Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

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Amid drought, conflict and rocketing prices, a global food crisis could be approaching, top expert warns

“Because of the pandemic, global hunger shot up by an estimated 118 million people worldwide in 2020, jumping to 768 million people, the most since as far back as 2006. The number of people living with food insecurity — or those forced to compromise on food quantity or quality — surged by 318 million, to 2.38 billion…

“We don’t have a food crisis today. We have a problem of recession and food access. But we have food available. This could change next year if the issue of fertilizers is not resolved.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/12/15/global-food-crisis-pandemic/


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[US] Food bank numbers are rising again with more new people in lines — grandparents…

“This holiday season, food banks report feeding more families, some of them newcomers and older, as food donations and volunteers grow scarcer.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/12/14/food-banks-holiday-need-grandparents/


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Rising grocery prices force [US] customers to buy less, change brands and switch stores.

“Higher prices for groceries are putting pressure on many Americans’ grocery budgets, forcing them to change how they shop for food and essentials… Last month, grocery prices were 6.4% higher than they were a year ago…”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/14/business/grocery-store-prices-shoppers-inflation/index.html


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The Federal Reserve is expected to take a very big step toward its first rate hike.

“The Federal Reserve is expected to announce a more rapid transition away from its easy policies after its meeting Wednesday, as it sets the stage for the first interest rate hike next year.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/14/the-federal-reserve-is-expected-to-take-a-very-big-step-toward-its-first-rate-hike.html


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Central banks in a bind as Omicron, inflation rear their heads…

Global central bankers must be feeling caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. On one hand, inflation is wreaking havoc on manufacturers and consumers. And on the other, there is not much clarity on the impact of the Omicron variant of coronavirus yet.”

https://www.livemint.com/market/mark-to-market/omicron-inflation-put-central-banks-in-a-fix-11639502584992.html


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UK inflation soared to its highest level in a decade in November, piling pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates.

“Consumer prices across the UK economy rose 5.1% in the year to November, according to official figures out Wednesday, which is the fastest rate of inflation in a decade.”

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/uk-inflation-november-fuel-prices-decade-high-bank-of-england-2021-12


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The IMF has told the Bank of England not to delay raising interest rates…

“Two days ahead of the BoE’s next Monetary Policy Committee meeting, it accused the interest rate setters of allowing inflationary tendencies to become ingrained in the UK economy by finding excuses to do nothing at its regular meetings.”

https://www.ft.com/content/ca15ce59-ca72-497c-bf7a-c1482d972f01


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The UK will face more trade disruption in the new year as new post-Brexit customs checks come into place, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva has said.

“The UK will implement its full range of post-Brexit checks on EU goods coming into Britain from 1 January, after delaying them for a year.”

https://www.cityam.com/imf-boss-uk-to-face-even-more-brexit-disruption-in-new-year/


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UK ‘faces worsening food supply chain crisis’ without Government action.

“Food and farming leaders warn the sector has been hit by shortages of workers from seasonal fruit pickers to abattoir staff and lorry drivers, alongside inflation which has driven up energy, feed and fertiliser prices.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/government-food-jim-mcmahon-british-retail-consortium-conservatives-b971772.html


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Gas prices across the UK and Europe are on course to return to record highs after Germany said a controversial pipeline from Russia could not be approved amid deepening tensions on the Ukrainian border

“Europe has experienced record high gas prices in recent months owing to a global squeeze on gas supplies.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/13/gas-prices-near-record-highs-berlin-rejects-pipeline-russia-germany-ukraine-nord-stream-2


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Germany is teetering on the brink of recession this winter as supply bottlenecks and a wave of new coronavirus cases hobble the economy.

“Europe’s largest economy will shrink 0.5% in the fourth quarter of this year, compared with the third, and stagnate in the first three months of 2022, according to projections published Tuesday…”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/14/economy/germany-recession-omicron/index.html


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Iran and Europeans trade barbs as Vienna nuclear talks continue…

“Ali Bagheri Kani added that “diplomacy is a two-way street”, suggesting that the three European signatories to the deal – France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – and the United States, which unilaterally abandoned the accord in 2018, lack the political will to reach an agreement.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/14/iran-and-europe-trade-barbs-as-vienna-nuclear-talks-continue


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China’s Economic Activity Slowed in November on Property Slump, Weak Consumption.

“China’s economic activity decelerated in November amid a prolonged property slump and sluggish consumption recovery, adding urgency for Beijing to step up efforts to support the world’s second-largest economy.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-economic-activity-slowed-in-november-on-property-slump-weak-consumption-11639551530


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Shimao Bonds Sink to New Low as Firm Fails to Calm Investors…

“This week’s sudden selloff in Shimao Group’s bonds and shares has unnerved the broader market because the developer was considered to be among the industry’s stronger players.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-15/shimao-unit-says-business-as-usual-has-ability-to-repay-debt


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China reports first Omicron cases as fears mount for factory supply chains. Outbreak in Yangtze river delta forces manufacturers to suspend production…

“Many manufacturers have suspended production in the region. Ningbo is one of China’s largest container ports, raising the spectre of further global supply chain bottlenecks.”

https://www.ft.com/content/a0457f43-0e8b-4ce8-8fda-f32fc77e8905


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North Korea to convene parliament amid economic crisis.

“The North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly, the isolated state’s rubber-stamp parliament, will convene on Feb. 6 to discuss government budgets and other issues, state media said on Wednesday as the country faces mounting economic woes. The North’s parliament rarely meets…”

https://news.trust.org/item/20211214215750-qb8bz/


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One hundred years have passed since the founding of the modern Iraqi state (1921-2021), a zero-harvest centenary for a country that is on the brink of collapse

“Human ruin represents Iraq’s greatest loss thanks to the country’s ethnic and sectarian fragmentation.”

https://thearabweekly.com/iraqs-tragic-century


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Three YouTubers were reportedly arrested in Turkey after posting interviews with people criticizing the country’s financial crisis.

“Three YouTube personalities were arrested on Sunday in Turkey’s Antalya province after asking strangers about their economic concerns as the value of the country’s currency continues to fall…”

https://www.insider.com/turkey-arrests-youtubers-who-ask-the-public-about-finances-2021-12


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Santa closed: in Beirut, crisis snuffs out Christmas spirit…

“In barely two years of a brutal economic collapse, the lights have gone out on Beirut’s commercial heyday and power shortages have left the city’s streets shrouded in gloom.”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211215-santa-closed-in-beirut-crisis-snuffs-out-christmas-spirit


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A World Health Organization (WHO) taskforce has been sent to South Sudan to investigate an unidentified illness which has killed 89 people.

“The country’s ministry of health reported that an unknown disease had killed scores of people in the northern town of Fangak in Jonglei state.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10307949/89-people-killed-mystery-disease-South-Sudan-taskforce-sent-investigate.html


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Eskom [South African’s public electricity utility] says it is now legally obliged to shut down one-third of its generating capacity.

“Eskom says a pollution decision means it is now obligated to shut down 16,000MW worth of coal-fired electricity generators. That is just about a third of its total theoretical capacity.”

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/eskom-says-pollution-decision-will-cost-it-16000mw-of-capacity-if-implemented-2021-12


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Zimbabwe’s electricity grid collapsed Tuesday plunging most parts of the country into a blackout and worsening the already dire supply situation.

“The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority confirmed the grid collapse in a statement…”

https://www.newzimbabwe.com/total-blackout-as-zim-electricity-crisis-worsens/


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Hunger in Africa has worsened significantly with an almost 50 percent rise in those considered undernourished compared to 2014, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and other agencies said on Tuesday…

“A new report says the number going hungry across Africa reached nearly 282 million in 2020 — more than one-fifth of the population…”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211214-covid-conflict-and-climate-worsening-hunger-in-africa-report


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Latest updates as semiconductor chip crisis cripples industry. Global component shortage is still biting car makers hard, with supply troubles expected well into 2022

“The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said the global chip shortage has caused a loss of three million vehicles compared with 2019.”

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/business-tech%2C-development-and-manufacturing/latest-updates-semiconductor-chip-crisis


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There seems little let-up in the supply chain pressures stifling global business.

We report today on how the cost of flying cargo around the world has reached record levels, as companies try and meet soaring demand in the crucial pre-Christmas period.”

https://www.ft.com/content/29c44beb-78ad-4621-97d0-9a252dd9878b


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Goodbye, supply chain crisis of 2021. Hello, supply chain crisis of 2022.

“The supply chain bottlenecks that have become a fixture of global trade will persist well into next year, according to industry forecasts…”

https://www.gtreview.com/news/global/goodbye-supply-chain-crisis-of-2021-hello-supply-chain-crisis-of-2022/


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Bond Traders Stare at Worst Real Returns Since Paul Volcker Era.

Treasury investors are losing more money than they have in four decades, once inflation is taken into account. And if markets are right, they’re unlikely to come out ahead for years.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-13/bond-traders-stare-at-worst-real-returns-since-paul-volcker-era


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Margin interest hit a massive $595 billion, what’s it mean? …The stock market is now the economy. It’s supporting consumption and speculative home buying. Thank the Fed for that.

“Tell me when the buy the dippers stop dipping and I will tell you when the recession is likely to start. A change in sentiment will lead the way. And it may come with no warning or apparent catalyst at all.

https://www.fxstreet.com/analysis/margin-interest-hit-a-massive-595-billion-whats-it-mean-202112131435


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Former United States treasury secretary Lawrence Summers warned of the risk of a “spontaneous deflating of financial markets” that have been pumped up by retail buying and exuberant investors.

“There is “a lot of euphoria”, Mr Summers said… pointing, among other things, to cryptocurrencies, so-called meme stocks and technology shares.”

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/summers-warns-markets-are-at-risk-of-a-spontaneous-deflating


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‘Green defectors’ ditch high-flying careers in business and finance…

“The realisation that a changing climate had probably brought the unseasonably warm day sent him into a frenzy of climate science research. He went vegan; resolved to stop flying and decarbonised his pension pot.”

https://www.ft.com/content/0896d5b0-9c25-4c65-a4c9-cd20e1590d12


You can read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a ‘Climate’ thread.

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