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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 14/07/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 14/07/2021

Financial Times – Mehreen Khan / Brussels to unveil landmark plan to reduce Europe’s carbon footprint

  • Brussels will set out plans on Wednesday for the EU to become the world’s first mover on achieving net zero emissions in order to limit global warming, with a decarbonisation strategy targeting all sectors of the economy and international trade.
  • The European Commission will unveil 13 policies under its “Fit for 55” package — designed to address climate change by ensuring the continent meets its goal of reducing average greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent in 2030 and net zero by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.
  • The plan, dubbed the EU’s “man on the moon moment” by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, risks a backlash from poorer EU countries and some industries which argue that the pace of change and increased regulations will become a financial burden.
  • The centrepiece of the EU’s master plan is to expand the Emissions Trading Scheme, a system that makes companies pay for the cost of polluting. Brussels wants to go further to include emissions from the car industry and from heating buildings to quicken the pace of decarbonisation.
  • The New York Times – Somini Sengupta / Europe plans aggressive new laws to phase out fossil fuels

South China Morning Post – Catherine Wong and Wendy Wu / Xi-Biden summit moves closer with senior US diplomat Wendy Sherman’s China visit

  • Washington is sending a senior diplomat to China next week in a visit seen as an essential first step towards a potential leadership summit between the two powers.
  • Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will meet China’s foreign vice-minister Xie Feng in Tianjin, where they will discuss the possibility of a meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, a source said.
  • Such a meeting is seen as essential to pave the way for further engagement between President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
  • Sherman’s visit will also provide a rare opportunity for engagement ahead of the next phase of Biden’s China policy, as his point man for Asia Kurt Campbell puts the finishing touches on a review that will provide recommendations for the US administration’s future policy direction.
  • Foreign Affairs – Kurt Tong / Hong Kong and the limits of decoupling

Foreign Policy – James Bloodworth / Cuba doesn’t know how to handle the new protests

  • For the first time since the mid-1990s, mass protests have rocked the communist-run island. Now, like then, the main sources of discontent are food shortages, government repression, and a stagnant economy.
  • But 1994, the last time Cuba witnessed anything like this, Cuba was at the height of the so-called “special period.” The country was ravaged by shortages following the collapse of its benefactor, the Soviet Union.
  • When the USSR fell, around a third of Cuba’s GDP disappeared almost overnight. Rolling blackouts became the norm, and food was hard to find. Protests back then were much smaller, however, and consisted of several hundred demonstrators in Havana.
  • This time around, the economic crisis isn’t quite as catastrophic, but the protests are both bigger and more threatening to the communist government. In part, that’s because of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s death in 2016.
  • The Economist / The Cuban government cracks down on protesters

Politico – Johanna Treeck / Europe’s central bank has a plan – now comes the hard part

  • Almost two years into her presidency, Lagarde delivered a profound overhaul of Europe’s most powerful financial institution ahead of time and with the full backing of all Governing Council members.
  • But her apparent victory in getting unanimous support for the strategy review masks a rift over what it actually means for the brass tacks of setting monetary policy.
  • As the eurozone fights its way out of the deepest recession since World War II, Lagarde’s ability to rally policymakers behind a common strategy is yet to be put to the test.
  • She doesn’t have long to wait: In just over a week, the bank’s policymakers will debate whether to update the ECB’s forward guidance, setting out its expectations on the state of the economy and the likely future course of monetary policy.
  • Bloomberg – Carolynn Look / ECB poised to take next step in revolutionizing Euro-zone money

Today’s leak:

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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