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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 09/06/2022

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 09/06/2022

Politico – Zia Weise / EU Parliament clash delays key climate legislation

  • Brussels’ efforts to fight climate change hit a roadblock in the European Parliament on Wednesday. Months of careful compromise-building came crashing down in a dramatic series of plenary votes, when left-wing lawmakers rejected a proposal for reforming the EU’s carbon market rather than see it watered down, forming an unexpected majority with the far-right. MEPs then referred the reform and two related texts back to committee to hammer out a new agreement.  
  • The move is likely to delay progress on parts of the EU’s mammoth package of climate legislation — known as Fit for 55 as it seeks to slash the bloc’s emissions by 55 percent this decade — though several MEPs said they would aim to rework the proposals within weeks. 
  • The chaotic session, which saw emotions run high, also laid bare a key split between political camps, with a conservative coalition seeking to protect industry from significantly stricter climate measures and a left-leaning bloc balking at a slower pace of decarbonization. 
  • Growing concerns over placing too high a burden on Europe’s industry had prompted liberal and center-right MEPs to depart from an ambitious carbon market reform approved by Parliament’s environment committee last month, and even center-left lawmakers weakened their stance on some elements on the related carbon border tax. 
  • Bloomberg – John Ainger / EU lawmakers uphold ban on new combustion engine cars by 2035

Financial Times / UN warns of hunger risk as talks stall over Ukraine grain blockade

  • Hundreds of millions of people are at risk of “hunger and destitution” because of food shortages due to the war in Ukraine, the UN’s secretary-general has warned, as talks stalled over ending Russia’s blockade of Black Sea grain shipments.
  • António Guterres spoke as negotiators from Russia and Turkey failed to break an impasse over how to export food from Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest wheat exporters.
  • Talks have foundered over Moscow’s refusal to allow ships to leave Ukraine’s main port of Odesa and Kyiv’s fear of opening itself to more attacks, according to people familiar with the negotiations. A deal to allow Ukrainian food exports was “essential for hundreds of millions of people in developing countries, including in sub-Saharan Africa”, Guterres said on Wednesday.
  • The war was “threatening to unleash an unprecedented wave of hunger and destitution, leaving social and economic chaos in its wake”, he added.
  • The Guardian / Ukrainian journalist confronts Russia’s Sergei Lavrov with grain theft claim

Financial Times – Andrew England and Najmeh Bozorgmehr / Iran criticized by UN watchdog members over nuclear activity

  • The UN nuclear watchdog’s board of governors voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday in favour of a resolution criticising Iran for failing to co-operate sufficiently over its undeclared atomic sites as tensions mounted between the Islamic republic and western powers.
  • The resolution came amid growing concerns about Iran’s nuclear activity as diplomatic efforts to save the 2015 accord Tehran signed with world powers flounder.
  • Hours before the resolution was adopted, Iran said it had removed two cameras belonging to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN watchdog, from one of its nuclear facilities. That decision appeared to be a pre-emptive move by Tehran ahead of the vote on the resolution at an IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna.
  • Iranian officials had warned that a critical resolution would damage diplomatic efforts to save the nuclear accord. The west has accused Tehran of stalling those efforts and failing to provide the IAEA with relevant information on traces of atomic material found at three of Iran’s nuclear sites.
  • Council on Foreign Relations – Ray Takeyh / Three challenges that are testing Iran’s regime

The Guardian – Dan Sabbagh and Samantha Lock / Fight for Sievierodonetsk will decide fate of eastern Ukraine, says Zelenskiy

  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said the battle for the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk will decide the fate of Donbas and is seeing probably the most difficult fighting since Russia’s invasion began.
  • “Sievierodonetsk remains the epicentre of the confrontation in Donbas,” Zelenskiy said in a late-night address to the nation on Wednesday evening, claiming that Ukraine had inflicted “significant losses on the enemy”.
  • However, regional leaders said earlier that Ukrainian forces had been pushed back to the outskirts of the key frontline city amid heavy fighting there and in frontline villages to the south as Russia pursues a breakthrough in Donbas.
  • Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk, said most of the city was now in Russian hands and that it was no longer possible to rescue civilians stranded there.
  • Financial Times / Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in maps – latest updates

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.


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