World on track to overshoot warming limit without massive investments

European climate activists take part in a training on September 24, 2020 in Keyenberg, Germany, on the day of their mass action aiming to block a huge open-pit coal mine Garzweiler. (AFP / Ina Fassbender)
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Updated 25 September 2020

World on track to overshoot warming limit without massive investments

LONDION: The world must combine COVID-19 recovery packages with massive investments in renewable energy and low-carbon infrastructure or it will fail to meet a global warming limit target, a report by leading energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said .

Currently, the world is on track for a 2.8 degrees Celsius to 3C rise in the global average temperature, above an internationally-agreed limit of below 2C, the report said.

“Nearly $20 trillion, or 25 percent of global gross domestic product, is earmarked for spending over the next 12-18 months to deliver a coronavirus vaccine, tackle unemployment, rebuild public health systems and get economies back on track,” said Prakash Sharma, head of markets and transitions for Asia Pacific at Wood Mackenzie.

FASTFACT

80%

Coal, gas and oil are still expected to contribute around 80 percent of primary energy supply by 2040.

“This investment figure only has tiny proportions allocated to the promise of the Paris Agreement targets. Some jurisdictions, such as the EU, have doubled down on green goals, but it is currently up in the air in the US and China,” he added.

One obstacle is that more than half the world’s existing energy and industrial capacity — power, cement, refining, chemicals and vehicles — is young and has decades left to run its course.

Coal, gas and oil are still expected to contribute around 80 percent of primary energy supply by 2040 — far higher than the 50 percent maximum needed for the world to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Although there is increasing renewables generation, it is not enough and incentives are needed for investments in carbon capture, use and storage and green hydrogen.


Britain, EU tell each other to move on trade

Updated 20 October 2020

Britain, EU tell each other to move on trade

  • Both sides call on each other to protect billions of dollars of trade between the neighbors

BRUSSELS: Britain and the EU said on Monday the door was still open for a deal on their post-Brexit relationship, calling on each other to compromise to find a way to protect billions of dollars of trade between the neighbors.

With just over two months before Britain ends a status quo transition arrangement with the EU, talks on a trade deal are deadlocked, with neither wanting to move first to offer concessions.

A no-deal finale to Britain’s five-year Brexit drama would disrupt the operations of manufacturers, retailers, farmers and nearly every other sector — just as the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic repeated on Monday that the EU still wanted a trade deal but not “at any cost” after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday there was no point in continuing talks.

“It has to be a fair agreement for both sides — we are not going to sign an agreement at any cost,” Sefcovic told reporters after meeting Michael Gove, Britain’s point man on the existing divorce agreement, in London.

“The EU is ready to work until the last minute for a good agreement for both parties,” Sefcovic said.

Britain, increasingly frustrated by the EU’s refusal to start text-based talks, called on the bloc to make the first move, with its housing minister saying that Brussels only had to make “some relatively small but important changes.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick called on the EU to “go that extra mile, to come closer to us on the points that remain for discussion.”

A spokesman for Johnson again ruled out prolonging any negotiation beyond the end of this year, when the transition period runs out, saying the EU “must be ready to discuss the detailed legal text of a treaty in all areas with a genuine wish to respect UK sovereignty and independence.”

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier had been due in London for talks with British counterpart David Frost this week. Instead, they will now speak by telephone on Monday to discuss the structure of future talks, Barnier’s spokesman said.

Negotiations broke down on Thursday, when the EU demanded Britain give ground. Issues still to be resolved include fair competition rules, including state aid and fisheries. EU diplomats and officials cast Johnson’s move as a frantic bid to secure concessions before a last-minute deal was done, and European leaders have asked Barnier to continue talks.

British officials have repeatedly said any deal has to honor Britain’s new status as a sovereign country and not try to tie it to EU rules and regulations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said compromises on both sides would be needed. French President Emmanuel Macron said Britain needed a deal more than the 27-nation EU.

Britain is launching a campaign this week urging businesses to step up preparations for a no-deal departure. In a statement accompanying the launch, Gove says: “Make no mistake, there are changes coming in just 75 days and time is running out for businesses to act.”

More than 70 British business groups representing over 7 million workers on Sunday urged politicians to get back to the negotiating table next week and strike a deal.