Екологи через незадоволення повільними темпами боротьби зі зміною клімату анонсували протести, і під час зустрічей у Глазго
Екологи через незадоволення повільними темпами боротьби зі зміною клімату анонсували протести, і під час зустрічей у Глазго
Після оголошення результатів лідер опозиційного «Єдиного національного руху» Ніка Меліа заявив, що не визнає результати виборів
The second and final day of the G-20 summit in Rome continues Sunday, with leaders from the world’s major economies hoping to tackle the existential threat of climate change, ahead of a broader U.N. climate change summit, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland this week.
Leaders are set to pledge to take urgent steps to reach the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with a global commitment made in 2015 at the Paris Climate Accord to keep global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably to 1.5 degrees.
The group of 19 countries and the European Union account for more than three-quarters of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. They will need to find consensus on achieving emissions reduction, particularly on slashing methane and phasing out coal.
Two dozen countries this month have joined a U.S.- and EU-led effort to slash methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.
Coal, though, is a bigger point of contention. G-20 members China and India have resisted attempts to produce a declaration on phasing out domestic coal consumption.
Briefing reporters ahead of the summit, a U.S. senior administration official said U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders are hoping to get a commitment to end overseas financing of coal-fired power generation.
Climate financing, namely pledges from wealthy nations to provide $100 billion a year in climate financing to support developing countries’ efforts to reduce emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change, is another key concern. Indonesia, a large greenhouse gas emitter that will take over the G-20 presidency in December, is urging developed countries to fulfill their financing commitments both in Rome and in Glasgow.
Global supply chain
Biden will hold a meeting at the summit’s sidelines to address the global supply chain crisis. The group of 20 countries in the summit account for more than 80% of world GDP and 75% of global trade.
“The President will make announcements about what the United States itself will do, particularly in respect to stockpiles, to improving… the United States’ capacity to have modern and effective and capable and flexible stockpiles,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told VOA aboard Air Force One en route to Rome, Thursday. “We are working towards agreement with the other participants on a set of principles and parameters around how we collectively manage and create resilient supply chains going forward.”
Addressing global commerce disruptions has been a key focus for the Biden administration, which is concerned that these bottlenecks will hamper post-pandemic economic recovery. To address the nation’s own supply chain issues, earlier this month the administration announced a plan to extend operations around the clock, seven days a week, at Los Angeles and Long Beach, two ports that account for 40% of sea freight entering the country.
“Whether it’s you’re talking about medical equipment or supplies of consumer goods or other products, it’s a challenge for the global economy,” said Matthew Goodman, senior vice president for economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Some of the concrete measures to alleviate global supply chain pressure points may need to be longer term, such as shortening supply chains and rethinking dependencies, said Leslie Vinjamuri, director of the U.S. and the Americas program at Chatham House.
“Those are not quick fixes,” she said. “But the G-20 is historically set up really to be dealing with short-term crises. So, I think that there will be considerable effort made to really discuss and come to terms with that.”
While global supply chain issues are a key concern for the leaders in Rome, Goodman said he doubts the meeting will result in tangible solutions.
“It’s a very difficult group — the G-20 to get consensus to do very specific things. And this may be one area in which it’s going to be particularly difficult,” he added.
President Xi Jinping of China, considered to be the “world’s factory,” is not attending the summit in person. In his virtual speech to G-20 leaders, Xi proposed holding an international forum on resilient and stable industrial and supply chains, and welcomed participation of G-20 members and relevant international organizations.
The G-20 Summit hosted by Italy in Rome this weekend brought together leaders from the world’s major economies. White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara has this report from Rome.
Згідно з домовленостями, великі корпорації з 2023 року мають сплачувати мінімальний податок у розмірі 15%, хоч де б вони працювали
Очікується, що Центральна виборча комісія оприлюднить офіційні результати до ранку 31 жовтня
Білоруська влада заблокувала доступ до російського інформаційного агентства REGNUM. Видання висвітлює події у країнах колишнього СРСР із прокремлівських позицій. Воно стало першим суто російським засобом інформації, доступ до якого закритий Мінськом. До цього влада закривала доступ до сайту російського видання «Комсомольская правда», редакція білоруської версії якого була всередині країни.
На блокування «Регнуму» звернуло увагу 30 жовтня «Європейське радіо». Причини такого рішення не розкривалися. Автори агентства неодноразово критикували білоруську владу за антиросійську, на їхню думку, політику і закликали до тіснішої, аж до приєднання, інтеграції Москви та Мінська.
Раніше білоруська влада блокувала доступ до західних та незалежних ЗМІ, включно з сайтами редакцій Радіо Свобода та телеканалу «Настоящее время». «Комсомольская правда» була змушена припинити роботу в Білорусі після того, як один із журналістів газети Геннадій Можейко був заарештований владою за свій матеріал.
Мінськ посилив тиск на пресу та представників громадянського суспільства в країні після президентських виборів у серпні 2020 року. Тоді опозиція, яка не погоджується з офіційними результатами виборів, провела серію масових акцій протесту. Попри це вшосте переможцем голосування було оголошено Олександра Лукашенка.
У країні порушено тисячі кримінальних справ проти нелояльних йому громадян, десятки тисяч змушені були емігрувати. За оцінкою правозахисного центру «Вясна», станом на 30 жовтня в країні нараховується 831 політичний ув’язнений.your ads here!
Before the pandemic effectively closed Thailand off to the rest of the world in March of last year, Bangkok’s Kin & Koff Café was perfectly placed to catch the throngs of tourists traipsing past the city’s gilded Grand Palace and its orbit of opulent temples.
In the capital of one of the world’s most popular holiday getaways, the resplendent grounds of the former royal residence were a must-see for most first-time visitors. Then came COVID-19, lockdown and a hard freeze on foreign tourists, decimating a pillar of Thailand’s economy — and the core of Kin & Koff’s client base with it.
So, like many in the business of catering to those tourists, owner Siripong Sanomaiwong welcomed the news that Thailand will start lifting lengthy quarantine mandates for some fully vaccinated foreigners on Nov. 1. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha announced the move Oct. 11 in a televised address.
“I think the government is [acting] the right way to open up because we cannot hide from the virus,” Siripong said on another slow day in his café opposite the palace walls.
“We must live together with the COVID; we must live together … in safety,” he added, reflecting the business community’s general mood of wary resolve.
Risk and reward
In his address, Prayut acknowledged the risks. He said daily COVID cases were “almost certain” to rise with new arrivals but insisted Thailand was prepared and had to cash in on the coming November-March high season having missed out on the last one.
“We will have to track the situation very carefully and see how to contain and live with that situation because I do not think that the many millions who depend on the income generated by the travel, leisure and entertainment sector can possibly afford the devastating blow of a second lost New Year holiday period,” he said.
The World Bank says tourism accounted for 20% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and more than 1 in 5 jobs in 2019, when some 40 million people visited the country. The government says Thailand will be lucky to see 100,000 visitors in 2021 and is aiming for 1 million through this high season.
The Tourism Council of Thailand, an industry body, says the lockdown has cost the country some 3 million tourist-linked jobs. Even so, most Thais may not be on board with the government’s timing.
In an online poll conducted by Thailand’s Suan Dusit Rajabhat University between Oct. 11 and Oct. 14, 60.1% of respondents said the country was not yet ready to reopen to tourists without quarantine mandates. They cited Thailand’s low vaccination rate as the main reason.
While Bangkok and the popular resort island of Phuket have fully vaccinated the large majority of locals, the fully vaccinated rate nationwide only recently topped 40%. New daily COVID cases peaked at nearly 22,000 in mid-August but have yet to dip below 7,000. Thailand has recorded about 1.88 million cases in all.
Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a professor of political science at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, said local polls can be unreliable but believed Suan Dusit’s latest effort frankly mirrored the popular mood.
“The sentiment on the ground is that the infection numbers are still high and the government’s vaccine management has been inept … [that] lives are still at risk and reopening too soon is still not optimal,” he said.
The government hopes to allay those fears by opening up to only 46 countries at first, including major markets such as the United States and China, much of Europe and some Asian neighbors.
In addition to showing proof of vaccination and a negative test result before departure, visitors must have health insurance covering COVID for up to $50,000, download a tracking application and wait one night in a government-approved hotel for the results of a second test on arrival. If cleared, they will be free to roam the country. If not, they will have to spend more time in a hospital or approved hotel.
Siripong hopes that will be enough for his café to claw back by March about 40% of the business it had before the pandemic, and he’s confident the authorities can keep the virus in check.
Katenaphas Muattong is not so sanguine.
She left her catering job to help her parents run their small restaurant by the palace after the pandemic hit and their two employees had their wages cut and then quit. Tapping into online delivery services helped them survive, but business is still less than a third of what it was.
Katenaphas worries the government may apply the entry rules in what she called “Thai style,” explaining that to mean a lax attitude toward enforcement.
“On one [hand] we should open because business is going down, down,” she said. “But if we don’t have a good plan, we should wait.”
Turning the thoughts over in her mind a moment, she finally sided with the government and said Thailand should take the risk.
Vali Villa owner Val Saopayana is more of an avowed optimist.
Three years ago, the professional artist turned her childhood home into a boutique mid-range hotel a few blocks from Bangkok’s Khaosan Road, another popular tourist haunt packed with bars and clubs that once throbbed with dance music into the early morning hours. With nary a customer in sight one recent Friday afternoon, most of the strip was closed or boarded up, a microcosm of Thailand’s tourist sector writ large.
With Thailand now reopening to foreigners, Val is hopeful about reclaiming at least half of her pre-pandemic business by the end of this season.
“I have a good feeling that we’re going to be able to do it and the whole economy of Thailand is going to be better because I believe in the medical system and they try to do their best,” she said.
“We just hope that it will be back to normal very soon,” she added. “We have to believe and we have to have positive energy, and people are going to come.”
The Association of Thai Travel Agents, another industry body, says “normal” will take a few more years, as some major markets such as China still mandate weeks of quarantine for travelers on their return.
“When you have that amount of quarantine days, it’s going to be a real limit for us. So, I think the opening, while we’re making great progress, it will very much depend on the origin countries’ levels of restrictions and quarantine days as well,” said ATTA board member Pilomrat Isvarphornchai.
She said the association was being “realistic” about the coming high season and forecast a 20% return to pre-pandemic business for inbound travel agencies, at least for those still open. The ATTA’s last member survey found that roughly half of them had closed during the past 19 months of lockdown, some for good.
“In terms of the economy, we are at that point now where we’re going to have to learn how to live with the pandemic, not just in terms of tourism but even opening up domestically, for example with restaurants, with retail stores. It needs to happen now,” Pilomrat said.
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11% опитаних заявили, що можна катувати людей у виняткових випадках, коли це може врятувати життя безневинних. Ще 9% вважають, що катувати можна засуджених за тяжкі насильницькі злочини
COVID-19 та пов’язані з ним питання будуть серед тем до обговорення, проте основний пункт порядку денного – кліматичні зміни
Американські аналітики вважають, що вірус не був створений як біологічна зброя, більшість дійшла висновку, що він не був генетично модифікований
Green energy is the new focus of China’s one-of-a-kind Belt and Road Initiative or BRI, that aims to build a series of infrastructure projects from Asia to Europe.
The eco-friendlier version of BRI has caught the attention of some 70 other countries that are getting new infrastructure from the Asian economic powerhouse in exchange for expanding trade.
The reset on China’s eight-year-old, $1.2 trillion effort comes after leaving a nagging layer of smog in parts of Eurasia, where those projects operate.
Now the county that’s already mindful of pollution at home is preparing a new BRI that will focus on greener projects, instead of pollution-generating coal-fired plants. It would still further China’s goal of widening trade routes in Eurasia through the initiative’s new ports, railways and power plants.
The Second Belt and Road announced in China on October 18, coincides with the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, which runs from Sunday through November 12 in Glasgow, Scotland. China could use the forum to detail its plans.
“China’s policy shift towards a more green BRI reflects China’s own commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2060 and its efforts to implement a green transition within China’s domestic economy,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist with the market research firm IHS Markit.
“Furthermore, China’s policy shift…also reflects the increasing policy priority being given towards renewable energy and sustainable development policies by most of China’s BRI partner countries,” he said.
The Belt and Road helps lift the economies of developing countries from Kazakhstan to more modern ones, such as Portugal. BRI also unnerves China’s superpower rival, the United States, which has no comparable program.
History of focusing on fossil fuel
China has a history of putting billions of dollars in fossil fuel projects in other countries since 2013, the American research group Council on Foreign Relations says in a March 2021 study.
From 2014 to 2017, it says, about 90% of energy-sector loans by major Chinese banks to BRI countries were for fossil fuel projects and China was “involved in” 240 coal plants in just 2016. In 2018, the study adds, 40% of energy lending went to coal projects. Those investments, the group says, “promise to make climate change mitigation far more difficult.”
South and Southeast Asia are the main destinations for coal-fired projects at 80% of the total Belt and Road portfolio, the Beijing-based research center Global Environmental Institute says.
Global shift toward green energy
Chinese President Xi Jinping said last year China would try to peak its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030. The Second Belt and Road calls for working with partner countries on “energy transition” toward more wind, solar and biomass, the National Energy Administration and Shandong provincial government said in an October 18 statement.
Some countries are pushing China to offer greener projects due to environmental pressure at home, though some foreign leaders prefer the faster, cheaper, more polluting options to prove achievements while in office, said Jonathan Hillman, economics program senior fellow at the Center for International & Strategic Studies research organization.
“There was a period in the first phase of the Belt and Road where projects were being shoveled out the door and with not enough attention to the quality of those projects,” he said.
Poorer countries are pressured now to balance providing people basic needs against environmental issues, said Song Seng Wun, an economist in the private banking unit of Malaysian bank CIMB. The basics still “take priority,” he said, and newer coal-fired plants help.
“Although I would say environmental issues (are) important, I think a lot of people don’t realize how much more efficient these more modern coal plants are, so I think we must have a balance,” Song said.
In the past few years however, cancellation rates of coal-fired projects have exceeded new approvals, Hillman said. “The action honestly has come more from participating countries,” he said. “They’ve decided that’s not the direction they want to go.”
In February, Chinese officials told the Bangladesh Ministry of Finance they would no longer consider coal mining and coal-fired power stations. Greece, Kenya, Pakistan and Serbia have asked China to dial back on polluting projects, Hillman said.
“The next decade will show to what extent the Belt and Road will drive green infrastructure,” London-based policy institute Chatham House says in a September 2021 report.
Belt-and-Road renewable energy investments reached a new high last year of 57% of its total for energy projects in 2020, according to IHS data.
New pledges at COP26?
COP26 is expected to showcase the environmental achievements of participating countries as they try to meet U.N. Paris Climate Change commitments, Biswas said.
China’s statements ahead of the conference so far differ little from past statements. But China’s energy administration said on October 18 that its second Belt and Road “emphasizes the necessity of increased support for developing countries” in terms of money, technology and ability to carry out green energy projects.
Chinese companies on BRI projects may eventually be required to reduce environmental risks, Biswas said. Those companies would in turn follow principles released in 2018 to ensure that their projects generate less carbon. A year later, as international criticism grew, Chinese President Xi added a slate of Belt and Road mini-initiatives, including some that touched on green projects.
But the 2019 plans were non-binding and untransparent, Hillman said. At COP26, he said, “I would take any big announcements with more than a grain of salt.”
Wages jumped in the three months ending in September by the most on records dating back 20 years, a stark illustration of the growing ability of workers to demand higher pay from companies that are desperate to fill a near-record number of available jobs.
Pay increased 1.5% in the third quarter, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s up sharply from 0.9% in the previous quarter. The value of benefits rose 0.9% in the July-September quarter, more than double the preceding three months.
Workers have gained the upper hand in the job market for the first time in at least two decades, and they are commanding higher pay, more benefits and other perks like flexible work hours. With more jobs available than there are unemployed people, government data shows, businesses have been forced to work harder to attract staff.
Higher inflation is eating away at some of the wage increases, but in recent months overall pay has kept up with rising prices. The 1.5% increase in wages and salaries in the third quarter is ahead of the 1.2% increase in inflation during that period, economists said.
However, compared with a year ago, it’s a closer call. In the year ending in September, wages and salaries soared 4.2%, also a record gain. But the government also reported Friday that prices increased 4.4% in September from year earlier. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, inflation was 3.6% in the past year.
Many experts expect inflation to slow
Jason Furman, a former top economic adviser to President Barack Obama, said Friday that inflation-adjusted wages still trail their pre-pandemic level, given the big price jumps that occurred over the spring and summer for new and used cars, furniture and airline tickets.
Whether inflation fades in the coming months will determine how much benefit workers get from higher pay.
Many economists expect inflation to slow a bit, while wages are likely to keep rising.
Pay is rising much faster in the recovery from the pandemic recession than in the recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-09, when wage growth kept slowing until a year after that downturn ended. That’s because of the different nature of the two recessions and the different policy responses.
There has been much more government stimulus during and after the pandemic recession compared with the previous one, including the $2 trillion financial support package signed by former President Donald Trump in March 2020 and the $1.9 trillion in aid approved by President Joe Biden this March. Both packages provided stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits that fueled greater spending.
Lower-paid workers have seen the biggest gains, with pay rising for employees at restaurants, bars and hotels by 8.1% in the third quarter from a year earlier. For retail workers it’s jumped 5.9%.
The healthy increase for disadvantaged workers “is the result of specific policy choices to give workers a better bargaining hand and to ensure the economy recovered faster,” said Mike Konczal, a director at the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute. “The fact that it’s happening is pretty unique.”
The stimulus checks and an extra $300 a week in jobless benefits, which ended in early September, gave those out of work more leverage to demand higher pay, Konczal said. In addition, the Fed’s low-interest rate policies helped spur more spending, raising the demand for workers.
In August, there were 10.4 million jobs available, down from 11 million in July, which was the most in two decades.
Millions of Americans are responding to rising wages by quitting their jobs for better-paying positions. In August, nearly 3% of American workers quit their jobs, a record high. A higher number of quits also means companies have to raise pay to keep their employees.
Workers who switch jobs are seeing some of the sharpest income gains in decades. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, in September job-switchers saw their pay jump 5.4% compared with a year earlier. That’s up from just 3.4% in May and the biggest increase in nearly 20 years. For those who stayed in their jobs, pay rose 3.5%.
‘It was a no-brainer’
Esther Cano, 26, is one of those who found a new job that paid more in the July-September quarter. A recent college graduate who isn’t yet sure of her long-term career path, she left a job as a dispatcher at an HVAC firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a position at the job placement agency Robert Half. She started in July and got a raise of about 10%.
“What I was requesting was lower than what they were willing to pay,” Cano said. “It was a no-brainer on that end, plus the environment, the room for growth, the opportunity.”
Cano has already gotten a promotion to a team leader position, where she helps place temporary employees who work in finance and accounting.
Most economists expect solid wage gains to continue for the coming months. Data from the Indeed job listings website shows that employers are still posting huge numbers of available jobs.
Higher pay can fuel inflation, as companies raise prices to cover their increased costs. But that’s not the only way businesses can respond. Lydia Boussour, an economist at Oxford Economics, notes that corporate profits in the April-June quarter were at their highest level in nearly a decade. That suggests many companies can pay higher salaries without having to lift prices.
Зустріч була частиною серії переговорів між президентом США та світовими лідерами напередодні саміту G20