Posts Tagged ‘G20’

Paris climate conference to be subdued after G20 summit skips over contentious issues

November 17, 2015

The G20 summit in Turkey was completely dominated by the issue of combating ISIS terrorism and never got around to discussing the contentious climate conference issues separating the developing from the developed countries. In fact they got stuck on whether the goal of keeping to less than 2ºC warming by the end of the century should be referred to or not. India and Saudi Arabia opposed the motion but eventually gave way. There was little time to discuss much more and the critical issues of financing the “good fight” and whether even developing countries should make larger emissions cuts were hardly addressed.

ClimateChangeNews reports:

Campaigners looking to this weekend’s G20 leaders meeting in Antalya, Turkey, for progress on the climate agenda have been left disappointed.

In a statement on Monday, the group of major economies reiterated their commitment to a 2C limit on global warming and to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies.

There was little sign of convergence on contentious issues ahead of December’s UN climate summit in Paris: how to ramp up ambition, share responsibility between rich and poor, and get finance flowing. 

India and Saudi Arabia reportedly objected to a review mechanism that would require countries to regularly update their climate plans. The EU is pushing for five-yearly reviews, a proposal recently endorsed by China.

“The only thing G20 leaders had to say on climate was ‘see you at the climate summit’,” said Oxfam’s Steve Price-Thomas.

The Climate conference starts on November 30th in Paris and after the terrorist killings is likely to dispense with much of the circus and side-meetings that normally accompany these jamborees. The French Prime Minister confirmed that things would be subdued

A series of events linked to a UN climate summit in Paris in two weeks will be cancelled over security fears, Manuel Valls told local radio on Monday morning.

The conference will be “reduced to the negotiation” with “concerts and festive events” likely to be called off in the wake of the country’s worst ever terrorist attack, the country’s prime minister told RTL. 

Valls did not specify whether that included a mass demonstration planned by activists on the eve of the summit on 29 November.

Despite the attack, no country or head of state had asked France to postpone the summit, he added.

More than 100 world leaders are due to open the COP21 negotiations on Monday 30 November, at Le Bourget airport on the outskirts of the city.

Organisers are expecting over 40,000 delegates a a day at the critical conference, where a global warming pact is to be finalised.

In parallel, several civil society and business groups had planned side events around Paris.

In my opinion the COP21 Climate conference is rather pointless and misguided. China and India have already got what they want in terms of freedom to use fossil fuels virtually without restriction. The world would be better off with the whole event being cancelled, not that there was – or is – any chance of that happening.

Currency war of words continues – time to be in Yuan?

October 13, 2010

For the layman currency investor these are dangerous times. Countries are intervening in currency markets to hold the value of their currencies down as a way of helping their own exports. The currency market is not that “free”. The only certainty for the long term is that the Chinese Yuan is undervalued. Even Gold where the price may keep rising in Dollars may not keep pace – in the long term – with the Yuan. The Korean Won is also undervalued  but whether this will hold in the long term is uncertain. In the Eurozone the Euro will not rise till the lowish values now can get the economies of Spain and Ireland and Greece and Portugal moving again. But the current values can help the export engines in Germany and the UK  to keep going.

The G20 finance ministers will meet in South Korea from October 22 and its leaders are to gather in Seoul next month to try to reach a consensus on the global currency system to prevent competitive devaluation from damaging growth. A weekend International Monetary Fund meeting failed to defuse tensions reports Reuters.

“As chair of the G20, South Korea’s role will be seriously questioned,” Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda told a parliamentary panel when asked about South Korea’s currency intervention and its place in G20. Japan intervened in the currency market last month for the first time in more than six years to try to stem a rise in the yen that is putting a fragile economic recovery at risk. Noda declined to say whether Japan would step in again as the Japanese currency hovers near a 15-year high against the dollar. He drew a distinction, however, between Japan’s intervention, which appears so far to have been a one-off move, and more frequent intervention by South Korea and China. “In South Korea, intervention happens regularly, and in China, the pace of yuan reform has been slow.

“Our message is that we have confirmed at the Group of Seven that emerging market countries with current account surpluses should allow their currencies to be more flexible.”

Analysts say Tokyo is worried about Japanese exporters’ waning competitiveness against South Korean rivals, given that the yen has risen about 13 percent against the dollar so far this year, while the won has gained only about 4 percent.

Hopes for a G20 currency consensus look slim. “It’ll be impossible for the G20 to reach a consensus on currencies. Many emerging economies feel that they are being forced to intervene because of a weak dollar,” said Etsuko Yamashita, chief economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan urged Seoul and Beijing to act responsibly but acknowledged Tokyo’s delicate position. “I want South Korea and China to take responsible actions within common rules, though how to say this is difficult because Japan has also intervened,” he told the same parliamentary panel.

Japan sold 2.1 trillion yen ($25.65 billion) last month in its first currency intervention in more than six years to curtail the yen’s strength against the dollar. South Korea has intervened to the tune of about $13 billion since late September to try to cap the won’s rise, but analysts said its intervention had been more aggressive in relative terms.

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