ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 13/12/2017

The New York Times—Aurelien Breeden & Elian Peltier / Macron holds a climate summit, and Trump casts a shadow

  • At yesterday’s One Planet Summit, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to shore up support for the Paris climate deal by urging heads of state, chief executives and investors to commit more funding to the fight against global warming, which he warned “we are losing”.
  • In an interview that aired on Monday, the French president said the United States’ announced withdrawal had created “huge momentum” that helped him “create a countermomentum.”
  • The World Bank, one of the organizers of the meeting, said it would no longer finance oil and gas exploration and extraction projects after 2019, with exceptions for poorer countries.
  • Other announcements included the creation of a space observatory for climate research, a five-year initiative of 220 global investors to step up pressure on the 100 companies that emit the most greenhouse gas, and the start of a carbon pricing market to connect different regions of the Americas that have put a price tag on carbon.
  • But the leaders at the summit meeting did not announce new binding requirements to curb carbon emissions and did not unlock significant new funds to help developing countries transition away from fossil fuel economies.

Politico—David M. Herszenhorn, et al. / New EU brawl over migration policy

  • European Council President Donald Tusk sent a note to EU leaders in which he declared: “Only member states are able to tackle the migration crisis effectively. The EU’s role is to offer its full support in all possible ways,” adding that “the issue of mandatory quotas has proven to be highly divisive and the approach has turned out to be ineffective.”
  • Several countries reacted furiously to Tusk’s language, and his suggestion that the primary responsibility should fall on frontline countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece. Leaders who paid a high political price for supporting the controversial relocation plan, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, were also deeply irritated.
  • Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos: “The paper prepared by President Tusk is unacceptable. It is anti-European, and it ignores all the work we have done during the past years and we’ve done this work together.”
  • By late afternoon, Tusk issued a revised note for the summit, which said that “the EU can only tackle illegal migration effectively with the full involvement of Member States and by the coordinated use of EU and Member States means and instruments”.

ECFR—Hugh Lovatt / EU backed into a corner on Israel-Palestine

  • After Trump’s announcement regarding Jerusalem, the EU seems to have emerged not only relatively unscathed, but perhaps even with a bit of new-found conviction and purpose in defending the two-state solution.
  • Although Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Brussels had been scheduled prior to Trump’s announcement, its timing and manner – accepting an outstanding invitation by Lithuania without consultation with other member states – caused consternation in a number of EU capitals.
  • Despite this backdrop, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini seems to have managed to forge a rare unity among member states during Netanyahu’s 11 December breakfast meeting with foreign ministers.
  • “Prime Minister Netanyahu mentioned a couple of times that he expects others to follow President Trump’s decision . . . He can keep his expectations for others because from the European Union Member States’ side this move will not come,” said Mogherini.
  • The EU should give serious thought on how it can best lock-in the contours for a final status agreement based on two states. Such measures could include formalising the 1967 Green Lines as the borders of Israel and Palestine, or simultaneously recognising West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital under occupation.

Foreign Affairs—Andrew Nathan / What is Xi Jinping afraid of?

  • Many of the recent moves made by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which have been taken as signs of his strength, are as much evidence of his anxiety. As Xi himself put it in his congress address, “The prospects are bright but the challenges are severe.”
  • The first challenge is external. As latter-day Marxists, the Chinese leaders think that structural interests are more important than personalities. Sooner or later, somehow or other, Trump or no Trump, the United States will try to stop China’s rise.
  • The other challenge to Xi’s regime is internal: the revolution of rising expectations—for cleaner air, more affordable housing, safer products, and better public services—on the part of China’s growing middle class and aspirant working and farming classes.
  • In China, even a peep of discontent is considered an existential threat to the ruling party. As the thinking goes, the more the regime succeeds, the more repressive it must become. Xi’s ongoing rule will test what people have started to label as “the China model,” which hinges on the belief that advanced modernization is compatible with repressive authoritarian government.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. 


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