Financial Times – Leslie Hook / US and China pledge co-operation over ‘existential’ climate crisis
- The US and China made a rare joint declaration to co-operate on climate change, which the Chinese special envoy to the UN COP26 summit described as an “existential crisis”.
- “We both see that the challenge of climate change is an existential and severe one,” said Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua. “In the area of climate change, there is more agreement between China and the US than there is disagreement.”
- The US’s John Kerry said the two countries had worked “in good faith” and found a shared interest in success at COP26. “Now the two largest economies in the world have agreed to work together to raise climate ambition in this decisive decade,” said Kerry.
- The US-China joint statement sends a political signal to other nations that the world’s two biggest emitters will push for a strong final outcome at the COP, even as negotiators are bogged down in late-night wrangling in the last days of the two-week summit.
- The Guardian / US-China deal on emissions welcomed by global figures and climate experts
The New York Times – Adam Satariano / Google loses appeal of $2.8 billion fine in EU antitrust case
- In a major ruling that bolsters the European Union’s efforts to clamp down on the world’s largest technology companies, Google lost an appeal on Wednesday to overturn a landmark antitrust ruling by European regulators against the internet giant.
- The decision by the Luxembourg-based General Court related to a 2017 decision by the European Commission, the bloc’s executive branch, to fine Google 2.4 billion euros (about $2.8 billion) for giving preferential treatment to its own price-comparison shopping service over rival services.
- The penalty was the first of three issued by Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s top antitrust enforcer, against Google. And with the other cases also being appealed — and additional European investigations underway against Amazon, Apple and Facebook — the case has been closely watched as a signal of the court’s view of the European Commission’s aggressive use of antitrust law against the American tech giants.
- Google can appeal the decision to the European Union’s highest court, the European Court of Justice.
- Reuters – Foo Yun Chee / EU countries aiming for common position on tech rules on Nov. 25
- Xi Jinping has warned against a return to cold war-era tensions in the Asia-Pacific, urging greater cooperation on pandemic recovery and the climate crisis.
- Xi’s remarks were an apparent reference to US efforts with allies and partners in the region, including the Quad grouping with India, Japan and Australia and the new Aukus alliance, to blunt what Washington sees as China’s growing coercive economic and military influence.
- China’s military said on Tuesday it conducted a combat readiness patrol in the direction of the Taiwan Strait, after its defense ministry condemned a visit by a US congressional delegation to Taiwan, the democratically governed island claimed by Beijing.
- US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the US would ensure Taiwan can defend itself to avoid anyone “trying to disrupt the status quo by force”.
- Bloomberg – Peter Martins, Jenny Leonard and Nick Wadhams / Biden-Xi virtual summit set for next week, with date to come
Politico – Cristina Gallardo / UK warns Brussels against ‘massive disproportionate retaliation’ over Brexit
- Britain’s Brexit minister on Wednesday warned Brussels against “massive and disproportionate retaliation” if the U.K. decides to unilaterally suspend post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland.
- David Frost told the House of Lords peace in Northern Ireland could be at risk if the EU decided to retaliate “in a disproportionate way.” He said the U.K. government believes that the tests — set out in Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol allowing both sides to unilaterally suspend the arrangement — have been met.
- The protocol was drawn up to protect the EU’s single market post-Brexit while avoiding a politically sensitive hard border between Northern Ireland, part of the U.K., and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member country.
- But the arrangement has proved deeply unpopular with Northern Ireland’s unionist politicians, while the U.K. government has argued it causes unnecessary bureaucracy for goods moving from Great Britain to the region.
- RTÉ – Tony Connelly / EU exploring options as UK threat to trigger article 16 escalates
Longer reads for today: