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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 18/01/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 18/01/2022

Financial Times – Edward White and Mark Wembridge / Xi Jinping defends crackdowns in ‘common prosperity’ drive

  • China’s “common prosperity” drive is not a pursuit of egalitarianism, President Xi Jinping said in a rare international defence of the policy that rattled markets from Hong Kong to New York last year.
  • Xi, often described as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, was speaking via video link at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. The event is being held online this year, rather than at the Swiss resort of Davos.
  • “The common prosperity we desire is not egalitarianism,” Xi said. “We will first make the pie bigger and then divide it properly through reasonable institutional arrangements. As a rising tide lifts all boats, everyone will get a fair share from development, and development gains will benefit all our people in a more substantial and equitable way.”
  • Under the policy, spearheaded by Xi, the Chinese Communist party has sought to reshape the country’s business and cultural landscape via a months-long series of crackdowns. This has targeted industries including fintech, education and entertainment as well as perceived societal ills such as celebrity culture, gaming and effeminate fashion trends.
  • Atlantic Council – Dexter Tiff Roberts / What is ‘common prosperity’ and how will it change China and its relationship with the world?

The Guardian – Tess McClure / Tonga volcano: first pictures after eruption show islands blanketed in ash, as two deaths confirmed

  • Some of the first images have emerged from Tonga’s volcano and tsunami-hit islands, after a New Zealand defence force surveillance flight returned from the cut-off country, as two deaths from the disaster have been confirmed in Tonga.
  • Aerial photography of Nomuka, a small island in the southern part of the Haʻapai group, shows land and trees coated with ash and other damage inflicted by the huge undersea volcanic eruption and tsunami that hit the Pacific nation on Saturday.
  • Satellite imagery analysed by the UN shows similar scenes in Kolomotua, Tongatapu, and Fafaa Village, Kolofo’ou: while some buildings remain standing, others appear to have collapsed, and the entire landscape is coated with grey ash.
  • At Fua’amotu International Airport, the runway appears to have been inundated, and is partly covered by either ash or dirt. Other satellite images show that flooding came in several blocks from the coastline.
  • Financial Times – Nic Flides / Tonga volcano relief effort complicated by ‘Covid-free’ policy

Politico – Maïa de la Baume / Roberta Metsola cements rise to European Parliament presidency

  • Roberta Metsola will surge to the European Parliament presidency on Tuesday, capping off a campaign where she pitched herself as a young but experienced female leader who can inspire and build consensus across Europe’s fractious political divides. 
  • Yet it took until the final moments for the Maltese politician — who turned 43 on Tuesday — to guarantee she would be elected, as a cohort of socialist MEPs continued to express fears their newly gained power in Europe would not be fairly represented under Metsola and that her more conservative record on abortion was out of step with the Continent’s political direction.
  • Ultimately, the path cleared Monday afternoon after the socialists were promised a slate of prominent positions in return for backing Metsola.
  • The deal cements Metsola’s rise through Parliament, where she is already a well-known name as first vice president and the body’s interim leader since the sudden death last week of former President David Sassoli. Her ascent was buoyed by strong backing from the Parliament’s large center-right and conservative contingent, as well as from many centrists.
  • Euronews / Anti-abortion MEP Roberta Metsola favourite for European Parliament presidency

Bloomberg – Ewa Krukowska / Key EU lawmaker plans measures to curb carbon price manipulation

  • The lawmaker overseeing reform of the European Union’s carbon market is working on measures to prevent manipulation as the price of polluting surges to a record amid stricter climate policies.
  • The soaring costs of emissions, exacerbated by an unprecedented energy crunch, prompted some EU members, including Poland and Spain, to demand actions to curb the role of speculative investors. Benchmark permits erased part of earlier gains, rising 1.4% to 81.68 euros per metric ton at 4:03 p.m. on the ICE Endex exchange in Amsterdam. A record of 90.75 euros was set last month.
  • “We need to do something, and we need to stop manipulation,” Peter Liese, the lead lawmaker steering the reform package through the European Parliament, said Friday. “But, on the other hand, we shouldn’t propose something that is not solving the problem and may have counterproductive effects.”
  • The carbon market is the bloc’s key tool for meeting a tougher climate goal for 2030 and, eventually, the Green Deal target of climate neutrality by 2050. The market, started in 2005, imposes shrinking caps on emissions from almost 12,000 installations owned by manufacturers, power producers and airlines. It is set to expand into shipping.
  • Carbon Market Watch – Khaled Diab / European Parliament’s proposed carbon market revamp a licence for industry to pollute

Today’s longer 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.

Bienvenidos

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