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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 23/06/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 23/06/2021

Politico – Lili Bayer / It’s Hungary vs. Everyone after attacks on LGBTQ+ rights

  • New Hungarian legal changes banning the portrayal of homosexuality to minors caused anger at a meeting of EU ministers on Tuesday, with 14 countries endorsing a statement condemning Budapest’s move and urging the European Commission to take action. 
  • A decision by European football’s governing body to turn down a request from authorities in Munich to light up its football stadium in rainbow colors during the Euro 2020 match between Germany and Hungary on Wednesday was greeted with dismay. 
  • Dieter Reiter, the center-left mayor of Munich, said UEFA’s decision was “shameful,” while Germany’s Europe Minister Michael Roth wrote on Twitter that the ruling was “bitter, but expected.”
  • But despite the exasperation of many European governments and the growing media attention, Orbán — who is facing an election in 2022 — is unlikely to suffer any significant consequences in the near term. 
  • Euractiv / Half of the EU countries voice ‘grave concern’ at Hungary anti-LGBTQ law

The Guardian – Justin McCurry / Tokyo Olympics organisers ban alcohol sales after public outcry

  • The organisers of the Tokyo Olympics have been forced to abandon plans to allow the sale of alcohol at venues after public outcry.
  • The president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, Seiko Hashimoto, said on Wednesday that the decision had been made to ensure the Games were “safe and secure” during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Earlier this week, media reports said organisers were poised to allow Japanese sports fans to drink alcohol inside venues following pressure from Asahi Breweries, an Olympic sponsor. Hashimoto said Asahi had accepted the ban.
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 organisers have drawn widespread criticism after deciding that a limited number of Japanese spectators will be permitted to watch events this summer. 
  • Foreign Policy – Kazuhiro Maeshima / Suga’s Olympic-sized gamble

The Washington Post – David Weigel and Jada Yuan / New Yorkers vote in primaries for mayor after a race dominated by crime and coronavirus recovery

  • New York’s Democratic primary for mayor was left unsettled on Tuesday night, with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former police captain, appearing to have the advantage in the city’s first ranked-choice election.
  • Adams, 60, who would be just the second Black mayor of New York, emerged from a field that spent the last six months debating the city’s rising crime and the difficulty of building back after the pandemic.
  • Final results are not expected until July 12, given both the city’s rickety election system and new ballots that allow voters to rank up to five candidates, allotting their choices until one candidate reaches a majority.
  • In a distant fourth was 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang. He conceded the race on Tuesday night, saying he had no path to victory and thanking the voters who thought “politics as usual wasn’t working” and took a chance on him.
  • The New York Times – Nicholas Fandos / Republicans block voting rights bill, dealing blow to Biden and Democrats

Bloomberg – Akshat Rathi / The climate solution that cuts emissions and saves money

  • Perhaps it’s because the phrase “energy efficiency” induces some to yawn. Or that quietly making something more efficient isn’t as politically rewarding as building a new shiny solar farm. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that the world isn’t investing enough in this critical climate lever.
  • Energy efficiency, along with wind and solar power, will provide half the emissions savings in the next decade in the International Energy Agency’s roadmap for reaching net zero by 2050. “Without those efficiency gains, electricity demand growth would make it much harder for renewables to displace fossil fuels in electricity generation,” the IEA concluded.
  • Filling leaks in home ventilation systems cuts the energy used for heating or cooling without sacrificing comfort. Setting higher mileage standards for internal combustion engines reduces fuel use but doesn’t make the drive less pleasant. Insulating a kiln in a cement factory means fewer coal lumps are needed for the same production volume. And so on.
  • Crucially, even as falling costs of renewables and batteries are helping push the electricity and transport sectors in the right direction, emissions trajectories in other industries remain little changed. Efficiency measures are the strongest lever to reduce emissions from those hard-to-abate areas such as buildings and industry.
  • Financial Times – Henry Sanderson / Solar power investors burnt by rise in raw materials costs

Further reading for the long weekend:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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