As people around the globe observe Earth Day today, world leaders are making history at the United Nations in New York. Over 100 countries will sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, representing their commitment to join it formally. This marks a turning point in the story of our planet and may set a record for the largest number of signers to an international agreement in a single day. Moreover, last month, President Obama announced with President Xi Jinping that our two countries will sign the Paris Agreement today and formally join this year. We are confident other countries will do so too, with the intention of bringing this historic and ambitious agreement into force as quickly as possible.
On the 17th of April, Italians were called to vote in a national referendum, on the extension of licenses to extract petrol and gas from the seas. The government, the media and those in the economic circles, all took a position against the referendum, claiming that 2000 jobs were at a stake. The proponents of the referendum (among them five regions), lost. Italy is following a consistent trend, after the Summit on Climate Change (Paris December 2015), in which all countries (Italy included) took a solemn engagement to reduce emissions.
Over 150 countries are expected to sign the Paris climate change agreement on April 22 but the historic treaty will not come into force until it has been ratified by 55 countries.
Thanks to tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, major oil producers couldn’t come to an agreement in Doha to freeze their output to January levels to raise oil prices. The current low oil prices have a lot to do with the grim outlook for global economic growth while supply is growing. China, the second largest economy in the world, is slowing down. Not surprisingly, global oil demand is much lower at 94.8 million barrels a day vis-à-vis supply of 96.3 million barrels a day in the first quarter of 2016 according to the International Energy Agency.
“There were cases of people who stopped coming to work after receiving their first wages and then came back a few days later to ask if there was more work,” because they were used to casual work in the informal economy, said Ivonne Ginard.
Sri Lanka is facing the heat from a scorching sun for the past one month. In recent times, the country has imposed power cuts after almost a decade. The main reason was the stoppage at a coal power plant, but engineers at the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) admit that the island’s hydro-power generation capacity is at such a critical low that without additional coal, diesel and renewable generation, the country’s full demand for power cannot be met.
On March 29, Papua New Guinea became the first country to formally submit the final version of its national climate action plan (called a “Nationally Determined Contribution,” or NDC) under the Paris Agreement
. The small Pacific nation’s plan to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 is no longer just an “intended” nationally determined contribution (INDC)
– it is now the country’s official climate plan.
Billions of dollars of aid has been pumped into Africa. Yet effective change too often remains an elusive outcome, leading to a vicious cycle: more needs, more aid but still little change. How to resolve this seemingly intractable dilemma?
The dizzying growth of Añelo, a town in southwest Argentina, driven by the production of shale oil and gas in the Vaca Muerta geological reserve, has slowed down due to the plunge in global oil prices, which has put a curb on local development and is threatening investment and employment.
The EUropean Union – a criminal?The EU that has peace as its top goal and received Nobel’s Peace Prize?The EU with Schengen and Dublin?
Besieged by US, UK, French, Russian and Syrian war crafts and ground intelligence, both in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (Daesh from its original acronym in Arabic) has reportedly been searching for a new base in the North of Africa, specifically in Libya, in what has been called the “Colombian Triangle.”
The last formal act of European disintegration was the last negotiation between 28 European leaders and the Prime Minister of Turkey. The deal, against all international treaties, is a total capitulation to European values. Europe will give Turkey 6 billion dollars, and in exchange Turkey will keep refugees from coming to Europe. Or better, will screen everybody, and send to Europe only the Syrians who are eligible for political asylum.
Over the last decade, Central America has managed to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels for the production of electric power, while expanding coverage. But the progress made by each country varies widely.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) celebrated its 50th anniversary this week with a pledge to help implement the UN’s post-2015 development agenda aimed at eliminating extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.When the agency was founded in 1966, one in every three people was living in poverty. But that number has changed to one in eight, according to UNDP figures.
Resource-rich Papua New Guinea (PNG) is seen as an economic powerhouse in the Pacific Islands with a state-led focus on resource extraction initially expected to drive one of the world’s highest growth rates of 15 per cent last year. But in the wake of falling commodity prices, GDP growth has plummeted from 8.5 per cent in 2014 to a forecasted 3 per cent this year. As the government faces a growing deficit between revenue and expenditure, exacerbated by high public debt, experts in the country believe greater efforts to diversify the economy are essential.