahead of a weekend G20 summit in China.
“The G20 is responsible for 75 percent of global emissions, and its energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increased by 56 percent from 1990-2013,” the report said.
“While the positive news is that this growth has now stalled, the negative is that there is still more brown than green on the Climate Transparency G20 scorecard,” the report said, highlighting a 2009 pledge by G20 states to end fossil fuel subsidies.
Climate Transparency co-president Peter Eigen nonetheless praised summit host China for “taking more action than many countries.
“Climate leadership from China at the G20 Summit could help set the world on the right path to a future safe from the worst ravages of climate change,” said Eigen as the report rated China, India, France, Germany, the United States and Britain best “in terms of investment attractiveness” while urging Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to do better.
The Hangzhou summit will push for the early entry into force of last year’s Paris Agreement.
The global NGO group Climate Action Network expressed concern that the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development had assigned some 12 billion euros ($13 billion) to fossil fuel projects between 2013 and 2015 and that Brussels had earmarked some 1.6 billion euros for fossil fuel infrastructure from 2014 to 2020.
CAN Europe coordinator Maeve McLynn said EU policies such as the Emission Trading Scheme were also supporting controversial fossil fuel projects.
“The EU proudly stipulates that it has been a leading voice in advocating for strong climate action internationally. It has also pledged to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies, including fossil fuel subsidies by 2020,” said McLynn.
But she said the evidence suggested “the EU is way off track to achieve this goal” while “its public funding is out of sync with the Paris Agreement.
“The Hangzhou summit is (therefore) an opportunity for all G20 leaders to pave the way for a smooth and prosperous transition to zero carbon economies,” McLynn said
Last week, organizations including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth wrote to US President Barack Obama to express their concern that the mooted Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could pose a threat to environmental protection standards.


China bemoans US ‘bullying’ of Huawei

Updated 23 May 2019
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China bemoans US ‘bullying’ of Huawei

  • The trade spat between US and China escalated after President Donald Trump issued orders last week on grounds of national security
  • Trump’s move effectively bans US companies from supplying Huawei and affiliates with critical components

BEIJING: China’s foreign minister has slammed US moves against telecom giant Huawei as “economic bullying,” and warned that Beijing was ready to “fight to the very end” in its trade war with Washington.
The trade spat between the world’s top two economies escalated after President Donald Trump issued orders on grounds of national security last week that have prompted several foreign firms to distance themselves from Huawei.
“The US use of state power to arbitrarily exert pressure on a private Chinese company like Huawei is typical economic bullying,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday at a meeting in Kyrgyzstan of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional security group led by Beijing and Moscow.
Trump’s move effectively bans US companies from supplying Huawei and affiliates with critical components over activities the US says are contrary its national security or foreign policy interests.
Japan’s Panasonic announced on Thursday that it was cutting back business with Huawei in light of the US ban. A day earlier, mobile carriers in Japan and Britain said they would postpone the release of Huawei smartphones.
“Some people in the United States do not want China to enjoy the legitimate right to develop, and seek to impede its development process,” Wang said, according to a foreign ministry statement issued late Wednesday.
“This extremely presumptuous and egocentric American approach is not able to gain the approval and support of the international community.”
The two countries have yet to set a date to recommence trade negotiations after they resumed their tariffs battle earlier this month, with Trump raising punitive duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods and Beijing hiking those on $60 billion in American products.
Trump has accused China of reneging on its commitments in the trade negotiations. Beijing has countered that any deal needs to be balanced.
“It is impossible for us to sign or recognize an agreement that is unequal,” Wang said.
“If the United States is willing to negotiate on an equal footing, then on the Chinese side, the door is wide open. But if the United States opts for a policy of maximum pressure, then China will take them on and fight to the end,” he said.