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Ghost Dog

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,692

About Me

A Brit many years in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature. History.

Journal Archives

What is Boris Johnson up to now?

... Johnson’s task in the Commons debate, it should probably be conceded, was not as easy as he might have made it look. He had essentially to hold the government line against a barrage of highly emotive appeals for action – action that was rejected by MPs three years ago in a decision that arguably opened the way for the desperate situation in which eastern Aleppo finds itself today.

Essentially rejecting the proposal for a no-fly zone as too risky, given the Nato-Russia air clashes it could precipitate, he was left with the threat to take Russia to the international criminal court (ICC) for war crimes. That was a threat made earlier by US diplomats including the secretary of state, John Kerry, at the UN, and by the French President, François Hollande, in a move that led President Putin to cancel a planned visit to Paris.

Here again, though, the UK faces difficulties. The actual crime Johnson cited was the attack on the aid convoy that effectively ended the latest US/Russia-brokered ceasefire, and it is still not at all clear where the blame for this lies.

Talk of the ICC and war crimes also places the UK on somewhat insecure terrain. At a time when the prime minister has undertaken to exempt UK military personnel from the provisions of European convention on human rights as it applies to the battlefield, the foreign secretary’s threats suggested a government speaking with forked tongue, and a minister overcompensating with rhetoric for an inability, or unwillingness, to act.


How will the Paris Agreement be implemented across the world?

... The imminent ratification of the Paris Agreement – a global deal to keep global temperature rise below 2°C – is a huge achievement and a real triumph for multilateralism. It also focuses the mind on the next step: how the Agreement will be implemented across the world?

Here, we get our first inkling as to why the finance ministers, central bankers and regulators meeting in Washington DC are so relevant to our story. Right now, progress is being made towards mobilizing $100 billion in annual financing flows from rich countries to developing economies by 2020. Practical implementation is also taking place on the ground. Funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is helping to build resilience into coastal and urban infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, while in Tanzania over 100,000 homes now have electricity through Off-Grid Electric, a clean energy company backed by debt financing from the Million Solar Homes Fund.

Yet overall, the cost of making the transition to a low-carbon future is measured in trillions. This quickly takes us far beyond the realm of public funds since no government – no matter how rich – can finance climate action through taxation and borrowing alone. One estimate suggests that around US $90 trillion will need to be invested by 2030 in infrastructure, agriculture and energy systems, to accomplish the Paris Agreement.

This won’t happen without private capital and underlines why aligning the world’s financial system with the needs of climate action and sustainable development is every bit as important as emission reduction pathways and removing fossil fuel subsidies. Moreover, set against the US$300 trillion of assets – held by banks, the capital markets and institutional investors – we’re faced with a problem of allocation rather than outright scarcity...

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