Politico – Hannah Roberts / Draghi agrees to try to form Italian government
- Former European Central Bank President Mario Draghi agreed Wednesday to try to form a new Italian government. Draghi, who is not a member of any political party, was summoned by President Sergio Mattarella after talks aimed at reassembling the previous coalition government ended in failure.
- Draghi, an economist who is credited with steering the eurozone through the sovereign debt crisis, said he accepted the mandate from Mattarella “provisionally.” Draghi said Mattarella reminded him of “the difficult moment Italy is facing with the health crisis, and its very serious impact on people, the economy and Italian society.”
- The immediate tasks for the next government are “to defeat the pandemic, complete the vaccination campaign, provide answers to the people and relaunch the country,” Draghi said. “We have the resources of the EU, which are a great opportunity to do a lot for the younger generation and strengthen social cohesion.”
- Mattarella called on Draghi to appoint a “high profile government” as elections could not be held safely during the pandemic and would lead to months being wasted when Italy needs a “fully functional” government. It is not clear yet which political forces could support a Draghi government.
- Bloomberg – Alessandra Migliaccio / Italy’s used to bringing central bankers in when politics fails
The Guardian – Lisa O’Carroll, Heather Stewart and Daniel Boffey / UK in ‘constructive’ talks with EU over Northern Ireland protocol
- Michael Gove and the European commission vice-president, Maroš Šefčovic, are to meet in London next week after a “constructive” discussion over problems with application of the Northern Ireland protocol.
- On Wednesday, the UK asked for a two-year transition period on the core elements to the protocol, including checks on food and delivery of online shopping entering the region from Great Britain.
- The timing of the request by Gove was seen as capitalising on the calamitous triggering of article 16 in the protocol by the EU last Friday as part of an attempt to block Covid vaccines getting into the UK.
- The move – intended to stop vaccines moving into Northern Ireland from the Republic – met with immediate criticism and was rescinded almost immediately.
- Foreign Policy – Brent Peabody / Brexit is probably the United Kingdom’s death knell
The New York Times – Catie Edmondson, Jonathan Martin and Nicholas Fandos / Top House Republican condemns Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comments, but stands by her
- The top House Republican refused on Wednesday to punish Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene for spreading false and bigoted conspiracy theories and endorsing political violence against Democrats, condemning the Georgia freshman’s previous comments but declining to take away her posts on influential congressional committees.
- Ms. Greene has endorsed the executions of top Democrats, suggested that school shootings were staged and said that a space laser controlled by Jewish financiers started a wildfire.
- After days of public silence and private agonizing over what to do, the minority leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, issued a tortured statement that harshly denounced her past statements but then argued that she should face no consequences for them.
- House Republicans debated stripping Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the chamber’s No. 3 Republican, of her leadership post, as a penalty for her vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump. In his defense of Ms. Cheney, Mr. McCarthy told lawmakers that he wanted their leadership team to “stay together.” Ms. Cheney ultimately emerged victorious after a 145-to-61 secret ballot vote.
- The Washington Post – Mike DeBonis and Paul Kane / McCarthy moves to keep splintering GOP intact, with protection for both Cheney and Greene
Financial Times – Leslie Hook and Henry Sanderson / How the race for renewable energy is reshaping global politics
- Australia itself has long been a climate laggard and a major coal exporter, but as China and other big customers plan to cut their emissions, taking their business with them, that may be changing. Dozens of the world’s biggest economies have adopted targets for net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.
- And 189 countries have joined the 2015 Paris climate accord, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2C. In a race to curb climate change, countries are rushing to cut fossil fuels, boost clean energy — and transform their economies in the process.
- But as the energy system changes, so will energy politics. For most of the past century, geopolitical power was intimately connected to fossil fuels. The fear of an oil embargo or a gas shortage was enough to forge alliances or start wars, and access to oil deposits conferred great wealth.
- In the world of clean energy, a new set of winners and losers will emerge. Some see it as a clean energy “space race”. Countries or regions that master clean technology, export green energy or import less fossil fuel stand to gain from the new system, while those that rely on exporting fossil fuels — such as the Middle East or Russia — could see their power decline.
- Project Syndicate – Mariana Mazzucato / From moonshots to earthshots
Today’s high profile op-eds:
- Project Syndicate – Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Macky Sall, António Guterres, Charles Michel, Ursula von der Leyen / Multilateral cooperation for global recovery
- Foreign Policy – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus / Vaccine nationalism harms everyone and protects no one