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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 18/11/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 18/11/2021

Euronews – Alice Tidey, Aleksandar Brezar & Alasdair Sandford / COVID in Europe: Sweden’s new COVID pass, Czech Republic and Slovakia target unvaccinated

  • COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in various parts of Europe as the cold weather has affected the spread of the virus.
  • Countries on the Old Continent are attempting to curb the spike through various means — from introducing lockdowns for the unvaccinated to limiting access to certain services, or pushing for an increase in vaccination rates.
  • Around 60% of people in Western Europe are fully immunized against COVID-19, but only about half as many are vaccinated in Eastern Europe.
  • The World Health Organization reported on Tuesday (November 16) that coronavirus deaths in Europe rose 5% in the previous week, making it the only region in the world where COVID-19 deaths increased.
  • Reuters / Merkel warns of dramatic situation before talks to curb COVID-19 in Germany

Financial Times – Mehreen Khan / Brussels seeks to curb deforestation with food import ban

  • Brussels is seeking to ban imports of foods including beef and coffee from areas at risk of deforestation, in a landmark regulation designed to protect the world’s most vulnerable forests.
  • Virginijus Sinkevicius, the EU’s commissioner for the environment and oceans, told the Financial Times that Brussels would target six agricultural products — beef, soy, palm oil, coffee, cacao and timber — in a draft anti-deforestation law due to be published on Wednesday.
  • The regulation would force companies to prove that products they sold into the EU’s single market did not contribute to legal and illegal deforestation or forest degradation through agricultural use. “This regulation showcases our global responsibility and that the EU is walking the talk,” said Sinkevicius.
  • The draft law, which will need to be approved by EU governments and the European parliament, comes weeks after more than 100 world leaders promised to end global deforestation by 2030 at the UN COP26 summit.
  • National Geographic – Kieran Mulvaney / Will the COP26 global deforestation pledge save forests?

South China Morning Post – Echo Xie / China and the future of coal: the big burning global climate question

  • As the curtain came down on the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow on Saturday, there was still one big unanswered question.
  • Negotiators from about 200 countries accepted a new climate agreement that included cutting use of fossil fuels – a first for a global environment pact.
  • But its pledge to speed up efforts on coal was reworded at the last minute from “phase out”, as per previous drafts, to “phase down”, at the insistence of China and India
  • Days earlier, a number of countries – including some of the world’s top 15 coal users such as South Korea, Poland and Indonesia – agreed for the first time to stop building coal-fired power plants and start phasing out coal use this decade.
  • Bloomberg / China’s coal support continues with $31 billion finance promise

Financial Times – Victor Mallet / Michel Barnier emerges as challenger to Macron with show of party loyalty

  • Even Michel Barnier’s friends and political allies did not give him much chance of winning the presidential nomination for the centre-right Les Républicains party when he declared himself a candidate in the summer — let alone think him capable of beating Emmanuel Macron next April.
  • In recent weeks, however, the prospects for the EU’s former Brexit negotiator, who for the past five years was better known in Brussels and across the Channel than he was in his native France, have started to improve.
  • Barnier’s popularity within the party, and the perception among some voters that he seems more “presidential” than his rivals, has given him a fighting chance of victory when LR members choose their candidate on December 4.
  • For months the leading LR candidates have been Xavier Bertrand, who heads the Hauts-de-France region in the north, and Valérie Pécresse from the Ile-de-France region around Paris.
  • France 24 / France’s right-wing Les Républicains candidates take aim at Macron in first debate

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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