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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 27/10/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 27/10/2021

The Washington Post – John Hudson and Ellen Nakashima / In advance of climate summit, tension among Biden aides on China policy.

  • In the early summer, with less than five months to go before a critical United Nations climate conference in Scotland, John F. Kerry told President Biden that he wouldn’t achieve his goal of tackling climate change, a key administration priority, unless the U.S.-China relationship improved.
  • Kerry, a former secretary of state and Biden’s envoy for climate, had been traveling the globe trying to secure commitments on carbon-emission reductions among allies and adversaries in the hope of keeping global temperature increases at or below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit), a level that scientists say could stave off the worst effects of climate change.
  • But his discussions with Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua were lagging as Beijing insisted that cooperation on climate would not commence amid strained relations over human rights, Hong Kong, Taiwan, trade and a range of other issues.
  • Now, with less than a week before leaders of nearly 200 countries arrive in Glasgow for the U.N. summit known as COP26, expectations for a major breakthrough are dim: Chinese President Xi Jinping will not attend in person, and Washington and Beijing face domestic political constraints on their international climate ambitions.
  • BBC / John Kerry says Glasgow COP26 is the last best hope for the world

Financial Times – Henry Foy et al / Gazprom offered Moldova new gas deal in exchange for weaker EU ties

  • Russian state gas company Gazprom has proposed that Moldova adjust its free trade deal with the EU and delay energy market reforms agreed with Brussels in exchange for cheaper gas for the country.
  • The former Soviet republic has declared a state of emergency as it tries to secure enough shipments to make it through a winter gas crunch.
  • Kremlin-controlled Gazprom cut supplies to Moldova by one-third last month following the end of a long-term contract and demanded more than double the previous terms to keep gas flowing.
  • In negotiations this month, Gazprom told Moldovan officials it would reduce the price if the country was prepared to amend its tariff-free trade deal with the EU, said people briefed on the discussions.
  • Atlantic Council – Aura Sabadus / Europe must face up to the chilling reality of Putin’s energy blackmail

CNBC – Christina Wilkie and Thomas Franck / Corporate minimum tax proposal unveiled by key Senate Democrats as Biden social bill comes together.

  • New details of a Democratic plan to enact a 15% minimum corporate tax on declared income of large corporations were released Tuesday by three senators, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Angus King, I-Maine, and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
  • The senators will propose the tax be included as a source of revenue to help fund the massive “Build Back Better” bill that Democrats are currently negotiating.
  • Shortly after the plan was released a key senator in those negotiations, Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, announced that she would support the corporate minimum tax, giving the proposal a major boost.
  • The tax would likely apply to about 200 American corporations, the senators said.
  • Forbes – Rhett Buttle / The global minimum tax agreement: why it matters for America’s small businesses


The Guardian – Phillip Inman / Poorer countries spend five time more on debt that climate crisis – report

  • Lower income countries spend five times more on debt than coping with the impact of climate change and reducing carbon emissions, according to a leading anti-poverty charity.
  • Figures from Jubilee Debt Campaign show that 34 of the world’s poorest countries are spending $29.4bn (£21.4bn) on debt payments a year compared with $5.4bn (£3.9bn) on measures to reduce the impact of the climate emergency.
  • For example, Uganda said it would spend $537m between 2016 and 2020, including funds from international agencies and donors, on climate related projects to adapt the country’s infrastructure and deal with climate emergencies.
  • However, the $107.4m annual budget is dwarfed by external debt payments which will total $739m in 2021, rising to $1.35bn in 2025.
  • The World Bank / Low-income country debt rises to record $860 billion in 2020

Today’s further reads:

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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