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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“Dysfunction and division darken the WTO’s 30-year dream of free trade…

“The atmosphere today is much darker than it was in April 1994. Any enthusiasm for groundbreaking trade liberalisation deals disappeared decades ago and has been replaced by covert – and often overt – protectionism.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/07/dysfunction-and-division-darken-the-wtos-30-year-dream-of-free-trade


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“The new world disorder: how the Gaza war disrupted international relations…

“While the US flounders in a conflict it did not foresee, emerging powers see a chance for new voices to join the top table… [in] the confused world disorder that the six-month war in Gaza have spawned – a disorder that as yet has no dominant player, value system or functioning institutions.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/06/world-disorder-israel-gaza-war-international-relations


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“Israel-Hamas war risks further deglobalization and inflation.

“The global economy has become more integrated over the past century. International supply chains have grown and technology has exponentially advanced, boosting the free flow of trade, capital and information globally… However, since the 2008 global financial crisis many say those ties have begun to weaken.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/10/15/economy/stocks-week-ahead-deglobalization/index.html


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“‘1945 in reverse’: What will happen if the US turns its back on Nato [not endorsing; just holding up a mirror to the zeitgeist]…

“Pax Americana – that is, the concept of post Second World War global stability overseen by a hugely powerful United States – is under threat… From Canberra and Seoul to London and Paris, security thinkers are asking whether the United States is still a reliable ally… are we suddenly on our own?”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2024/04/06/usa-nato-leave-trump-defence-spending/


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“Can we escape this global ‘time of monsters’? [as above]

“…what we have been witnessing in the last few years is more than just “event history.” The rise of China, the weakening of American hegemony and the fracturing of the global economic order are not simply passing episodes, but rather symptoms of a more profound transformation.”

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/4579525-can-we-escape-this-global-time-of-monsters/


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“European defence spending needs to speed up, says Von der Leyen…

“Speaking at the conference of Greece’s ruling conservative party New Democracy, the EU Commission president, who is running for re-election this June, said that in the current environment there is no return to innocence and made the case for a common European defence.”

https://www.euronews.com/2024/04/07/european-defence-spending-needs-to-speed-up-says-von-der-leyen


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“Riskiest Junk Bonds Shunned in Europe on Rising Risk of Default…

“The junkiest corporate debt is becoming increasingly hazardous for investors amid mounting signs that a default cycle is picking up steam… In the last two weeks, the extra yield on the riskiest European debt reached the highest levels since Covid-19 shuttered entire industries and the euro region debt crisis was raging more than a decade ago.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-04-06/rising-defaults-see-investors-shun-risky-european-junk-bonds


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“Europe’s political aims and its economic strength are out of balance.

“…pressures are visible in the struggle of some European governments to keep budget deficits and public debt under control. According to research from Germany’s Ifo Institute, quoted in this FT story, many countries that fall short of meeting Nato’s target of spending at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence are precisely those with high deficits and debt.”

https://www.ft.com/content/63c5268b-304b-458c-a67b-bc701c32fd3e


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“European defence groups warn over reliance on Chinese cotton used in gunpowder…

“Cotton linters, a byproduct and a primary ingredient needed to produce nitrocellulose, are used in artillery shells and other explosives. Demand for ammunition has soared with Ukraine consuming shells at high rates in its war against Russia.”

https://www.ft.com/content/23807ef8-fc6b-41c9-ae7b-9c9ad3a27e82


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“Thousands gather in Hungary to protest current government amid corruption allegations…

“Tens of thousands of protesters gathered Saturday in downtown Budapest, Hungary to protest the government of incumbent Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán… wearing the national colors of Hungary or carrying the flag and shouting “we are not scared” and “Orbán resign!””

https://www.jurist.org/news/2024/04/thousands-gather-in-hungary-to-protest-current-government-amid-corruption-allegations/


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“UN nuclear watchdog head condemns drone strike on Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant…

“The head of the UN’s atomic watchdog agency has condemned a drone strike on one of six nuclear reactors at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) in Ukraine, saying such attacks “significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident”.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/08/un-nuclear-watchdog-head-condemns-drone-strike-on-zaporizhzhia-power-plant


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“Russia warns of ‘negative consequences’ after £230m Armenia-EU deal…

“Nikol Pashinyan, the Armenian prime minister, visited Brussels on Friday, meeting Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, in a display of his country’s diplomatic shift towards the West.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2024/04/07/eu-deal-to-help-former-soviet-country-break-from-russia/


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“China’s Shimao faces liquidation suit over failure to pay $202 million loan.

“Chinese developer Shimao Group said on Monday that China Construction Bank (Asia) had filed a liquidation petition against it in Hong Kong over unpaid debts, a rare case of a state-owned bank taking such legal action in the property downturn.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/asia/chinas-shimao-faces-liquidation-suit-over-failure-pay-202-mln-loan-2024-04-08/


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“China’s local government debt woes hurting private firms, creating grass-roots distrust: academic…

“Wuhan University professor Feng Chuan says local government debt problems have torn apart the fundamental trust system that upholds social governance order. Local government debt rose by 14.3 per cent year on year to 41.4 trillion yuan (US$5.7 trillion) by the end of February.”

https://www.scmp.com/economy/economic-indicators/article/3257981/chinas-local-government-debt-woes-hurting-private-firms-creating-grass-roots-distrust-academic


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“World Bank’s funding of ‘hog hotel’ factory farms in China under fire over climate effect…

“In June last year, the IFC approved a $47.3m (£37.4m) loan to the Chinese company Guangxi Yangxiang providing capital for four multistorey industrial pig-rearing complexes… Other IFC-funded projects include intensive chicken production in India and Uganda, pig production in Ecuador and dairy production in Pakistan.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2024/apr/07/world-banks-funding-of-hog-hotel-factory-farms-under-fire-over-climate-effect


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“China holds ‘combat patrol’ in South China Sea amid US-led war games…

“Beijing’s surprise announcement of a naval drill on Sunday came a day after defence chiefs from the four countries said the Philippines would host joint drills in the same area on the same day.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/4/7/china-holds-combat-patrol-in-south-china-sea-amid-us-led-war-games


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“South Korea launches its 2nd military spy satellite amid animosities with North Korea…

“The Koreas each launched their first spy satellites last year — North Korea in November and South Korea in December — amid heightened animosities. They said their satellites would boost their abilities to monitor each other and enhance their own missile attack capabilities.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/04/07/south-korea-military-spy-satellite/c1c58e42-f54e-11ee-9506-c8544e5c9d86_story.html


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“Blackouts spark fears of grid ‘collapse’ in Brazil’s biggest city…

“São Paulo faces the collapse of its electrical grid following years of under-investment, officials have warned, as widespread blackouts disrupt activity in the largest city in the Americas. A key financial and economic hub whose metropolitan area is home to almost 23mn people, São Paulo has in recent months suffered multiple large-scale outages…”

https://www.ft.com/content/6c1356e6-bd9e-45e0-95fd-7b083384f5da


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“Peruvian gold mine’s power infrastructure attacked for the 14th time in two years…

“The Poderosa gold mine in northwestern Peru experienced yet another attack by illegal miners, who this time around used dynamite to take down two high-voltage towers that supply energy to the operation, located in the province of Pataz.”

https://www.mining.com/peruvian-gold-mines-power-infrastructure-attacked-for-the-14th-time-in-two-years/


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“In Ecuador, government sees mining as the future. But communities are divided.

““We don’t want mining, and we will exert our right to resist every day,” 33-year-old farmer Rolando, who asked to use a pseudonym, told Al Jazeera. A resident of Las Pampas, there were stitches under his right eye. He says the police shot him right in the face with a canister of tear gas.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2024/4/7/in-ecuador-govt-sees-mining-as-the-future-but-communities-are-divided-2


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“Electric vehicle boom is threatening the survival of Africa’s great apes…

“A third of the great apes in Africa are under threat due to a surge in mining activities for minerals needed for the renewable energy transition which is destroying tropical rainforests… Going green should not be at the expense of biodiversity: Pollution, disease, and increased accessibility to ape habitats for hunters and farmers are other detrimental results of the mining boom.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/africa-deforestation-apes-electric-vehicles-b2523372.html


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“Ghana’s looming energy sector crisis…

“Ghana’s energy sector is a debt making-machine, accumulating approximately $1 billion in debt annually, with around $500 million stemming from excess capacity charges… Ghana incurs losses of over $680 million yearly due to load shedding or power outages.

https://www.myjoyonline.com/ghanas-looming-energy-sector-crisis/


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“Egypt’s Gas Shortage Brings New Risks After Massive Bailout…

“Once an exporter, Egypt is no longer producing enough gas to keep electricity systems afloat during increasingly hot summers. Last year was the hottest on record, necessitating rolling blackouts lasting up to two hours and forcing Egypt to halt liquefied natural gas exports during the season. Experts predict 2024 will be even worse.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-04-08/egypt-s-gas-shortage-brings-new-risks-after-massive-bailout


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“South Sudan First Vice President Riek Machar has warned of a potential overflow of the conflict in neighboring Sudan into his country, the Sudan Tribune reported on Saturday.

“During an iftar gathering hosted for the Muslim community on April 5 at his residence, Machar highlighted the urgent need for intervention to mitigate escalating tensions.”

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2489351/middle-east


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“Fears of violence grow as Somalia scraps power-sharing system…

“An overhaul of Somalia’s constitution, scrapping its power-sharing system and handing the president increased control, is threatening to destabilise the fragile country, as its wealthiest and most stable state refuses to recognise the changes.”

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2024/apr/05/fears-violence-somalia-constitution


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“Houthis launch series of attacks on ships near Yemen…

“In a televised statement, Yahya Saree, a Houthi spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attacks that targeted a British ship and two Israeli vessels heading to Israeli ports, as well as a number of US frigates in the Red Sea… He claimed there was a direct hit on the British container ship Hope Island…”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2024/04/07/houthis-launch-series-of-attacks-on-ships-near-yemen/


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“Trash piles threaten health of fleeing Palestinians in Rafah.

“Palestinians in Rafah live amid trash piles as garbage trucks, rendered unusable in Israeli attacks, hinder regular waste collection due to fuel shortages. Trash piles among the tents and shelters create an environment conducive to the spread of infectious diseases…”

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20240406-trash-piles-threat-health-of-fleeing-palestinians-in-rafah/


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“Growing protests in Israel piles pressure on Netanyahu’s government…

“The Israel-Hamas war that has devastated the Gaza Strip entered its seventh month on Sunday… As the bloodiest ever Gaza war passed the half-year mark, Israel’s government has faced a growing international backlash against its military campaign, and mass street protests at home.”

https://www.france24.com/en/video/20240407-growing-protests-in-israel-piles-pressure-on-netanyahu-s-government


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“Israeli military says it has increased its readiness for war in north…

“”The commanders of the regular and reserve units are prepared to summon and equip all the required soldiers in just a few hours and transport them to the front line for defensive and offensive missions,” the military said.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-launches-strikes-eastern-lebanon-lebanese-security-sources-say-2024-04-06/


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“Israel ‘can handle’ any threat from Iran, says military chief…

“Israel’s military has said it is prepared for any Iranian threat, as tension builds after Monday’s attack on an Iranian consulate in Damascus… Reports in the US media suggest Iran’s retaliation could take place in the coming days.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-68757080


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“Iraqi economists warn of “state collapse” if oil prices plummet.

“Economists have warned of the dangers of the Iraqi federal government’s continuously increasing spending, warning of a “state collapse” if oil prices plummet. The Iraqi state continues to rely on oil as the sole source of its general budget, leaving the country vulnerable to global crises that affect oil now and then.”

https://shafaq.com/en/Report/Iraqi-economists-warn-of-state-collapse-if-oil-prices-plummet


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“Afghanistan malnutrition crisis deepens amid economic restrictions.

“The World Food Program is reporting a staggering increase in malnutrition cases in Afghanistan, especially among children, amid economic sanctions on the country. The authority says admissions to clinics for malnutrition have tripled over the last year in the capital, Kabul.”

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2024/04/07/723264/Afghanistan-malnutrition-economic-restrictions-


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“Bond Market Risks Dislocation as Borrowing Needs Surge…

“Sovereign borrowing is increasing at the same time as corporates need to refinance maturing debt… Corporates were smart in raising plentiful amounts of debt at super-low interest rates in the second half of 2020 and into 2021. Unfortunately, that means $3 trillion across the US and Europe matures in the next three years…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2024-04-08/bond-market-risks-dislocation-as-borrowing-needs-surge


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“More Easy Money Will Plunge Us Into Stagflation…

“Thirty central banks easing and seventy national governments increasing spending in an election year means more fuel for the inflation fire in a year in which money supply growth has bounced significantly from its 2023 lows.”

https://www.eurasiareview.com/08042024-more-easy-money-will-plunge-us-into-stagflation-oped/


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“Gold extends record rally amid speculative buying, geopolitical tensions… hits an all-time high at $2,353.79/ounce.

“Gold prices extended their record rally on Monday… Strong central bank buying, safe-haven inflows amid elevated geopolitical risks, and demand from momentum-following funds have fuelled bullion’s 12% gain so far this year.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/gold-extends-record-rally-amid-speculative-buying-geopolitical-tensions-2024-04-08/


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“Global dominance of biggest stocks rises to highest in decades… US equities, led by ‘Magnificent Seven’, now account for more than 70% of global developed markets…

““During the [2007-08] financial crisis the global stock market fell nearly 40 per cent. Today’s more concentrated stock market is more prone to substantial falls in value.””

https://www.ft.com/content/9a0bc659-4d54-4eef-9ace-394bafc87d1d


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

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